A Guide to EMC Pre-Compliance Testing


If you are a manufacturer of a product that contains electronic circuitry inside. Most likely your product emits electromagnetic waves when it is in operation. These electromagnetic waves are similar to that invisible network of charged particles in the air. This allows radio, TV, microwave operation, x-rays as well as a host of other operations possible. Furthermore, it is a characteristic of electronic devices.

EMC Testing and International EMC Standards

These electromagnetic emissions can be strong. So much so that if strong enough they can affect the operation of other electronic equipment. For this reason, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests have been legislated and mandated in many countries. To make sure that the emissions coming from electronic devices fall within the electromagnetic spectrum. And with a range that can allow other devices to operate properly. Hence, international standards relating to EMC have been set for countries to observe for all products being released to the market. The most basic test for implementing these standards is EMC testing.

Why care about EMC?

You should not release an electronic product without considering EMC. Ideally, it would have complied and passed EMC compliance requirements. EMC compliance testing is required for all electronic products. The level and complexity of the requirements may change from product to product. To ensure their emissions are within the range allowed for the operation of other similar products. EMC compliance tests are made up of two parts. Emissions testing and immunity or susceptibility testing.

Financial implications

EMC tests involve huge costs as there are a number of different tests usually required. Experience has shown that many products fail EMC tests and are sent back to the drawing board. This return job is very costly and in order to avoid incurring these costs. There is a need to do more practical pre-compliance testing. This allows a good starting point and a base to get an indication of the problem (if any). Allowing for compliance engineering of the product for electromagnetic compatibility from the development stage.

What is pre-compliance testing?

The purpose of pre-compliance EMC testing is to avoid the costs of product re-design due to EMC testing failures. Pre-compliance testing can actually be done during the product development stages. Since the EMC standards are already known parameters. By doing the pre-compliance tests while the product is still undergoing the pre-final stage of manufacture. Not only reduces the overall costs of production but also saves the critical time needed for a proper product launch.

Pre-compliance tests

The most popular pre-compliance test being performed is emission testing. Which is crucial before formal EMC testing for certification or approvals! This pre-compliance test is simply a radiated radiofrequency. Pre-scans are performed inside a fully-calibrated indoor open area test site. In effect, pre-compliance is an EMC formal testing simulation. It can also be done at the manufacturer’s location if they have suitable equipment. Of course, in addition to this test, there are other tests that will be conducted to complete the testing program.

Benefits of pre-compliance testing

The key benefit of EMC pre-compliance testing is the assurance of a less problematic process of certification at the end-stage. Knowing that our product exhibits an emission-quality that is within standards. Assures that the final stage will simply serve as confirmation of the suitability of our product for public release. This avoids huge costs for us which may be caused by product return, product re-design and repeat tests. Pre-compliance allows the build of the product to be altered before the final product stages, and allows for EMI fixes to be implemented if needed, this process is known as compliance engineering. Noting that the cost of pre-compliance testing is much lower compared to the final EMC testing. We can already use the savings for enhancing the product launch. The biggest benefit that is derived from a pre-compliance test is the ability to launch the product in the scheduled project timeline. Time lost is money down the drain. And being able to have the product ready according to our marketing time frame will be the biggest gain.

EMC Bayswater and EMC Testing

EMC Bayswater is the preferred company when it comes to EMC testing and approvals. We are the specialists for Australia, Europe, North America, and Canada. Our spacious testing laboratories can accommodate all EMC testing requirements. Including product certification, compliance and approval. For all your EMC testing needs, whether pre-compliance or final, trust EMC Bayswater.

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