Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
Many refer to EMC as "Black Magic", mainly due to the complex nature of solving these types of problems. The biggest problem to overcome is that a single-point failure results in complete failure. If just one emission is greater than the imposed limit, then the product cannot be given a "pass". As products incorporate more higher speed electronics, the problem is exacerbated. Also, even if both radiated and conducted emissions pass and allow product shipments to take place in countries that have only emissions requirements, to then ship into the European Union (EU) requires additional immunity testing. If compliance to these standards are not initially designed into the product, then changes will have to be introduced while the product is in manufacturing, requiring a logistical plan to implement.
Designing for EMC and other regulatory requirements is an important task in product development. This involves more than just the technical requirements that affect the physical design. It is also crucial that the product is fully supported through the regulatory evaluation which the project manager needs to incorporate into the overall product development plan. An often overlooked aspect is labeling and information that must be provided to the user in the supplied manuals.
In today's highly competitive market, meeting the corporate revenue goals boils down to just one thing: preparedness. Every product is launched into a proven market (North America & Europe) with sales forever optimistic about the results. Then, the largest order your company has ever seen comes from a country in South America. The only problem is that the certificate required for this country will take at least three months (and possibly six) to obtain and the customer only wants you to fill the order if you can do so by the end of the month!