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News: 2020-09-04

Smartare Elektronikhandboken. 

Concentrated and easy-to-digest information in a handbook for all who are interested in electronics.

Smartare Elektronikhandboken is the result of a project in Vinnova’s strategic innovation program, Smartare Elektroniksystem. The program has three designated focus areas with the value chain being one. The handbook has been developed to increase quality and efficiency in the interface between the development and production of electronics, and all involved. Developers, designers, product owners, manufacturers, buyers and more all benefit from the accumulated knowledge and experience that can be found in the handbook. A large number of companies have made a very committed contribution to the handbook and it has truly been an extremely fun and rewarding project. This second version of the handbook is a revised and supplemented version of the first handbook, published in the autumn of 2017. Among other things, we have delved further into the areas of DfX (Design for Excellence) and reliability.

A part of DfX is DfC Design for Compliance, i.e. design for compliance with applicable regulations. An area that is especially close to my heart. Getting a product to meet the requirements of the applicable regulations can be an expensive part of electronics design if it is the last step in a development project. There is a major risk with this approach that the product will not meet all the requirements and that the test lab will send the product back for modifications. If you do not meet the requirements, you may not put the product on the market, so it is absolutely fundamental to find the optimal approach. This means starting as early as possible in the development project, compiling the requirements and working with DfC in parallel throughout the project.

Here are some excerpts on this topic from the handbook:

Design process

When all requirements are known and development can start, how should one think in order to realize the product in the best possible way?

There are obviously substantial differences in the degree of difficulty and complexity depending on the product’s application area and how technically advanced the design is. High-tech, safety-critical or medical technology products have very comprehensive requirements and the task of meeting all regulatory requirements is a large part of a product development project. However, certain basic processes are the same:

  • Staff the development team with the right skills.
  • Document decisions and design choices.
  • Perform risk analyses based on the various regulations.
  • Mitigate the risks from the risk analyses by applying a relevant harmonized standard. Documenting evidence (that a risk has been addressed) can otherwise be laborious.
  • Hold review meetings throughout the development project process with the regulations being an item on the agenda and with participants with the right expertise in the various areas.
  • Perform tests and pre-compliance measurements/trials (EMC and electrical safety, in particular) as early as possible, preferably as soon as for the first lab prototype.
  • Select components not only from functional or cost aspects but also take into account, for example, chemical content or EMC properties.
  • Download all component information to the technical file.
  • Certificates for critical components showing compliance with a technical standard are often a requirement for obtaining third-party approval when it comes to pure electrical safety requirements. Critical component refers to a component which, if it fails, risks lowering the safety of a device in an unacceptable manner.

Technical issues that often affect EMC

  • Grounding philosophy: Grounding is crucial, both at the circuit board level and the device level.
  • The use of fast-acting signals is also crucial. Do not use signals with faster rise and fall time than necessary.
  • Cabling: Use shielded cable if possible. For unshielded cable, filter all signals. Attach internal cables mechanically.
  • Mechanical design: A metal enclosure is best whenever possible- Also remember to ensure the durability of contact surfaces between the parts so that no cracks occur. It is advisable to prepare the layout to allow the use of screen cages, etc. should this turns out to be needed.
  • Displays are often a point of concern from an EMC point of view, mainly due to the many and rapid data signals in combination with the fact that by their nature, they are not easy to encapsulate. Displays therefore require a carefully considered product design, both mechanically and electrically.
  • Inventory structure and number of warehouses: Especially for a little more advanced and fast-acting electronics, the inventory structure and number of warehouses are very important. For a product that is not to be manufactured in large production run, it may be worthwhile to utilize additional inventory to reach the finish line significantly faster. Signal integrity is also greatly affected by the inventory structure and it is very important to be clear in communications with the printed circuit board manufacturer so that it is not changed to reduce board costs.

Sometimes the legal requirements are not enough

In order to be able to put a product on the market, all the set requirements must be met. But it is worth keeping in mind that the legal aspects are not always enough for the product to be functional. Additionally, you must always take into account the environment and the functional requirements placed on a specific product. A good example of this is the EMC requirements for an embedded product with built-in radio communications. It is not uncommon in such case to be able to meet the legal requirements set for EMC, but that the built-in radio functions poorly due to disturbances in the product .


The entire handbook, including its appendices and templates, can be downloaded free of charge from Smartare Elektroniksystem and the industry association Svensk Elektronik’s website. Svensk Elektronik also arranges courses in the handbook.

Thanks to Magnus Svensson ( ) program manager at Smartare Elektroniksystem and Mats Andersson who has been the process manager for the handbook.

Last but not least, a warm thank you to the companies that have contributed with their experience, knowledge and considerable commitment:

Atlas Copco AB, EK Power Solutions AB, Eskilstuna Elektronikpartner AB, Frikab AB, Inission AB, Mycronic AB, NCAB Group Sweden AB, Note AB, Orbit One AB, Prevas AB, RISE IVF AB, Trimble AB, Veoneer AB and ÅF Digital Solutions AB.

Have any questions? Feel free to get in touch!

//Maria Månsson
Director, Innovation and Research

As well as board member of Smartare Elektroniksystem and chairman of Värdekedjarådet.