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Regulatory Compliance

A product compliance primer

A new product on the market has regulatory compliance requirements that must be met.  ACS assists our clients in acquiring these regulatory product approvals and certification testing.  A new electronic or digital product placed on the market will have product approvals in the following disciplines:

Electromagnetic Compatibility, or otherwise known as EMC, is a discipline of testing focused on the likelihood of a product to be a source of Radio Frequency (RF) interfering noise in the electronic environment, or the inverse, a measure of that product’s level of immunity to the same type of incoming EMC interferences as well as other types.  These are broken down into emissions and immunity (or susceptibility) testing. 

EMC Testing

Most developed countries in the world have established national EMC requirements.  In the United States, the FCC sets in place and enforces the rules, similarly Industry Canada establishes the EMC regulations in Canada.  The CE Mark rules in the European Union.  Other regulating agencies and/or schemes in other markets include VCCI for Japan, CCC for China, MIC for Korea, BSMI for Taiwan, AS/NZS for Australia and New Zealand, GOST for Russia, and many many others.  ACS can help build a test plan that best suits your market needs. Learn more about our EMC Testing services.

Product Safety is a discipline of testing that evaluates a products’ potential to harm a user by an electric shock hazard, mechanical hazard, or other hazards such as hot surfaces or radiation, and it’s potential to damage property, for instance, a fire hazard.  Here in the States, many requirements for product safety approvals are market driven, being a requirement of the buyer, or of the sales outlet (many stores won’t stock merchandise that is not NRTL approved such as UL or TUV). 

Product Safety Testing

There can also be regulatory requirements borne from agencies such as OSHA requiring approvals or from state or local municipalities.  CA and NC have requirements as well as the city of Los Angeles and Chicago for example.  Beyond the U.S., safety can be part of mandatory requirements such as the Low Voltage Directive requiring an evaluation to safety standards to support CE Marking.  Other countries have a variety of safety requirements all based on the type of product and under which product safety standard it falls.  ACS can assist with meeting Product Safety testing requirements and products safety approvals globally.  Just ask.

Wireless Certifications are for radio transmitter, receiver or transceiver products.  We sometimes refer to these devices as “intentional radiators”.  These are governed much more strictly in all parts of the world as they transmit RF energy intentionally.  Frequency allocations that differ between countries compound the complexity of wireless certifications on a global scale. 

Wireless Certification Testing

Testing ensures that required limitations are met such as output power, bandwidth, frequency stability and radiated emissions.  It all involves the protection of the airwaves to ensure that safe and interference free spectrum is available for its intended use.  Devices are tested and in most cases, applications are made to the government agencies to make them aware of the device and the intention of the applicant to place it on the market. 

Environmental testing is a discipline that is used to determine a product's ability to perform during or after exposure to adverse environments. Tests are used to confirm a product's quality or integrity, verify claims of operational limits, and prepare products for reliable field operation. A variety of environments may be expected to be encountered by a product in its lifetime. Simulations of high temperatures and high humidity's may be alternated with cold and dry atmospheres. A product may be exposed to vibration in shipping, or in use, as well as mechanical shock or drop.  Wet conditions, and/or highly corrosive salt fog exist.  ACS can also subject products to flame.  To compound the need of the manufacturer for environmental testing, the WEEE and RoHS Directives are causing a great deal of solder free changes to be made which can cause problems with product integrity.  ACS can help find the weak links.  Contact us today.

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