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We are aiming to develop our first product to achieve a CE marking. So far i understand that there are a few directives like Low Voltage Directive (LVD), ROHS, EMC, etc, which can be implemented by sticking to harmonized standards (e.g.:EN55022 for the EMC directive). My problem at this point is that there is a ton of harmonized standards (especially concerning the LVD) and I am not sure how to determine which of them is relevant to comply to the directives and achieve CE conformity.

The product is basically a computer system which is used for hardware in the loop simulation and inherited in a 19 inch rack system. It will be supplied from mains, the main power supply will be a purchased part though. There will be more or less hazardous DC rails inside (~100V). Almost everything else inside the 19 inch box was developed in house years ago.

Is it generally the right approach to determine the relevant directives and then looking for the most suitable harmonized standards to fulfill the directives? And if yes how to determine which standards are relevant?

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    \$\begingroup\$ There are people who spend their entire careers doing CE because it is a minefield. I would suggest professional advice. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith Jan 9 '19 at 9:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ You probably don't want to hear the answer. It goes: the European Union has decided that small or start-up companies are evil and should be purged. Because in order to cope with all this EU directive bureaucracy, there is just no way small companies can keep up. You must hire an expert that costs a lot of money, or alternatively send someone on LVD+EMC+ROHS+RED courses, which costs a lot of money. Government authorities won't help, but they will punish you if you didn't figure out which standards in EU official journal that apply to your specific product - which isn't documented anywhere. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jan 9 '19 at 9:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Lundin has a point, but if you manage to pass 60950, 55011, 55014 and 55022, it’s unlikely it would be something in your circuit which violates anything. Worst case you need to test for some more standard, put one more marking or label on the product and/or warn about something in the manual. Choking hazard warning on any plastic bag used for packaging comes to mind here. \$\endgroup\$ – winny Jan 9 '19 at 10:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ There needs to be a safety analysis (yes, even if it is something completely contained) including foreseeable misuse; just that one alone is a nightmare. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith Jan 9 '19 at 10:25
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The first thing is to figure out which EU directives that apply. You seem to have gotten that part correct.

  • LVD directive applies if supply is >=50VAC or >=75VDC. For productions containing radio, the RED directive states that LVD directive applies no matter supply.
  • EMC directive applies to all electronics, unless it contains radio. Then RED directive supersedes the EMC directive and covers EMC aspects too.
  • ROHS directive applies to all electronics. It needs to be considered during component choice and PCB assembly.
  • WEEE directive applies to all electronics (with a few rare exceptions). It needs to be considered during product marking and aftermarket logistics, to ensure recycling. You probably shouldn't need to address this one in the EC declaration for the product, but on an organizational level.

Looking at any of these, you get a big list of harmonized standards from the "EU official journal". The best bet is to consult a test house regarding which ones that apply. Keep in mind that they love to charge money for lots of tests, so they will always suggest more standards than needed.

I'm not such an expert, but a qualified guess (these standards change all the time):

  • In LVD directive , the relevant standards are most likely the monstrous EN 60950-1 + friends, regarding electrical safety. Miscellaneous product-specific standards may apply. Maybe EN 60529 for IP class, ensuring that users can't accidentally stick their fingers inside the product to pet the 100VAC.

  • In EMC directive, it depends a bit on area of use requirements. Some flavour of EN 61000-6, immunity & emissions. If the product is something humans will touch, either during use or during maintenance, then the ESD standard EN 61000-4-2.

  • In ROHS directive, EN 62321.

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