Importance Of Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing & Certification
Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing is a crucial part of electronic product manufacturing. With EMC Compliance being a mandatory requirement that your product must meet before being brought into the Australian market, it is important that you get as much information as possible on how to pass the relevant tests.
More and more manufacturers understand the need to incorporate EMC testing from the early stages of product development up to the very last stages when the product is ready for market. Yet, there are still many who choose to wait up to the last moment to have their products tested for Electromagnetic Compatibility.
What Is Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing?
EMC testing is the process of checking whether an electronic device meets specific electromagnetic emissions and immunity standards that have been set by governments and other regulatory bodies.
EMC testing helps to lower the possibility that conducted or radiated emissions generated by an electronic device will affect other electronic devices or components in the surrounding environment.
EMC testing is also enforced to ensure that your electronic product will continue to function as intended around other sources of electromagnetic radiation.
Types Of Electromagnetic Signals
EMC testing focuses on checking different types of electromagnetic signals that are emitted by different sources. There are 2 main types of electromagnetic signals that EMC tests look for namely radiated and conducted signals.
At frequencies up to 30 MHz, conductors and cables in many electronic gadgets do not function properly as antennas. Radiated emissions are therefore not a major issue at this range.
However, conductors and cables can conduct radio frequencies via shared loads or sources, in which these conducted signals may start to affect other electronic devices.
Over 30 MHz, conducted signals usually stop being a problem, but the cables and conductors become antennas that possess the ability to generate radio frequencies and can therefore cause interference with other electronic devices in the surrounding environment.
Testing methods and equipment vary depending on the signals being measured.
Why Should You Test For EMC Early?
As already mentioned, a good number of product manufacturers wait until the final stages of product development to do EMC testing.
This is extremely risky because of one major fact; nearly 50% of all products that are tested for electromagnetic compatibility every year fail. This means that many inventors, innovators, creators and manufacturers are forced to either delay launching their product, or recall their product from the market if they have already brought it to market.
There are massive cost implications for this which is why all electronic product manufacturers should aim to avoid this scenario.
While the final EMC test will be carried out by an approved lab in a highly-controlled testing environment, it is possible for you to conduct preliminary tests in-house. You can do this by procuring special test kits that can help you identify various emissions and immunity issues from the onset.
For radiated emissions, you will need a spectrum analyser and a suitable antenna. You will also need an electrically neutral space where you have no electromagnetic signals interfering with the device or the testing antenna.
For conducted emissions, you will need a line impedance stabilisation network (LISN) and an appropriate spectrum analyser.
3rd Party Testing Companies
Alternatively, you can also do early-stage or preliminary EMC tests in 3rd party EMC testing labs. These labs offer highly-controlled testing environments together with dedicated staff to help you do early-stage testing without incurring a lot of costs. It is important to understand the EMC testing requirements right from the design stage.
If you are looking to launch an electronic product, please get in touch with the experienced team at Compliance Engineering to learn more about electromagnetic compatibility requirements.
Please call us today at Compliance Engineering on + 61 3 9763 3079 or leave an enquiry.