The importance of EMC Testing

Before a product is brought to market there are many considerations that must be met. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing is a critical part of a product’s design and development journey. With EMC certification being a necessary requirement before your product goes to market, it is crucial that you consider testing at the right stage in your research and development roadmap.

 

What is EMC?

The term EMC stands for electromagnetic compatibility. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing measures the ability of equipment or systems to function satisfactorily in their electromagnetic environment without introducing intolerable electromagnetic disturbance to anything in that environment. Typically, EMC can be said to have been achieved when a circuit emits EM radiation under specified limits (the relevant product harmonisation directives) and remains unaffected when exposed to specified amounts of EM radiation.

 

Why EMC Testing is important

The success of your product could hang in the balance because of EMC. Here’s why EMC testing is incredibly important:

  • EMC is an intangible phenomenon; it is difficult for manufacturers to know if their products are electromagnetically compatible without proper testing. Even RF engineers may struggle to appreciate how these phenomena manifest. To have complete faith that your product is performing as it should you need to conclusively know that electronic circuits operate correctly when exposed to external EM radiation, and that electronic circuits don’t emit “stray” EM radiation. Depending on the sector the product will operate in, the need for this intensifies greatly. Examples of this are products being used within aviation, automotive, military or healthcare. A product interfering with other equipment or having susceptibility from other electrical devices could have catastrophic ramifications thus highlighting the importance of EMC testing in the design stages.
  • Manufacturers and importers of electronic goods are legally obliged to ensure that their products are electromagnetically compatible. Business customers also often require that the products they buy are CE marked. The CE Mark is applied to products by the manufacturer and is a guarantee that the product meets the essential requirements of the relevant product harmonisation directives. Failure to comply with EMC regulations can result in hefty fines, not to mention the dangers of releasing a product to market that isn’t safe for purpose.
  • Failure to manage EMC can and does affect the success of your product. There have been a number of high-profile EMC failures where products have had to be recalled or withdrawn from the market. This not only tarnishes the success of the product, but it can also negatively affect the reputation of the company bringing the product to market and reduce confidence in future product releases.

 

The importance of testing early

Leaving EMC testing until the later stages of a project opens you up to a number of risks. With a compliance strategy written early and managed throughout the R&D roadmap those risks are completely avoidable. It is advisable to test for compliance early to reduce the risk of test failures, saving both time and money.

 


How UK:E can help with your EMC

At UK Electronics we have supported hundreds of clients in taking their innovations to the marketplace with EMC testing. We bring decades of experience to this side of the development cycle and have a thorough understanding of delivering a focused EMC Service.

Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is geared for close working with your R&D team with an instrument setup targeted towards early day validation of design ideas. A compliance strategy can be developed with you based on a deep understanding of your product and your objectives. We are able to support you at every stage of the development process, but we strongly advise early consideration of your EMC compliance strategy, along with early validation of design concepts through testing.

We are one of the most cost-effective EMC test facilities available in the UK.

Do you need clarity on your EMC requirements? Please speak with a member of our sales team: sales@ukelectronics.co.uk

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