“Automotive EMC Component Spec Perspective and Essential PCB Design Rules”
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Schedule of Events
5:30 – 6:00 Pizza and Refreshments provided by: Underwriters Laboratories - Novi
6:00 – 7:00 Presentation
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The purpose of this two part presentation is to give some history and insight into EMC Component Specifications and some essential EMC module design practices.
Part 1 addresses automotive component EMC specifications. The responsibility for meeting these requirements is usually the Product Design (PD) Engineer. Although it is admirable for the EMC community to try and do the best job possible, it has a tendency to go to extremes regarding testing requirements/limits. Such EMC groups are typically a separate community and have a narrow view. This may be in conflict with some of the realities of the PD engineer - minimal staffing, keep to schedule, keep costs down (weigh cost/benefit), make a profit.
These specs have evolved over many years, starting at a time when EMC was not well understood and design practices were not in place. For many present day EMC practitioners, this history is not known so it makes it difficult to know when to “Hold or Fold” when a test anomaly is observed. Different people looking at the same data can come up with quite different conclusions depending on their background, insight and flexibility. Specific test examples will be presented to illustrate this.
Test methods have many limitations and compromises - simple pass-fail criteria results in too much non value work (test issues that are not real world concerns) especially for modules that follow basic EMC design rules. EMC testing is usually lengthy and expensive and diverts from time to “sand box” where real issues are found. The process should be design guidelines implementation and development testing followed up by design verification with realistic limits. The main goal is to minimize field issues not just pass specs.
The EMC process has potential to be improved and simplified but due to the large EMC infrastructure (OEM/Vendor EMC staff, Testing facilities/staff, Equipment vendors, Regulators and regulations, EMC committees) it is extremely difficult to change. Even so, certain practices can be implemented to improve the process (e.g. more realistic acceptance criteria and data analysis).
Part 2 gives some specific module design rules along with actual illustrative examples. To design a product that meets the severe automotive EMC requirements can seem overwhelming. Although it is possible to try and apply the many design rules that are well publicized, there are only a relative few that really make a difference
Mr. Nielsen retired from
Visteon-Ford in 2005 with over 35 years experience in a number of
disciplines. After college, he served in
the US Navy submarine service after which he was an instrumentation engineer at
the Chrysler Corp Proving Grounds for 3 years.
He then started his career at the Ford Motor Company crash test facility
as an instrumentation engineer. Arnie then spent 10 years as a Product Design engineer in powertrain electronics (engine-transmission controllers,
actuators, software, etc). For 20 years
he was a Technical Specialist involved in the design and testing of most
automotive electronic products and the development & implementation of a comprehensive
EMC design and test process. He has also
been deeply involved in Reliability and Product Assurance. He has a working knowledge of many
environmental specs including Ford, Mazda, GM, BMW,
Since retiring, Mr. Nielsen has been actively consulting on electronic design and EMC for over 20 companies (including electric vehicles).
Mr. Nielsen has a BSEE from
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