New EMC requirements for Test and Measurement equipment are being introduced in the form of EN 61326-1: 2013 to achieve compliance to the EMC directive

For manufacturers selling scientific, test and measurement equipment in Europe, EMC emissions and immunity requirements defined in EN 61326-1 are changing.  Effective August 14, 2015, the 2006 version of this standard will be withdrawn and can no longer be used to meet the essential requirements of the EMC Directive.  From then on, EN 61326-1: 2013 will be in effect.  The 2013 version is identical to IEC 61326-1, Ed. 2.0 (2012-07).

EN 61326-1 defines the immunity environments for different locations: Basic, Industrial, Controlled Electromagnetic (EM) and Portable Test and Measurement (in Annex A). 

For immunity in ‘Basic’ environments, here are the changes in the 2013 version:

  • 61000-4-2 – The ESD requirement for air discharge is now +/- 8kV, up from +/- 4kV
  • 61000-4-8 – A power frequency H-field requirement of 3 A/m for both 50 & 60 Hz has been added. This only applies to “magnetically sensitive equipment.”

There are no significant changes in immunity for ‘Industrial’ environments.

For ‘Controlled EM’ environments, the “Measurement I/O” port category was eliminated.

For ‘Portable Test and Measurement Equipment,’ as in Basic environments, there is a new power frequency H-field requirement of 3 A/m specified in 61000-4-8.

There is also an important change in Performance Criteria.  For Performance Criteria A and B, the 2013 version added new “permissible loss of performance” verbiage which allows for a pass despite immunity test failure, provided the manufacturer defines this in their product or user’s manual.

Performance Criterion C remains essentially the same: User intervention is still allowed to regain product functionality.  So, as long as the function of a product can be recovered by the user and the product is not permanently damaged by testing, it complies with this criterion.

No changes were made to this section other than referencing the 2009 version of CISPR 11, including 2010 amendment.  As with previous versions of this standard, AC power line harmonics and flicker are only required for products which must meet Class B (residential) limits.

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