You have designed and built a great new electrical product that meets market demands and trumps competitive offerings. You are confident that it doesn’t radiate much energy and is not susceptible to outside interference. Yet when you do final EMC testing, your product fails.
This is the nightmare scenario for product designers. Unit redesign and retesting will bust the budget and cause the product release date to slip by weeks or even months.
To avoid this scenario, pre-compliance testing should be built into a project from the start. Testing for device emissions and immunity during each major development stage is the best way to avoid costly retesting and high failure rates.
There are a couple advantages of pre-compliance testing:
Speed to Market
The earlier product deficiencies are identified in the development process, the easier it is to rectify any shortcomings, saving time and money. This is especially true for a design team that is smaller or less experienced, as they are less likely to consider all the factors that influence EMC compliance.
Just as chefs occasionally sample their creations while cooking, adjusting seasonings and ingredients to suit, product developers occasionally need to get a “taste” of their product’s EMI environment to know how to adjust the product’s design.
When testing is integrated into development, a testing chamber and expert advice is available during the entire project lifecycle. Engineers at a test lab like MET Labs have seen thousands of products, and can offer standard risk avoidance strategies and mitigation best practices.
Early EMC pre-screening can not only identify when a unit is under-engineered, it can save money by reducing over-engineering. The inability to gauge the electromagnetic environment of a product can lead to counter-measures being added where they are not required. These unjustified counter-measures have the potential to add unit cost for the lifetime of the product.
Henry Ford used to send engineers to examine Ford cars in scrap yards to understand which components still had lots of life in them due to over-engineering. This helped his engineers to downgrade the specification on these components to achieve a cost saving. The equivalent can be done with EMC testing to optimize the BOM cost.
MET Labs’ comprehensive services run the gamut from early compliance assistance all the way through testing and certification. Contact us today for a free quotation to perform testing for any life-cycle stage.
Read here about how pre-testing works for a specific product type – smart meters.