If you have launched an electronic product before, chances are that you already know that every product through which electric current passes produces electromagnetic energy. If the product designer is careful, then the product should not emit too much electromagnetic energy that may cause interference with other nearby electronic components.
However, when there is too much energy emitted, changes need to be made to the product design by either adding a protective covering or something similar to keep the emitted energy under control. Similarly, the product needs to have enough protection to keep functioning when there is external electromagnetic interference.
What Are The Scopes of EMI/EMC Testing?
If you are not aware of the terms EMI and EMC, these stand for electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility. In today’s modern world it is almost impossible to imagine life without all the electronic devices that we all rely on for our day-to-day lives.
Imagine a world without smartphones or microwave ovens or those medical scanners or communication equipment that depends on radio transmission or your flat-screen TV or any pieces of electronic equipment that is such a big part of your daily life.
We are all very fortunate that all these devices work as expected. That is made possible by the authorities in each region making sure that any product being sold adheres to the EMC standards for that particular region.
EMI and EMC testing is designed to determine the level of electromagnetic energy emissions generated by a device and to make sure that the product is immune to electromagnetic interference from other products up to a certain level.
Measuring Electromagnetic Activity
EMI/EMC testing consists of two main types of testing:
Emissions testing, and;
As the name implies, emissions testing is focused on ensuring that the device under testing does not produce electromagnetic energy above the safe limits.
Similarly, immunity testing is designed to ensure that a component is able to keep functioning even in the presence of electromagnetic interference being generated by other sources.
Not all regions or countries require immunity testing for consumer-grade products but it is certainly required for mission-critical devices.
Emissions testing is performed for two basic types:
Radiated emissions, and;
Conducted emissions are focused on measuring emissions that are passed through a medium. On the other hand, radiated emissions are focused on measuring emissions or electromagnetic energy that passes through the air.
As far as EMI testing is concerned, this is focused on measuring continuous and transient interference generated by the device under testing. As the name implies, continuous testing is used to test how a device functions under continuous electromagnetic interference. Similarly, transient tests are focused on measuring the functioning of a device in the presence of short bursts of energy.
The aim of all of this testing is to try and measure the electromagnetic energy that electronic devices produce. This electromagnetic energy needs to be within certain limits as per the applicable EMC standards. As a product manufacturer/designer, you need to work with an accredited test lab to understand which EMC standards apply to your product and what you can do to ensure that it passes the final testing.
Statistics suggest that almost half of the devices subjected to EMC testing fail in the first round and also, EMC testing doesn’t come cheap. It not only adds to the cost of development in real terms but it also adds a lot of time to product development which can make the development much more expensive.
This is why product designers rely on pre-compliance testing. These tests can be conducted in-house with the help of certain accessories that are relatively cheap. Pre-compliance testing allows designers to make quick changes to increase the likelihood of their product passing the final test.
Overall, all the electronic products you see out there must conform to be EMC standards as outlined by the respective agency in your region. These standards help in ensuring that the product is safe to use. Get in touch with the experts at Compliance Engineering to learn more about EMC/EMI testing and pre-compliance testing.
Please call us today at Compliance Engineering on + 61 3 9763 3079 or leave an enquiry.