Electromagnetic compatibility - EMC Testing, approvals and certification.
Accredited EMC Test Lab Melbourne, Australia
EMC testing is required for many types of equipment. There are many various specialist EMC standards and approvals. Typically the test methods & limits are different for each product type.
For most regions like RCM, CE, FCC and ISED (Australia, Europe, USA and Canada) emissions compliance is mandatory. But for CE (Europe) usually immunity compliance is also required.
Types of EMC Testing
Depending upon the product category and the EMC regulations, directives of specification the EMC standard and methods may vary. Typically products fall within 6 main types of EMC Testing, as shown in the box boxes adjacent.
Commercial and Consumer Products
Consumer products by regions including Australia (RCM), Europe (CE), USA (FCC) and Canada (ISED).
Automotive and ESA
General automotive standards for aftermarket and OEM products intended for the Automotive environment.
Military and Aerospace
MIL-STD 461, DO-160 as required for most military land, sea, and air elecrtrical and electronic equipment
Wireless & Radio products/modules
Wireless and radio performance certification for RF transmitters, transceivers and receivers.
Medical for hospitals or home health as required by the CE European directives and the FDA for the the US market.
Railway & Locomotive
EN 50121-x testing for locomotive systems and components. Includes rolling stock, signalling & telecommunications apparatus.
Why is compliance required?
Compliance is legislated by law and mandated in many countries. Suppliers of applicable products should be able to demonstrate compliance with the local regulations outlined by the regional regulatory authorities. Regulators may request a supplier to show this documentation. Testing is not mandatory, but a technical rationale for not testing can be difficult. Generally, testing is the most straightforward and practical way to show compliance. You should comply with the applicable standard or EMC directives for the region of intended sale or distribution. Most electrical equipment & electronic devices require some type of compliance.
What is Electromagnetic compatibility?
How do you get your product compliant?
EMC requirements vary for different regions, intended usage and for the type electrical and electronic products. Consider the markets or compliance regions that you wish to distribute your product. Ensure that you have the technical information for the product. Contact a credible preferably accredited laboratory and determine the applicable EMC standard listed for the region. Get a quote and verify the scope of the approvals to ensure they are adequate. Prepare the product for the laboratory with the correct support equipment, cables and modes of operation. Undertake the approvals process and verify the contents of the EMC compliance test report upon completion. Ensure that all other required product compliance is satisfied.
How much does product compliance cost?
Costs can vary for any given product and required markets. If the product is complex and has many cables, modes of operation and so on, it may be more expensive. Whilst a simple battery powered product with a single mode of operation may be cheaper. Your product may also need other product regulatory compliance evidence. This may include wireless radio testing or safety testing and so on. It also may include EMC approvals for medical devices for regions such as the USA, under the FDA guidelines.
What’s needed for product approvals testing
Emissions testing can include various techniques to measure different forms of energy and the means by which they propagate. Compliance could include radiated emissions and conducted emissions on power lines (AC or DC) or wired ports including Ethernet ports. AC harmonic current and voltage changes (flicker) may be required for CE mark.
Immunity testing is real-world phenomenon simulated using defined simulated techniques. Undertaken to ensure correct operation of a product within a specified tolerance. Compliance could include Electrostatic discharge, electrical fast transients, AC mains of signal line surges, voltage dips, radiated RF immunity, Magnetic immunity, conducted RF field testing and also automotive transients.