EMC and the Product Generation Process

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) plays a significant role in electrical and electronics’ product generation processes. The possibility of influencing a product’s EMC compliance is greater in the early phases, when the effort to implement EMC conformance measures is low. Not taking EMC requirements into account from the start may result in costly remedial measures being required at a later point, which may consequently delay the product’s market entry.

If products are identified by relevant authorities as non-conforming to EMC requirements, they are prohibited from entering a market. Call-back actions for a non-conforming product can severely damage a brand’s reputation. Manufacturers taking a systematic approach to EMC can avoid these issues and in the process, they save money and their products reach the markets faster.

EMC in the Design Phase

To approach EMC in a systematic way, it is essential to know the EMC requirements of the markets for which the product is intended. Once they are identified, the manufacturer must set the EMC requirements for the supplier’s modules. It is good practice to contractually agree on the supplier’s obligation to provide test reports and certificates.
In the product generation phase, it is critical to understand that EMC compliance depends largely on product design. Ensuring a quick and cost effective design from an EMC point of view will depend on your EMC expertise. Acquiring the services of an EMC specialist will provide you with high quality EMC design concepts, like for printed circuit boards or the shielding of cables or housings. Additionally, the expert will consider at this stage the requirements for the Energy-using Product (EuP) Directive and for Product Safety. A final design review by the EMC expert can reveal further potential improvements and may also identify critical modifications needed before moving on to prototyping.

Prototypes, Type Approval and Production

As soon as a prototype is ready, it needs to be submitted for pre-compliance measurements. Strip-line, Printed Circuit Board Scanners and Emission Measurements in Time Domain are techniques that offer fast and useful EMC diagnostics. Any EMC-related issue identified at this stage can be efficiently solved with the support of an EMC expert, before the product goes into pilot manufacturing, type approval testing or mass production.

The best approach to reduce type approval costs is to perform only one test with one test report, which may then be the basis for your product’s approval in all major international markets. This requires performing the test at a globally-accredited EMC test center -- within the CB scheme for the EU, Korea and Russia; FCC for the U.S. market and VCCI for Japan.

If complete product families or product variants need to be tested for EMC, developing a test strategy to determine a reliable and cost effective solution is advised. Furthermore, submitting products to an EMC certification process will ensure that they remain compliant throughout their entire life cycle. Certificates reassure buyers that a product has passed type approval and that it was manufactured in accordance with all relevant EMC requirements.

Learn more about EMC Testing and Certification Services by SGS.

For more information, please contact:

Detlef Hoffmann
Head of EMC, Product Safety, Overvoltage

SGS Center for Quality Engineering
t: +49 89 787475 400
Website: www.ee.sgs.com

About SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 56,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.