During the product generation process, the potential to influence product compliance in order to meet Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements is high in the early phases, although the effort required to achieve EMC implementation measures is low. However, if EMC requirements are not fulfilled in the end, costly remedial measures will have to be applied and entry to the market will be delayed. Also, entry to the intended market can be prohibited by the authorities and a product recall can affect the complete business line and the perception of the brand. Manufacturers using a systematic approach to EMC take steps to avoid this. They save money and reach their market more quickly.
To approach EMC in a systematic way, it is essential to know the EMC requirements of the markets which are to be addressed. Once the product’s EMC requirements have been defined, EMC requirements for a supplier’s modules can be fixed. It is good practice to contractually agree the supplier’s duty to provide test reports and certificates.
In the next phase of product generation, it is important to be aware that compliance to EMC requirements depends heavily on product design. To ensure that development follows the best and most economic path for EMC, related design of printed circuit boards and shielding of cables or housings (if needed) has to be considered carefully. This must also include “Energy using Product” and “Product Safety” requirements and software tools can support this process. A design review of the product can help to discover potential for improvement and identify the needs for modifications before prototyping.
As soon as the prototype is finished, it is time for pre-compliance measurements. “Strip-line, Printed Circuit Board Scanners” and “Emission Measurements in Time Domain” offer fast and accurate EMC diagnostics which will ensure that EMC problems, if there are any, are located and can be solved before the product goes into pilot manufacturing, type approval testing or mass production.
The most economic way to reduce type approval costs is to perform one test and one test report, which is the basis for acceptance of the product in all global markets being considered for the product. It is important that the EMC test center’s results are accepted globally, for example within the CB-scheme, by FCC for the US market or VCCI for Japan.
If EMC compliance is required for complete product families or product variants, it is worth considering the test strategy to work out the most reliable and economic solution.
To make sure that the product remains compliant while it stays on the market, appropriate EMC production tests should be repeated on a regular basis.
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