EMC Testing Lab for Wireless Devices
EMC testing of your wireless devices and products is critical to your time-to-market and to the success of your product. Testing is important not just for the quality of the products you make but for their safety and performance as well. Choosing an EMC testing lab for wireless devices is a key decision that your team can not afford to make lightly, and when to start the testing process is also key.
The purpose of wireless testing is two-fold: to evaluate the ability of a device to connect with networks (and other devices) and its ability to perform operations tasks using this connection. During the wireless testing process, a device is put through a series of tests involving device interoperability, user safety, performance, and regulatory compliance.
You must be able to demonstrate several things:
- That your device operates correctly using the applicable wireless protocols
- That your device operates on the correct wireless frequency
- That your device is in compliance with international type-approval requirements for its intended region of sale
In the United States, the FCC is the regulatory oversight body behind the standards for wireless devices and for a wireless device to be eligible for sale in the United States it must comply with relevant FCC rules.
Common Wireless Tests
There are a variety of wireless tests that can be performed, depending on the type of device, its application, and its expected use environment. For example, RFID testing is often necessary for certain times of medical devices or transportation applications such as tolling. ISO RFID testing is often used by companies to gain a competitive edge for active and passive RFID products. Another often critical set of tests is RFID blocking, which prevents outside parties from accessing the private RFID information on your devices.
The advent of wireless smart devices has led to many new regulations and tests for ensuring wireless products meet those regulations. Smart device testing verifies the performance and connectivity of wireless smart devices, and both device hardware and the communication protocol are evaluated to eliminate unwanted interference and ensure smooth connectivity.
For sale in the United States, these products must be tested relative to FCC Title 47 CFR Part 15. In fact, testing to FCC regulations and standards is a major part of lab testing for wireless devices and one of the best places to have your products tested is at an FCC Telecom Certification Body (TCB). Depending on device requirements though, clients may need to also work with an FCC Telecom Certification Body.
For devices that utilize antennas, 2D antenna pattern measurement can be important. There are also Bluetooth compatibility tests, dynamic frequency selection (DFS) tests for wireless LAN products, 802.11a/b/g/n related tests, and specific absorption rate (SAR) tests to numerous standards.
Why EMC Testing Labs are Key
While you could run EMC testing on your own wireless devices, many successful manufacturers turn to third-party labs to perform the tests. The use of a lab makes the process of testing, documentation, certification, and liaison with regulatory bodies much more straightforward and productive. A qualified lab will have the latest equipment with experienced technicians and wireless engineers that are fully qualified to perform the tests, correctly interpret the results, and provide actionable recommendations both before and during the compliance testing process.
Another reason why using a third-party EMC testing lab is a wise choice lies in their specialization. Having a team of highly specialized wireless engineers help you identify and understand your product’s regulatory requirements and evaluate it to all applicable standards and criteria means a shorter time-to-market, fewer compliance issues, and a strong reputation for quality and compliance.
Testing Accreditations and Capabilities
Accreditations are also a key aspect of any EMC wireless testing lab. For example, Eurofins E&E North America (Eurofins MET Labs) is an FCC accredited Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB) that is authorized to issue Grants of Equipment Authorization.
We are also a Competent Body for the European EMC Directive and a Notified Body for the RED (R&TTE) Directive.
Also vital are a lab’s testing capabilities. Eurofins performs wireless testing to greater than 200Ghz, provides RFID regulatory and performance testing, and is the exclusive lab for EPCglobal Inc. for which we are responsible for developing and managing certification programs. If your product does have problems during compliance testing, we are well qualified to help you track down the issue and get it resolved quickly.
Whatever your wireless product, we have the facilities to perform compliance testing for you.
When Should You Start EMC Testing for Wireless Devices?
With the lightning-fast pace of new technology development we see today, you cannot afford to lose time because of EMC/EMI compliance issues. Many testing firms offer pre-compliance testing that helps you pinpoint potential issues and problems before you get too deep in the engineering process. A decision to include pre-compliance testing as part of your development process can give you a serious competitive edge, save you money in the long run, and save you time during the final testing process.
Eurofins E&E North America
At Eurofins E&E North America (Eurofins MET Labs), we are accredited by A2LA for the testing and certification of wireless and RF products. In addition, our Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB) certification services are recognized by MIC, ISED, and the FCC. We also serve as a notified body under the EU RED Directive. We have many global certifications including Japan VCCI, Vietnam MIC, Australia ACMA, Korea KCC, and Taiwan BSMI.
We take pride in offering our clients full market access solutions including pre-compliance testing, product testing, documentation services, product certification, and regulatory body liaison services.
Contact us today and allow us to help get your wireless device market-ready!