How important is it to choose a top-quality EMC test lab? The consequences of getting it wrong can be catastrophic not just in terms of costs, but time. Read below for more detail.
If you make electronic or electrical products then you will need to ensure that your products comply with the EMC regulations and that they are correctly labelled also.
For small, low-risk products, the regulations are quite simple but if your product needs to be fully labelled and tested then you should work with a lab to certify it and to document the compliance testing that has been done.
The penalties for improper testing and labelling are quite severe.
This is because the EMC regulations exist to ensure that all electronic appliances are safe and that they will not interfere with essential services such as communications or medical devices.
For this reason, it’s important that you choose an EMC test lab that you can trust.
What to Look for in an EMC Test Lab
EMC testing is a complex field, and there are a number of different standards to worry about, as well as requirements for different products.
In addition, if you plan on selling a product abroad, not just in Australia, then you will need to make sure that in addition to the Australian standards, you also comply with the standards required for other countries.
This includes standards such as the CE mark, the EN Mark, or the FCC requirements. A good lab will do far more than just test your products.
There are some labs out there that will just push the buttons and tick the boxes to tell you whether your product has passed or failed.
Good labs will offer advice and guidance, especially when you’re getting tests done on a prototype so that they can give you advice beyond ‘use some chokes to cut down on interference’.
Depending on the products that you want to get certified, you may need a fairly sophisticated facility. Consider the following:
- Does the lab have an open area test site?
- Do they offer pre-compliance testing in a GTEM?
- Do they have an ESD simulator that can provide high voltage for good testing?
- What is the lead time on tests?
- Can the lab certify products for sale internationally?
- How much do the tests cost?
Shop Around for the Best Prices
Prices for EMC testing can vary massively. There are some Far East labs that are cheap, but the lead times can be incredibly long, and they don’t always have the tools required to perform the full battery of tests.
They may claim that they can offer all the tests you need, but if they are cobbling together tests on less than ideal equipment then you may face problems later on if your product is not fully compliant.
Using a more local lab will give you some peace of mind since you know that it is operating to Australian regulations, and you can be more confident in the standard of the equipment.
It doesn’t whether you’re looking for shock, ingress, impact, vibration, RF shielding or environmental testing, performing the testing in Australia gives you more peace of mind.
For newer products and prototypes, it is often worth paying a little extra for advice and recommendations as you go through the prototyping stage.
It’s better to pay one fee and pass first time, than to have your time to market delayed by doing tests and having to repeatedly go back to the drawing board, pay new fees, and modify the design at a later stage.
At Compliance Engineering, we offer EMC certification and advice and can help with labelling requirements as well as the standards for international certification.
Whether you are working on small, low-risk products or communication technology, we can help you to ensure that your products are fully compliant and that they are ready to be sold in Australia or around the world.
If you would like to know more about the EMC standards and product testing or need EMC testing done, then look no further than Compliance Engineering.
We are the definitive source for all of your Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements. Please call us today on + 61 3 9763 3079 or contact us here.