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Guide helps to make hydraulic systems EMC-compliant

01 April, 2002

Guide helps to make hydraulic systems EMC-compliant

BFPDA, the organisation that represents distributors of fluid power equipment in the UK, had produced a document offering guidance on how to build hydraulic control systems so that they comply with European electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) legislation.

Although this legislation has been in force for several years, the growing use of electronic and electronic components in hydraulic installations has made it increasingly importance for the fluid power industry. But the BFPDA discovered that there were no readily available guidelines on how to build hydraulic control systems to comply with the legislation.

Although electrical component suppliers often CE-mark their products - usually to several directives - assembling these components to form a system can result in a different set of electromagnetic characteristics. In effect, each assembly would have to be EMC tested before it could be CE-marked - but individual testing could cost more than the system itself, making the practice uneconomic.

The Association therefore set up a working committee to look at the issue. As well as taking advice from an EMC consultant on areas of potential failure, the committee commissioned the building and testing of a typical hydraulic power system using standard components from a variety of suppliers.

Based on this work, the BFPDA has published the report* which includes recommendations for best practice in building and designing fluid power control systems and includes a Technical Construction File for EMC compliance. The work was sponsored by a group of suppliers including Bosch Rexroth, Hydac, Parker Hannifin and Sauer Danfoss.

* Guidelines to Electromagnetic Compatibility of a Multi-Function Hydraulic Power Assembly. Price £300. Details from the BFPDA on 01608 647900.

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