If you are planning to launch a new electronic product then it is important that you have it tested for EMI/EMC compliance.
Around half of all projects fail their compliance checks the first time that they are submitted for testing.
The good news is that usually, the failure is down to something simple that can be fixed, such as:
- A lack of understanding of the scope of the rules
- Unexpected interaction between parts of the circuit
- The use of non-compliant modules made by a third party
- Failure to follow EMC/EMI best practices
Taking some time to understand the IEC and CISPR versions of the EMC standards during the prototyping phase can help you to prepare for the tests.
This will ensure that your products are compliant, giving a faster route to market.
Before you do this, however, you must confirm what version of the standards your products must comply with.
There are many regional, national and international standards, as well as specific industry and product standards for different types of equipment.
What is the Scope of EMC/EMI Testing?
EMC/EMI testing is broken down into two categories. Testing for emissions (Electromagnetic Interference, or EMI), and testing for immunity.
Devices must not interfere with the safe operation of other electronic devices by producing Electromagnetic Interference.
Testing for immunity is not usually required for consumer-grade products that are intended to be sold in Australia or New Zealand, or in Canada and America.
However, for certain ‘mission critical’ devices EMC immunity testing is required.
Devices that fall into this category (radios, flight equipment, equipment used in hospitals, for example) are covered by additional regulations.
What Do EMC and EMI Fields Measure?
EMC testing can be divided into radiated emissions and conducted emissions.
Radiated emissions fall into two categories, the electric field, and the magnetic field.
Both the volts per meter of the electric field and the amps per meter of the magnetic field must fall within strict limits.
EMI testing looks at the continuous and transient interference produced by a device.
Continuous testing is designed to simulate any RF proximity that the device may experience during day to day use.
Transient tests simulate the effects of short bursts of energy such as surges or voltage dips, or electrostatic discharge.
For certification, a product must pass both tests, and respond to any outside interference in a safe manner.
If you are prototyping new appliances then you may want to consider EMC/EMI pre-compliance testing so that you can get an idea of any issues that your device may face in use.
By running an analysis on your devices from early on, you can get a clear idea of the interference that the device is vulnerable to and that it produces.
Product manufacturers are legally obliged to ensure that their devices comply with the general EMC Standards and with any standards that are specific to their industry.
If your devices fail testing then this could significantly delay their launch. If you are concerned about the safety of your products, we recommend that you seek expert advice.
We are a team of experts in EMC testing, RF shielding and environmental testing, and we can help you prepare for EMC certification for general products as well as for specialist applications, including vibration, ingress, shock and temperature testing.
We can offer advice on the scope of the standards and which ones will apply to you, as well as how you can improve your products to meet the standards in a cost-effective way.
If you need EMC testing done, then look no further than Compliance Engineering.
We are the definitive source for all of your Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements.