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Typical Product Design Cycle with EMI Testing

General Design Process

A typical company's product design development cycle involves the steps as depicted in the process diagram below。 The cycle starts by defining the product specification; then begins the research and development process, resulting in the procurement of a prototype PCB。 This PCB is then populated, debugged and field tested。 Based on company protocol, one version of it, prototype, beta, or final product, is tested, and then mitigated and retested, most often many times over, in order to achieve compliance with the Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) and RF rules, regulations and standards of the applicable regulatory agencies。

These mitigation efforts may include reworking the PCB in an attempt to filter EMI noise, change power-distribution circuit impedances, improve shielding and housing, etc. A very high percentage of these mitigation efforts are unsuccessful, and even in those cases where compliance is achieved, reworking the solution on the PCB that finally renders compliance can be very costly in production, or nearly impossible to implement, resulting in the loss of both time and money, even lost business opportunities.

product design development cycle - EMI test

Many Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have recognized the value of EMC design reviews and PCB analysis early in the design development cycle. Companies who have implemented these steps at the right time in the design process have successfully produced compliant products with the first prototype, with little or no mitigation necessary. Not only does this eliminate the costly mitigation and retesting efforts, but it considerably decreases the time to market and improves ROI.

Unfortunately, many more companies, especially small and medium-sized companies who can least afford to waste resources and potentially lose opportunities, do not incorporate these EMC practices, and as a result, EMC mitigation, PCB revisions, and compliance testing are repeated many times over to achieve a compliant, revenue-generating product。 A product design development cycle that does not include robust EMC design, evaluation and analysis can often end up costing three to five times more than one that includes these critical steps。 Companies have spent untold amounts of money and time to achieve product compliance when these EMC checkpoints are not included in their design process, a mistake they only make once。

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