EMC, CE product testing.

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Im looking at designing an automotive product with several stepper motors connected to a control unit in the console.

If selling this as an aftermarket product (particularily in UK but also worldwide), is EMC mandatory?

Obviously ive googled which has thrown up that it is but was interested in people who have actually been through the product lifecycle in this respect.

Thanks.

ref for search:
http://www.conformance.co.uk/dir...
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uk...

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It's mandatory in all EU countries, and there are the FCC requirements in the USA. There are probably additional requirements for automotive equipment.

Where I used to work our products were tested for CE and FCC conformity. It was quite expensive, but we minimised the cost by hiring the facilities for a half-day, doing our own preliminary testing, and fixing any problems that arose. A unit I designed had VHF emissions from an RS-232 cable; we added some filters on a little PCB and it then passed without any problems.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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For automotive products the e mark is mandatory. Note that if the product does not control the vehicle then only emissions testing is required, no immunity. Also the emissions tests are not as stringent as CE marking.
If the unit can control the vehicle you are in a whole different game with strict immunity tests.

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Keep in mind you do not have to do it by yourself! Some companies specialize as testing and approval "brokers". As in they get contracts for testing a bunch of products, have their own engineers to supervise it all, and charge a fraction of the cost of renting the facility. So they will for example rent a facility for a day and do testing on 20 different projects, and charge you much less than the facility would charge you directly.

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hugoboss wrote:
Some companies specialize as testing and approval "brokers".

I'm interested to hear a bit more about this. I've completed CE/FCC testing on one product, at a total cost of about $15,000. I'd certainly like to get the cost down a bit the next time around.

How does the process work? I found on the last round of testing that protocols were a lot more important than I would have guessed--e.g., coming up with a way to tell if the device is "still working" when it's in the chamber. Presumably the broker works with the client to make sure they understand the tests completely?

Michael

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Off bookmarks here are a few:

http://www.agiletestgroup.com/si...
http://www.linxtechnologies.com/...
http://www.percept.com/mark.php
http://www.atlasce.com/index.aspx

FCC certification for a transceiver product should cost between 3K$ and 5K$, more depending on complexity and required regulations.

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As far as testing if the the device is working, testing is usually done with in-chamber instruments that are properly insulated and feed data back to the engineers. These instruments can be attached by the engineer manually (sometimes necessary for special tests, costs more...) or through an automated system similar to a standard automated electrical test rig. You provide a set of test points and parameters for various operating scenarios, as well as a test program for your device.

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When you manufacture devices that need to be e-marked, you need a certified quality control system. It involves an inspector coming to visit you to review your process, test facilities, and in my case, my sanity. Once a year.

It doesn't work though. MUAHAHAHA! They let me put my gadget on the K-can (if I remember correctly. Where the brakes are.)

The EMC tests are different, so your local test house may or may not have all the equipment. Ask first. Also, if you intend to sell to manufacturers, be aware that the individual manufacturers have their own EMC documents, and compared to EN61000 they are a lot tougher.

/Kasper

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Just wanted to say thanks guys. I hadnt thought of getting other involved but it makes sense in this case. :)

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JIm

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