The New Automotive EMC Directive: Tough Requirements on the Road Ahead
|Terry Beadman |
The new Automotive EMC Directive (2004/104/EC) came into force on December 3, 2004, and approvals could be granted to it from that date. From January 1, 2006, a member state cannot refuse to grant type-approval or prohibit entry into service if the vehicle or its electronic subassemblies (ESA) comply with the directive.
The changes might appear initially to correspond to the minor changes in test methods in the international standards that were used as the basis of the previous directive, 95/54/EC. However, the new directive has a number of significant changes in requirements for both vehicle and ESA manufacturers.
Implications for Vehicle Manufacturers
For radio-frequency (RF) transmitters intended to normally be used in the vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer shall list in a table: frequency bands, maximum power, and antenna position at the vehicle, together with specific conditions for installation and use. The vehicle manufacturer may claim that normal installations are only mobile phones except for special-purpose vehicles. Conversely, the radio industry may consider that the word normal refers to any radio system that has been designed for normal use in a vehicle. Clarification of the interpretation is needed.
Each of the vehicle's electrical and electronic systems must be fully specified by make and type. This also includes the need for schematics or drawings of the general arrangement of electrical or electronic components and must include the general wiring-harness arrangement.
ACTA Revises Database Guidelines
The Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA) has implemented new guidelines and procedures for submitting information to its database. The "Guidelines and Procedures for Submittal of Information for Inclusion in the ACTA Database of Approved Telephone Terminal Equipment (TTE), Revision 2.7" was released in May 2005.
The revised guidelines include the fees for using the ACTA online filing system and for submission to the ACTA secretariat.
The revision replaces all old versions of the guidelines. TTE suitable for connection to the public switched telephone network must comply with all applicable rules and regulations of FCC Part 68. The equipment must also comply with the technical criteria adopted by ACTA.
Parties responsible for TTE must present all information required by ACTA to be included in the database. Information must be submitted to ACTA's administrator for all approved Part 68 products.
The revised guidelines can be viewed at www.part68.org.
Manufacturers' test reports supplied to the approval authority for drawing up the type-approval certificate must be from a test laboratory accredited to ISO 17025. The test lab must also be recognized by the approval authority.
The immunity-related function requirements of 2004/104/EC replace the limited direct-control requirement of 95/54/EC. If an ESA has an effect on an immunity-related function, then the vehicle must be type-approved for immunity. The functions are as follows:
• Functions that affect the driver's direct control of the vehicle. This requirement is the same as direct control in 95/54/EC.
• Functions that relate to the protection of driver, passenger, or other road user. This is a new function and brings in the safety of the vehicle occupants and other road users. Under 95/54/EC, it was possible to ignore vehicle behavior that affected the safety of other road users and passenger safety.
• Functions that when disturbed cause confusion to the driver or other road users. In 95/54/EC, the directive only considered confusion of other road users, whereas the new directive brings in confusion of the driver as well. Interpretations are still being discussed for this point, but it has been suggested that audible warnings to the driver are not usually significant. Optical warnings are significant if an erroneous optical warning is related to the driver's direct control.
• Functions related to vehicle data-bus functionality. Although it may be necessary in some cases to monitor the vehicle's data busses during testing, this point may be considered as more relevant for aftermarket suppliers that wish to obtain vehicle data by connecting to a data bus.
• Functions that when disturbed affect vehicle statutory data. The new directive, 2004/104/EC, identifies the odometer as an example.
Implications for an ESA Manufacturer
The new directive treats aftermarket ESAs very differently than 95/54/EC did. Before 2004/104/EC, ESAs only needed to be CE marked under 89/336/EEC or under 1999/5/EC if they were not immunity related. For immunity-related ESAs, an e mark was required.
Under 2004/104/EC, however, an automotive technical service must decide whether the ESA is immunity related and thus whether the ESA must be e marked. This requirement will be removed in 2008 unless there is evidence to justify (for road safety reasons) its continuation. The decision will be based on the records of technical service decisions. There are more immunity-related functions identified in 2004/104/EC than were given as direct-control functions in 95/54/EC. Because of this change, many more aftermarket ESAs are now subject to immunity testing.
All ESAs must be tested both for immunity to supply transients and for transient emissions. This requirement forces testing onto ESAs that under 95/54/EC were subject only to an RF emissions test or assessment to show that they did not emit significant RF emissions.
Commission Directive 2004/104/EC of October 14, 2004, adapting to technical progress Council Directive 72/245/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the suppression of radio interference produced by spark-ignition engines fitted to motor vehicles and amending Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers.
Commission Directive 95/54/EC of October 31, 1995, adapting to technical progress Council Directive 72/245/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the suppression of radio interference produced by spark-ignition engines fitted to motor vehicles and amending Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers.
Directive EMC 89/336/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility.
Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 9, 1999, on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity.
Directive 2004/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 15, 2004, on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility and repealing Directive 89/336/EEC.
When an aftermarket ESA is deemed not to be immunity related, the supplier is only required to apply a CE mark in accordance with the procedures for 89/336/EEC or 1999/5/EC. The test house does not need to be accredited to ISO 17025 or to be approved by the approval authority. In addition, the ESA production is not subject to the type-approval Conformity of Production requirements. However, the EMC tests required are those specified by 2004/104/EC as well as all those required to ensure that all EMC phenomena are tested.
Currently, 89/336/EEC does not have a suitable harmonized EMC standard. Therefore, this requires an EMC competent body to determine suitable tests and to assess the technical construction file for the ESA. This requirement will change either when CENELEC writes a suitable EMC standard or when 2004/108/EC comes into force on July 20, 2007.
Similarly, 1999/5/EC requires the services of a radio notified body until the European Telecommunication Standards Institute completes the writing of a suitable radio harmonized EMC standard. The advantage is that the delays associated with the processing of a formal type-approval application should not exist, assuming the technical service decision is issued in the specified timescales.
Terry Beadman retired from MIRA in March 2005. He now provides consultancy services to industry through Dove House Associates Ltd. (Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK). To contact Beadman, go to www.dovehouseassociates.ltd.uk.
FCC: Wireless Phones Must Be Hearing-Aid Compatible
FCC has restated its schedule for the development and sale of digital wireless phones that are compatible with hearing aids. The agency is also seeking comments as to whether rule changes are needed to ensure that people with hearing aids have sufficient access to wireless phones and similar technologies.
FCC reevaluated its earlier assessment of how many handset models that Tier I, or five largest, wireless carriers must produce for sale to consumers in 2005. FCC ruled that by September 16, 2005, the Tier I companies must make 25% of their handset models compatible with hearing aids or produce four such models. One year after that date, the Tier I companies must make five hearing-aid compatible models or 25% of their models compatible with hearing aids. The organization held to its ruling that by early 2008, 50% of handsets must be hearing-aid compatible. Companies are still required to include exterior labeling to show the handset's technical rating, with additional technical information included inside the packaging. This requirement was made to give consumers enough information to judge phone and hearing aid compatibility.
The agency stated that ANSI C63.19 is the relevant technical standard for wireless devices. The standard should be applied as a performance-based standard, as opposed to a build-to standard. FCC will evaluate any future version of C63.19 for its suitability to hearing-aid compatibility rules.
FCC granted the states authority to enforce the hearing-aid compatibility rules. However, the agency retains final say over the technical standards for assessing hearing-aid compatibility.
More information about FCC is available at www.fcc.gov.
U.S., Canada Reach Agreement on Frequency Bands
The United States and Canada have completed a revision to the 1962 U.S.-Canada agreement on coordination and use of radio frequencies above 30 Mc/sec. FCC and Industry Canada will administer a new agreement covering use of frequency bands 764–776 and 794–806 MHz. The agreement will create public safety systems in these bands near the U.S.-Canada border. These systems will provide public safety licensees near the border with additional spectrum and interference-free operations and interoperability.
The agreement is called "Sharing Arrangement Between the Department of Industry of Canada and the FCC of the United States of America Concerning the Use of the Frequency Bands 764 MHz to 776 MHz and 794 MHz to 806 MHz by the Land Mobile Service Along the Canada–United States Border."
The border will be divided into three sharing zones specifying which narrowband and wideband frequencies are primary for the United States and which are primary for Canada. The agreement states that operation on primary channels is subject to limitations on the effective radiated power. Provisions are included to protect each country's TV stations. The agreement limits the use of primary frequencies in the sharing zone to a maximum power-flux density at or beyond the border.
The agreement designates the interoperability and low-power channels as frequencies that may be shared along the border. The interoperability channels enable both countries to instantly share information critical to public safety. The low-power channels are accessible for mobile operations only and are unprotected.
To read the full text of this agreement, refer to the FCC International Bureau Web site at www.fcc.gov/ib/sand/agree.
IECQ Launches Lead-Free Certification Program for Electronics
Electrical and electronics manufacturers can be sure their products measure up to standards with the new specification from the IEC's Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ) on hazardous substances. The IECQ specifies the technical requirements needed for compliance. The organization offers global certification for the electronics industry for regulations on hazardous substances, including lead.
The Hazardous Substance Free (HSF) Specification does not require thousands of tests, but provides a systems approach to compliance. The system provides companies with the resources to become compliant with new regulations on hazardous substances.
The Electronic Component Certification Board and the Electronic Components Sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance designed the HSF Specification. The specification is titled, "Electrical and Electronic Components and Products Hazardous Substance Free Standard and Requirements." Its reference ID is EIA/ECCB-954.
The RoHS Directive will require European Union (EU) members and countries exporting goods to the EU to make electrical and electronic products without the following substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. In the United States, California has implemented the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 as a way to enforce the directive.
California is encouraging compliance by presenting the Governor's Environmental & Economic Leadership Awards to companies that meet the requirements. In other parts of the world, China's Ministry of Information is writing a proposal to prohibit the use of hazardous chemicals in electronics manufacturing.
IECQ members immediately offering the HSF Certification are BSI Product Services (London), DNV Certification (Houston), LCIE (Fontenay-Aux-Roses, France), and NSAI Inc. (Nashua, NH). HSF Certification from other IECQ members will be available worldwide after they complete training qualification.
Further information on the program can be obtained from IECQ's Web site at www.iecq.org and from IEC's Web site at www.iec.ch.
The Boston office of Intertek ETL Entela (Grand Rapids, MI) has received Automotive EMC Laboratory Recognition Program (AEMCLAP) accreditation. The scope of accreditation covers bulk current injection, ESD, CISPR 25, and radiated immunity testing. Intertek ETL provides automotive product, systems, and materials and component testing for failure analysis, engineering services, accelerated stress testing, and automotive certifications. The Boston facility is the only lab in New England to receive AEMCLAP accreditation.
Aeroflex Inc. (Plainview, NY) has acquired SPG, the test and measurement division of UbiNetics Holdings Ltd. (Melbourn, UK). SPG develops, manufactures, and integrates wireless test and measurement equipment specific to commercial wireless product development organizations and service operators. Aeroflex has also acquired JcAIR Test Systems from Goodrich Corp. (Charlotte, NC), an aerospace and defense supplier. JcAIR provides customized avionics test equipment for manufacturing, repair, and ground support operation. Aeroflex designs, develops, and manufactures automated testing equipment and microelectronics for the aerospace, defense, and broadband communications markets.
Malvern Instruments (Worcestershire, UK) has entered into an agreement with Particle Technology Laboratories Ltd. (PTL; Chicago). The partnership will enable Malvern to extend its contract testing services for particle characterization to customers in North America. The testing itself will be performed by PTL at its U.S. facility. PTL is an independent laboratory specializing in fine-particle size and characterization services. It is FDA registered and follows CGMP guidelines.
D.L.S. Electronic Systems Inc. (Wheeling, IL) now offers complete cable testing for RTCA DO-160 E, Section 22, "Multiple Burst/Multiple Stroke Lightning Induced Transient Susceptibility," for all waveforms. D.L.S. provides full-service EMC testing for the military, avionics, and aerospace industries. The company is accredited by NVLAP and offers a large staff of certified NARTE engineers.
Smiths Aerospace (Germantown, MD) has awarded a long-term agreement to National Technical Systems Inc. (NTS; Calabasas, CA). Under the agreement, NTS will provide a range of testing services, including temperature and humidity, mechanical vibration and shock, electromagnetic interference, and structural load testing, for Smiths Aerospace and other Smiths business units. The qualification test programs will be conducted to ensure compliance to the broad range of commercial and government requirements necessary to bring Smiths Aerospace's products to market. NTS provides quality and conformance testing and managed services to a number of government agencies and corporations.
Thermo Electron Corp. (Waltham, MA) has purchased Niton LLC, a provider of portable x-ray systems for metal, petrochemical, and environmental markets. The addition of Niton will enable the company to introduce a traditional laboratory-based analytical technique to settings outside the laboratory. Niton offers rapid, high-performance, nondestructive testing for a range of applications, including identification and analysis of metal, determination of toxic metals in plastics and environmental samples, lead paint screening and risk assessment, mineral exploration and mining, and coatings and plating analysis. Thermo Electron supplies portable, nondestructive alloy analysis instrumentation.
RFI Global Services Ltd. (Basingstoke, UK) has upgraded its Anritsu ME 7873 3G RF conformance test platform. The upgraded system will provide the company's cellular customers with radio resource management (RRM) testing. RRM refers to optimizing wireless system operation to deliver maximum capacity with a specific level of quality, given an amount of spectrum, time, and space. RFI is an independent provider of specialist testing, approval, and product development services to the cellular, wireless, electronics, and smart card industries worldwide.