Summer 2016 Open-Enrollment Courses

Three Days, Two Courses - Stoughton, WI - June 21-23, 2016

In June, LearnEMC will again be offering our most popular course, Electronic Systems Design for EMC Compliance. This two-day course provides an excellent introduction to the fundamental EMC concepts necessary to design compliant products. We are also offering a new 1-day advanced course focusing on printed circuit board design and layout. This course leads students through the EMC design review process, showing them what to look for and how to evaluate potential problems identified in board layouts and schematics. Registration for these classes is strictly limited to 16 students. There is more information in the links below and on our Registration Page.

Electronic Systems Design for EMC Compliance, June 21-22, Stoughton, WI

Advanced Printed Circuit Board Design for EMC, June 23, Stoughton, WI


Advanced Printed Circuit Board Design for EMC

Segment of a Printed Circuit Board Layout

This is an advanced course for engineers who design products that must comply with EMC requirements on the first test pass. The course discusses basic methodologies for reviewing circuit board layouts and schematics to identify and evaluate potential EMC and signal integrity issues. Examples derived from actual circuit board designs are used to illustrate proper and improper layouts in various situations. Imlementation and layout strategies for various types of circuits are reviewed including high-speed digital, RF analog, LF analog, power inverters, controllers and mixed-signal designs.

It is assumed that students taking this course have a basic understanding of fundamental EMC concepts. (For example, students that have completed the Electronic Systems Design for EMC Compliance course or the Design for Automotive EMC Compliance course.) The focus of the course will be on the application of these concepts to actual product designs. Students completing this course will have the skills necessary to conduct circuit board design reviews of their own and make good decisions regarding component selection, component placement, layer stack-up, trace routing and grounding.
Course Outline

Electronic Systems Design for EMC Compliance

circuit board

Well-designed electronic systems operate reliably in their intended electromagnetic environment. These systems are not affected by voltage spikes on their power or signal lines; they function normally in the presence of strong electric or magnetic fields; and the systems’ own fields do not interfere with other systems nearby. In a well-designed system, the cost of grounding, shielding and filtering is usually a negligible percentage of the overall system component costs. Unfortunately, many electronic systems are not well designed. It is not unusual for a company to spend millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours attempting to track down and correct system malfunctions that are the direct result of improper grounding and shielding. This course reviews the fundamental grounding, filtering and shielding concepts that all engineers can utilize to ensure the safety and reliability of their products at the lowest possible cost.

Today's rapid development cycles require products to meet their EMC requirements the first time they come into the lab for testing. Board layout changes and other EMC "fixes" can significantly add to the cost of a product and/or delay its development schedule. First-pass compliance with EMC requirements starts with the circuit board layout. Printed circuit board layout is often the single most important factor affecting the electromagnetic compatibility of electronic systems. Boards that are auto-routed or laid out according to a list of “design rules” do not usually meet electromagnetic compatibility requirements on the first pass; and the products using these boards are more likely to require expensive fixes such as ferrites on cables or shielded enclosures. Taking the time to ensure that components are properly placed, transition times are not left to chance, and traces are optimally routed will generally result in products that meet all electromagnetic compatibility and signal integrity requirements on time and on budget.

Many electronic systems employ mixed-signal boards (boards with both analog and digital circuits). Mixed-signal boards require that special attention be paid to the routing of the low-frequency currents. Minor mistakes in the layout of these boards can mean the difference between a reliable product and a product with severe EMC problems.

The cables that carry power and signals to and from the system, or between boards in a system, are another key design consideration. Shielded cables are not always better than unshielded cables, and choosing the right cable for the right application can be as important as circuit board design and layout for ensuring that a product will be cost effective and meet all EMC requirements.

This course stresses the fundamental concepts and tools that electronics engineers can employ to avoid electromagnetic compatibility and signal integrity problems. Students completing the course will be able to make good decisions regarding board layout and system design for EMC. They will also learn techniques for quickly reviewing designs in order to flag potential problems well before the first hardware is built and tested.
Course Outline