Did you know almost 50% of products fail EMC compliance testing on the first attempt? Why do you think the other 50% succeeds? What’s their secret? Well, there is a secret and it is EMC/EMI pre-compliance testing.

What is Pre-compliance EMC/EMI Testing?

The testing is done either in-house or in a laboratory during the development stage way before the product is sent for final compliance testing. This is known as pre-compliance testing. As you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you’re aware of the EMC/EMI regulations in various parts of the world and their importance.

Product development is an expensive and time-consuming process. If the product fails compliance testing, going back to the drawing board can set you back tens of thousands of dollars. More importantly, you will also lose precious time.

How Does Pre-Compliance EMI/EMC Testing work?

Pre-compliance EMI/EMC testing isn’t as comprehensive as final compliance testing. The goal here is to figure out design problems before the product moves into final production. The choice of testing typically depends on a variety of factors such as:

  • Budget available for testing
  • Time taken for testing
  • Expertise needed for testing

Various Options for Pre-Compliance EMI/EMC Testing

Some of the common options used for pre-compliance testing are:

  • Using a lab
  • Conference room or basement
  • Borrowing equipment

Using a nearby laboratory for pre-compliance testing is easily the most viable option for many companies. One big advantage of using a laboratory is that they have experienced technicians who can provide actionable recommendations. Some laboratories also offer discounts if you book them for full compliance testing.

Some designers might try and use the office conference room or basement for pre-compliance testing. However, if you need to do a lot of testing for a lot of products, this can be very time consuming, costly and the results are not going to be as accurate as laboratory testing.

If you have some companies nearby with test equipment, you might be able to hire some equipment however, not everyone has companies nearby that are willing to rent out their EMC testing equipment. The other issue is that you might use the appropriate equipment necessary for the devices you want to test. This is another reason why it’s best left to the professionals.

How Pre-Compliance EMI/EMC Testing Work

Benefits of Pre-Compliance Testing

Successful companies invest in pre-compliance EMC/EMI testing for several reasons. One of the most obvious benefits is the potential to identify problems early. This allows product designers to fix the problems early in the development phase instead of returning to the drawing board with failure in final compliance testing. It saves a lot of time.

Compliance testing can quickly get expensive as lab time isn’t cheap. If a non-compliant product is sent for testing and returned, you might need to make expensive alterations to meet compliance standards. Pre-compliance testing ensures that your product is capable of meeting the required regulations before you send it for final compliance testing.

This means that it can help you meet launch deadlines. Companies often plan product launches months or sometimes, even a year in advance. If the product fails to meet the compliance standards, it can send your launch schedule into a tailspin.

An often overlooked benefit is that it helps in fixing both over-engineering and under engineering issues. If the design team does not have a solid understanding of compliance regulations, they may over-engineer the product which typically leads to increased cost of manufacturing. On the other hand, an under-engineered product will also cost more money due to the need for multiple testing.


To summarise, successful companies invest in pre-compliance testing to ensure meeting deadlines, reduce the risk of failure, address over-engineering and under engineering issues, as well as save money on design and testing costs.

Compliance Engineering offers accredited testing services for a broad range of products in particular compliance with EMC and EMI regulations in Australia. We provide the highest standard of environmental testing that measures the performance of specific products under particular environmental conditions.

Please call us today at Compliance Engineering on + 61 3 9763 3079 or request a quote.