The Advantages And Process Of Automotive EMC And Pre-Compliance Testing
Are you creating a new product for a vehicle OEM? Are you aware of the challenges of meeting electromagnetic interference standards? Modern-day vehicles use a whole lot of electronic components and all those components generate some level of electromagnetic emissions.
This is why there are regulations in place to ensure that the electronic components in vehicles do not interfere with the functioning of other components and are also immune to electromagnetic interference from the outside environment, to a certain extent.
One of the biggest problems product designers face is that EMC testing is expensive and the testing process is tedious and lengthy.
In case their product doesn’t meet the appropriate EMC standards, they will need to recreate the product and recreating the product from the ground up is expensive in terms of money and time.
Early Detection of Errors: One of the major ways is that pre-compliance testing allows you to identify problems early in the design process. This gives you enough time to remedy the errors and ensure that the product passes the EMC compliance tests.
Save Money: Devices that fail testing either need to be redesigned or the functions need to be overhauled in order to meet the appropriate EMC standards. When you invest in pre-compliance testing, it means that your product is unlikely to fail EMC compliance tests.
Over and Under Design Problems: In many cases, design teams end up over-engineering a product due to not completely understanding the regulations. Similarly, an under-engineered product is likely to be returned leading to redesign and retesting. Both of these are big problems that cost you money and pre-compliance testing can help in eliminating these issues.
Process For Automotive EMC And Pre-Compliance Testing
While most engineers know enough to minimise potential EMI problems, pre-compliance testing helps in eliminating any issues that might hamper progress during formal compliance testing.
This is why it is a good practice to perform in-house pre-compliance measurements in the design stage to reduce the risk of failure in the final compliance tests.
1). Identify the Standards: The first step in the process is to identify the EMC standards you need to meet. For instance, CISPR 25 and CISPR 12 are the international standards regarding the on-board and off-board automotive receivers. In addition to these international standards, most vehicle OEMs have their own standards. The design specifications provided by the vehicle OEM should mention these standards.
2). Choosing the Right Accessories: It is important to choose the right accessories for pre-compliance testing. For instance, you can use biconical antennas for testing 20 to 200 MHz frequencies. Similarly, you can invest in the right pre-amplifiers as well as line impedance stabilisation networks to ensure accuracy in the pre-compliance testing stage.
3). Test Environment: It is important to have a good test environment that is free of any kind of powerful emitters including electrical equipment, Wi-Fi access points and other such equipment. You might want to use multi-level parking lots, basements or any unused space. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the results won’t be as accurate as you would get in an anechoic chamber but a disturbance-free environment is often useful for pre-compliance testing.
4). Quick Scan with Peak Detectors: Most EMC standards specify quasi-peak detectors but it takes a long time to scan the components over wide frequency ranges. This is why it is recommended to use a peak detector for quick scanning during the pre-compliance testing stage. It will allow you to get the measurements in the worst-case scenario.
Test Report Preparation: It is important that all the results generated during pre-compliance testing are properly recorded and documented. It will allow you to discover any potential issues and fix those before formal compliance testing.
Overall, pre-compliance testing helps in saving a lot of time and money and makes sure that your equipment meets the required EMC standards. Planning ahead allows you to minimise the risk of failure during formal compliance tests.
Get in touch with Compliance Engineering experts today to learn more about testing equipment and how we can help you plan your pre-compliance testing process.
Please call us today at Compliance Engineering on + 61 3 9763 3079 or leave an enquiry.