EMC Testing

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing is used to measure the electromagnetic interference produced by electronic devices, as well as their immunity to interference from other devices. Testing is required to demonstrate that products conform to relevant regulations and quality standards.

EMC Testing
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What is EMC testing used for?

EMC testing is used to prove that electrical devices can operate in their intended environment without producing undesirable electromagnetic disturbances, which would lead to them negatively impacting other nearby equipment. The devices’ immunity to external electromagnetic radiation from other devices can also be assessed during testing.

EMC test types:

While there are several types of EMC testing options, many of the tests fall into one of four main categories:

  • Radiated emissions testing: This measures the radiant electromagnetic forces produced by the device during normal operation.

  • Radiated immunity testing – These tests measure how the device operates when exposed to external electromagnetic waves from other devices and other external sources.

  • Conducted emissions testing – This form of testing measures the electromagnetic interference produced by the device via the power supply and signal cables.

  • Conducted immunity testing – These tests are used to simulate the electromagnetic effects produced by other devices’ power and signal cables, to see how they affect the device and its cables.

Legal testing requirements

The legal EMC testing requirements depend on the region in which the electronic devices are going to be distributed:

Directive 2014/30/EU – Before any electronic product can go to market within the EU, it must have undergone EMC testing, or the manufacturer must be able to produce technical proof of its conformity to the EMC directive. The general requirements include ensuring that the electromagnetic ‘pollution’ produced by the product is within acceptable limits (which depend on the type of product) and that it will show immunity to a ‘normal’ level of external electromagnetic interference. Compliant devices are marked with the CE marking, which allows them to be marketed within the EU.

UK Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016 – EMC regulations in the UK were adapted from the existing EU regulations. Therefore, the requirements for new electronic products are largely similar in terms of limits on electromagnetic ‘pollution’ and immunity to external electromagnetic interference. Products can undergo internal testing by the manufacturer, who can submit the necessary technical documentation to prove conformity, or the product can be tested by a UK-approved body (UKAB). 

US (FCC Part 15) – The US testing requirements are divided based on whether the device is an unintentional radiator (which is not designed to produce radio waves) or an intentional radiator (such as those which use Bluetooth or wifi connections). Different certification requirements exist for each type, and the product must be fully tested and compliant before it can be placed on the market. Otherwise, distribution may be halted, and the business may receive fines.

EMC testing standards

Electromagnetic compatibility can be tested in accordance with numerous standards, depending on the device type and industry. Some examples of internationally recognized EMC standards include:

  • ECE R10 – This set of standards is intended for the automotive industry and ensures that both vehicles and their internal electronic components are compliant. ECE R10 standards also include additional measures for electric cars and energy storage systems (such as rechargeable batteries).

  • IEC 60601 – This set of standards is used to ensure that medical devices containing electronic components can operate safely without introducing or suffering from unwanted electromagnetic interference. The series consists of around ten collateral standards setting requirements for certain aspects of electrical safety and around 80 particular standards focusing on specific products.

  • EN 61000-6 – These standards are more general and used to cover a wide range of different electrical equipment types, including those used in the home, in commercial settings, and in industry.

EMC vs. EMI – what’s the difference

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) refers to electromagnetic radiation that can disrupt or impact electronic devices. Therefore, EMI refers to the type of energy that is measured through EMC testing.

Suitable sample matrices

  • Electronic devices and their components
  • Including medical devices, automotive parts, industrial equipment, etc.

Goals of EMC testing

  • Ensuring safety and performance of electronic devices
  • Regulatory compliance testing

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Frequently asked questions

What is Measurlabs?

Measurlabs offers a variety of laboratory analyses for product developers and quality managers. We perform some of the analyses in our own lab, but mostly we outsource them to carefully selected partner laboratories. This way we can send each sample to the lab that is best suited for the purpose, and offer high-quality analyses with more than a thousand different methods to our clients.

How does the service work?

When you contact us through our contact form or by email, one of our specialists will take ownership of your case and answer your query. You get an offer with all the necessary details about the analysis, and can send your samples to the indicated address. We will then take care of sending your samples to the correct laboratories and write a clear report on the results for you.

How do I send my samples?

Samples are usually delivered to our laboratory via courier. Contact us for further details before sending samples.