Are you ready for EMC Testing? Your EMC test plan and checklist

By Engaged Expert

James Daniels

Product Compliance

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James Daniels is the General Manager of Element’s Connected Technologies business in the UK, currently responsible for Operations in our Hull, Skelmersdale, Malvern, Wimborne and Oxford laboratories.

Element’s team of EMC Engaged Experts have put together the following 8-point checklist, EMC test plan, and product block diagram example to help ensure that you are fully prepared to present a device for EMC testing.


Your 8-point EMC checklist

Consider these key questions within our checklist before submitting your EMC testing request to help ensure you can expedite your testing and get your products to market faster.


1. Exercising & monitoring functions

How will you exercise and monitor your product during testing? All functions should be considered.


2. Cycle length of functions

Are you able to tell us how long your equipment takes to do one full cycle of functions? This is important because the Radiated RF and Conducted RF immunity tests are performed across a defined frequency range at 1% frequency increments, with the applied RF field applied for a minimum of 3s at each increment. It is not a problem if it takes longer to verify performance, but this will increase the time needed to perform the test and hence can increase the cost.


3. Product modes

Does the product require testing in several modes? How many modes of operation does your product have (including standby/idle)? For testing purposes, EMC should be considered in all modes, although it may be possible some or all of these modes in a single worst-case mode of operation.


4. External ports

Have you ensured all external ports are terminated with a representative load?


5. Cable lengths

Have you ensured appropriate cable lengths are supplied (some tests require longer cables)? The test laboratory should be advised of the maximum length of cables that could be connected to your product, in accordance with your installation instructions.


6. Failure delays

Have you prepared for failure? It's important that you build in contingency time for your project or consider pre-compliance testing. Find out more about EMC compliance to reduce risk.


54% of products fail EMC testing the first time around so make sure you build in contingency time to your project timescales. Have you considered pre-compliance testing as a way of limiting the possibility of costly failures?

7. Special requirements

Are there any special requirements, such as loads, supplies, radio signals, or support equipment for your equipment? If so, you will likely be required to provide these. 


8. Product set-up

Are you able to tell us how long it takes to set up your product?

Running through these eight key questions in advance will enable you to be better prepared for EMC testing in the future. 


Product information for EMC test plan

Supply the below product information within your test plan.

  • Model name / number.
  • Dimensions and weight.
  • Power supply requirements.
  • Brief description of the functionality of the system, including details of the environment where the system will be used.
  • Test specification required (if known). We can advise if unknown according to the functionality of the equipment and the intended environment(s) it will be used in.
  • Signal or I/O cable arrangements – we need to know the number of cables between individual enclosures of the system, and cables to/from the boundary of the system.

Cable information for EMC test plan

Supply the required cable information within your test plan.
  • Type
  • Length
  • Shielded or unshielded (For example: 20m CAT6 Ethernet, 10m Shielded RS232, 1.8m unshielded USB, etc.).
  • If unshielded, please advise of the number of individual conductors/cores.


Product block diagram

It’s often required to supply a data sheet or basic block diagram of the system, to show hardwired connections to/from the equipment and between enclosures of the system. 

Here is an example of a product block diagram for EMC testing preparation. It’s recommended to add annotations for if signal cables are shielded, and if unshielded, include the number of cores.

Typical product block diagram example for EMC test plan.
Block diagram example for your EMC test plan.

To download a full list of requirements that are generally expected to be provided alongside a product for EMC testing, please see our EMC technical guidance information.

If you would like further advice about your EMC testing requirements and preparing a product for testing, please contact our experts today.

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