Pre-compliance EMC testing is essential to avoid costly expenses and delays that can occur if your product does not meet the EMC standards the first time. Nearly 50% of electronic products fail to meet their target EMC requirements the first time they are tested. This article will explain the benefits and how to avoid EMC certification or approvals failure.

What is EMC pre-compliance Testing?

Pre-compliance testing is a reduced or cut-down version of the formal or final product compliance or certification test, providing a low-risk cost-effective method to ensure the product will pass the final compliance test. EMC pre-compliance testing is recommended at the early stages of product development as modifications such as PCB layout, component changes, firmware changes, enclosure or cables may be required to comply with the EMC standards. Continued pre-compliance testing through the product development cycle helps ensure that deadlines for production release are met.

EMC Pre-compliance tests Vs Formal EMC testing

As pre-compliance testing uses ad-hoc test methods, not requiring test site verifications or full compliance with the required test standard, it is much more cost-effective than formal testing (especially formal testing and failing at the final stage). This type of product pre-formal testing allows fast and efficient product evaluation to the required EMC standard. In addition, allowing modifications to be made and even gaining valuable input from the EMC test lab engineer to help resolve or suggest EMC fixes and solutions.

What types of pre-compliance EMC testing are there?

EMC testing is typically split into two types of tests, and it is difficult to provide a test plan to cover every product, but from our experience, we have the following recommendations for EMC pre-compliance testing.

Emissions tests

EMC emissions testing is the number 1 pre-compliance testing service requested at EMC Technologies. Emissions testing is the measurement of the electromagnetic interference (EMI) emitted from an electronic device. Emissions testing is important and mandated in most regions. EMC standards define a limit on the amount of EMI allowed so your device does not accidentally interfere with nearby devices.

  • Radiated emissions are the EMI emitted through the air from the device. Testing applies to most electronic and electrical products and is the most recommended and requested pre-compliance test.
  • Conducted emissions are the EMI emitted through cables. Testing applies to products with applicable ports such as AC or DC power cables and communication ports depending upon the EMC test standard.

Immunity tests

EMC immunity testing is a very common requested pre-compliance EMC test, especially after failures during a formal EMC test program. For some markets such as Australia (RCM) and North America (FCC), this may not be mandated for all products, but in some markets such as Europe (CE) and the United Kingdom (UKCA), it is required. Although not always mandated immunity testing is highly recommended for product reliability, avoid potential issues, and function as expected in a working environment. In turn, this can help make your product more desirable and reduce negative public feedback and possibly reduce product returns.

  • Electrostatic Discharge pre-compliance is very common, as ESD testing applies to most products and also the source of many EMC immunity issues, re-tests and rework to find a solution. These types of issues can cause products to lose data, become corrupted, operate incorrectly or even destroy a product, as such it is a recommended pre-compliance test.
  • Surges, Electrical Fast Transient (EFT) and Voltage Dips & interrupts applies to products with power supplied via cables and some products with communication ports. Depending upon the knowledge of the input protection topology or network and the design engineers understanding of the test may determine if pre-compliance testing would be worthwhile. We recommend a shortened test sequence at the highest levels just to be sure your confident before the formal testing.
  • Radiated and Conducted RF immunity testing is usually lower risk than the transient type of testing such as ESD, EFT or surges. Typically, the test takes the same time, but applying the RF to limited cables for conducted or limited sides for radiated is advised if the product has sensitive circuits of shown significant emissions. Typically, this pre-compliance test is only requested after failures are observed during formal EMC compliance testing.

Benefits of Pre-Compliance EMC Testing with EMC Technologies?

EMC Technologies group has the largest EMC testing capability of any of the EMC test labs in Australia. Pre-compliance testing often relies upon the EMC test sites and EMI measuring equipment been available when you need it! The EMC Technologies has 4 convenient locations around Australia (2 in Melbourne and 1 in Sydney) and New Zealand and has more compliant EMC test sites than all the other commercial EMC testing labs combined, with 4 calibrated indoor radiated emissions test sites. Our friendly professional EMC test engineers can assist you with your EMC testing, the requirements of the standard and also help suggest possible EMC fixes if required! When your product is ready for its formal compliance testing we also provide accredited EMC testing, so get in touch now and find out how we can help!

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