HOW TO CERTIFY A NEW ELECTRONIC HARDWARE PRODUCT
Every manufacturing company that designs an electronic product has to undergo the certification process before marketing its products to prospective buyers globally. Certification simply means, ensuring that your electronic products meet the required standards according to the electronic hardware rules of the country receiving the electronic hardware product.
Some manufacturers choose to skip the certification process but I would recommend that you follow this process to attract more customers /consistent market. It's costly and time-consuming to certify an electronic hardware product, but it's worth the effort as you generate high returns from reliable happy returning clients.
Here are the questions that you should revisit before exporting /transporting your product to the market ;
· Which components have bundled your product?
· Which purpose is your product intended to serve?
· What type of environment is your electronic hardware operating in?
· Which country are you selling to?
UL means underwriters laboratories specifically used in the United States and Canada specifically for the products that plug directly into AC outlets. UL certification checks whether your electronic hardware meets the safety standards such that it doesn’t cause fire when plugged in.
Manufacturers who develop their products with lion batteries should comply with the ul142 standard. Precisely for products built to use pre-certified standard chargers they should be shipped with a recertified charger to fully satisfy the needs of the user.
There are so many UL certifications for different types of products in this article I will cover the medical and information technology industry.Ul60601 certification for medical products and ul60950 for information technology electronic hardware products.
ESD IMMUNITY CERTIFICATION.
ESD stands for electrostatic discharge, a discharge produced that can easily harm your electronic hardware hence making it unfunctional. Initially, manufacturers aimed for a level 2 ESD immunity testing but currently I would recommend level 3 testing to be on the safe side. You can reduce the unwanted frequent discharge by using transmit voltage suppressors on the affected electronic hardware product.
ROHS stands for the restriction of hazardous substances that can harm a product when in use. This certification rule mostly applies in countries like California and the united states of America (USA). The hazardous substances include lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium among others.
Some products manufactured must contain these hazardous substances and due to that, there is a maximum concentration value that each product must attain for safety use. An example in California the maximum concentration value of a lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium should be should weigh 0.1% and 0.01% cadmium.
FCC certification concentrates more on the radio frequency (RF) emitted by the electronic product. The oscillating signal of the product should not interfere with the environment or communication during operation. FCC is categorized into two classes: FCC class A which specializes in products used in industries and FCC B deals with products used in residential areas.
Any product whether categorized as an intentional radiator, incidental radiator or intentional radiator its emissions should not interfere with wireless communications failure to that your products will lose value. Manufacturers should ensure that their AC-powered products meet conducted emission limits from the main switch sources of DC powered from AC adapters.
Frequency is a key ingredient and manufacturers are requested to know the frequency at which their product operates. For example in Europe, sensor networks must obtain a standard of 868MHZ band while a product exported to North America must be 915 MHZ band.
The above are the major certification rules however there are other certifications such as SAR concerned with the rate at which electromagnetic energy is absorbed by the human body from the hardware product eg laptops and smartphones. WEEE is a regulation that ensures responsible, collection, recycling, and recovery procedures for electronic waste from products.
In a nutshell, manufacturers should abide by the certification regulations to ensure a continuous flow of electronic hardware products to various market countries, better quality, and gain customer trust.