So you are here because you need some EMC testing, the question that may be on your mind is what should I do now??? Well if you are going down the self certification route then your route to compliance is easy and straight forward.
All the way back to the 90’s when I first started EMC and testing the Europe directive was pretty much straight forward. There was only two parts that you really needed to keep in mind, they being :
- Thow shalt not interfere nor be interfered with
- Compliance is presumed
The first point is shelf explanatory the second point I will explain more!!
Now if you read article 13 of the EMC directive (2014/30/EU) it will state Presumption of conformity of equipment. What does this mean??? Simple you will never meet the EMC directive you will only every be presumed to meet it. So you could spend 1000’s of pounds on testing and you still would only be presumed to meet the requirements of this directive.
Back in the old days we use to guide our clients from big to small companies, depending on were you was on the ladder of life depended on the advise given.
If you was a small business that could not afford to spend 1000’s of pounds on testing advice was simple, you could conduct evaluation testing on your equipment gathering prove that it met the requirements of a harmonized standard. These test results along with test setup and other notes could be kept in a diligence file and stored. You could then apply the CE mark to your equipment for the EMC directive.
If you was a big company and could afford to spend 1000’s of pounds on testing you could go down the above route but and here is the but would it not be better to do full compliance testing?? If a complaint was drawn against your product or a competitor tested a sample and failed it this could damage your credibility. This is why there was a sliding scales between small companies and well known larger companies.
Doing both routes would only give you a presumption of compliance and some protection from trading standards as you have placed all in a diligence file. It was all down to how much work you wanted to do and the level of protection you wanted.
Now I remember the 1st Jan 1992 when EMC became mandatory within UK law, every man and his dog wanted testing. Now around this time trading standards were given the job of policing this. Trading standards budget was raised by £0 to cover this and they were given no training on the subject, this made it very hard to police. From experience even today trading standards have a problem understanding EMC and testing as essentially it Physics, Electronics and Common sense. They appear to ask other test houses for advice but that advice is not always the best as things to get lost in translation.
So again should you spend 1000’s of pound or not??? This is up to you as an organization or company, what level of protection do you require? Can you afford the testing or not? You may be a one man band in a garage who would never be able to afford the same level of testing as the big companies.
All you need to do is take a pragmatic approach to EMC.