If you are new to EMC testing and aren’t sure how it will affect you or your business, you’ve come to the right spot. The following article will provide a concise overview of what EMC testing is and why it is important to everyone.
What is the EMC Test?
EMC, or Electro Magnetic Compatibility, testing works to protect the electromagnetic spectrum from the hazards of electromagnetic interference from electronic devices. It also ensures that electronic devices are safe from electromagnetic fields in their abundance in this modern techno-age.
Furthermore, there are regulatory commissions in place in many of the worlds that have set important standards for the number of emissions any electronic device can generate and fines do exist to enforce these limits.
Why is the EMC Test Necessary?
This following article will cover the topic of the EMC test and why they are important. Even though there are some exceptions if you own and operate a business that imports, designs or manufactures electronic devices, EMC testing is going to be important to you.
1. Protection of the electromagnetic spectrum
The electromagnetic spectrum has become crowded lately and all the electronic devices contribute to the confusion on this important plane. From radio transmissions to X-Ray machines and microwave communications, the finite space must be conserved for the most important uses of communications.
The fact is, all electronic devices generate electromagnetic radiation just from switching on and off or switching through various currents or voltage levels. If there were no limits in place for this vast quantity of unintended electromagnetic radiation, the electromagnetic spectrum would become saturated with interference and even the most important functions, like radio transmissions and more, can suffer.
As the number of electronic devices and the complexity of their functions continue to increase, these limitations will be more and more important.
The EMC emissions from a cellular phone or microwave oven may seem harmless enough, but for a great many electronic products EMC performance and interference are a serious problem and can mean the difference between life and death. Consider the many advanced devices currently serving in the military, medical or aerospace projects and the many critical safety implications they rely on.
If there were to be even the smallest interference due to electromagnetic phenomena the consequences can be grave. The greater quantities of electromagnetic radiation being produced the higher the chances of such an incident occurring.
This is where the EMC test and accompanying regulations keep the worst from happening to a 747 carrying a passenger load of 300 souls each operating a 7-watt mobile device.
3. Product performance (quality)
In addition to ensuring your electronic devices will not be affecting the performance of other devices, the EMC test ensures that your devices will not be adversely affected by electromagnetic phenomena as it exists throughout today’s world. You can even ensure that components of a single device will not be adversely affecting each other.
For example, if you have a device featuring sensitive analogue measurements, the precision measurements could be affected by a electromagnetic radiation generating external power supply. Internal EMC issues are another important reason for the EMC test.
External EMC issues can be hazardous as well and result in the loss of important data to the complete disruption of internal components. EMC testing ensures that your devices will be protected from the inevitable and operate well no matter where they go.
4. Fines and Laws
Much like most of Europe, Australia has instituted the need for immunity testing of electronic products. To be caught buying, selling, importing or otherwise marketing non-compliant devices can result in penalties ranging from the very severe to the proverbial “slap on the wrist” depending on the products and laws that apply to them.
It would be a good idea to research how EMC testing applies to you and your business to avoid any mishaps with the regulatory bodies.
Final Notes on the EMC Test
While EMC testing and all it involves may seem like a serious inconvenience to manufacturers small and great and much of the efficacy of the practice is questionable. It is important to remember the reasons behind the test are sound and based on a well-established scientific study.
As technology continues to rise and provide electronic solutions to every need humanity may have, control over the electromagnetic radiation created by these solutions will be more important.