Do you know all electrical devices produce an electromagnetic field? Today, we are surrounded by all kinds of electrical and electronic devices. It is natural that all these devices produce some kind of electromagnetic interference.

However, all the devices that we are so used to working flawlessly need to adhere to certain standards in order to keep working even in the presence of other electronic devices. This is the basis of electromagnetic compatibility or EMC testing.

What Is Electromagnetic Compatibility?

In simple terms, EMC might be defined as the ability of a device to keep functioning as it should in an electromagnetic environment even when it is in the presence of other electronic devices. Also, it should not cause electromagnetic interference to other devices.

In short, it needs to be able to protect itself from electromagnetic interference and should not produce or emit enough electromagnetic interference to cause problems for other devices in the vicinity.

All the electrical/electronic devices meant to be sold in Australia or to be exported from Australia need to comply with the required standards.

In the case of devices that are to be sold in Australia, the devices need to adhere to standards set by ACMA. ACMA is the body responsible for regulating EMC standards in Australia.

What Electromagnetic Compatibility & EMC Immunity Testing

Aspects of EMC Testing

There are 2 aspects of EMC testing: emissions and immunity.

Emissions – As the name implies, it refers to the electromagnetic interference emanating from an electronic device. A device should produce electromagnetic interference within the range as outlined in the EMC standards.

If the electromagnetic interference or EMI is more than the limit set up in the standards, it will fail EMC testing and the product will need to be redesigned.

Immunity – In simple terms, it may be defined as the ability of a device to keep functioning as it should even when it is in the presence of other electronic devices. For instance, your smartphone should be able to work even when you use it near your microwave.

Electromagnetic compatibility testing is not only needed for consumer goods we use in our everyday lives but it is of critical importance in products related to medicine, military equipment and other critical products such as the electronics in cars and trucks.

Since these devices have a number of electrical components that are sourced from a variety of suppliers, it is critical to ensure that the electromagnetic interference produced by one component does not interfere with the functioning of other components.

Furthermore, all the components should keep working even in the presence of EMI from outside sources. For example, your phone should work in an airport (which has a lot of radars).

What Electromagnetic Compatibility & EMC Immunity Testing

What Is EMC Immunity Testing?

Immunity testing is a series of tests that are conducted to ensure that a product keeps working even when it is present in an electromagnetic environment.

There are different kinds of tests designed for different kinds of product families. The tests are typically grouped into 2 different categories including continuous and transient.

The continuous tests are designed to test the resilience of the device when it is exposed to electromagnetic fields for a long period of time. On the other hand, transient tests are designed to check the immunity of a device when it is exposed to short bursts of energy.

Some of the common continuous immunity tests include radiated immunity test, conducted immunity test and magnetic field immunity test.

Some of the common transient tests include electrostatic discharge test, electrical fast transient test, surge test, voltage variation test and pulsed magnetic field test.


Overall, all the electrical devices sold in the world have to conform to certain EMC standards. Different regulatory bodies in different parts of the world set up these standards and the appliances or products designed to be sold in a particular geographical area.

That means that all these products need to be compatible with the standards set by the appropriate authority in that particular geographical location. In the case of Australia, all the products sold here need to meet the standards set up by ACMA.

If you are planning to launch a new product, it is important to understand the EMC testing requirements right from the design stage.

Get in touch with the experienced team at Compliance Engineering to learn more about electromagnetic compatibility requirements for different products to be sold either in Australia or in other parts of the world.

Please call us today at Compliance Engineering on + 61 3 9763 3079 or leave an enquiry.