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Looking for information on CE complience certification

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ethan169

New Member
Hello,

I'm curious if anyone on this forum has had any experience with getting an electronic product CE marked for the EU. Just to be clear this is not CE as in China Export but the CE associated with the sale of products in the European Union.

Any information or even a useful or legit website with the process of self certification.

Thanks for any info!

-Ethan
 

Warpspeed

Member
Ethan, it depends greatly upon the nature of your product, and where (the environment) it is to be used.

From that, you determine which standards are applicable. An EMC test laboratory can assist you in mapping out what needs to be done.

You basically can then claim your product meets whatever standards it needs to meet, and can produce all the relevant test documentation and results to prove that it actually does so.

This is not as horrific and complex as it sounds !

Basically there are two types of environment, quiet and noisy.

An electrically quiet environment such a domestic home or business office, the equipment must not radiate much electrical noise that will interfere with other nearby equipment. But because it is an electrically quiet environment, your equipment does not need to meet very high noise immunity standards.
So for this class of equipment, passing emissions can be more difficult, passing immunity is dead easy.

An electrically noisy environment such as heavy industry, nobdy cares much how much additional noise your product belts out (within reason). But your product needs to have proven high noise immunity so it will not malfunction and perhaps create safety issues.
For this class of equipment, passing emissions is easy, but passing immunity can be more of a challenge.

The standards are usually not that difficult to meet. Good engineering practice very often will get you through with only very slight changes required, if any. These rules are not there to drive manufacturing business bankrupt, but to weed out truly awful products.

Have a good look at a competitive product that already complies, and see what they have done as regards design and engineering. If your product is built to a similar standard, it too should pass fairly easily.

I suggest you look up a local EMC test laboratory in the telephone book, and go over there and have a chat with one of their engineers.
 

ethan169

New Member
Ethan, it depends greatly upon the nature of your product, and where (the environment) it is to be used.

From that, you determine which standards are applicable. An EMC test laboratory can assist you in mapping out what needs to be done.

You basically can then claim your product meets whatever standards it needs to meet, and can produce all the relevant test documentation and results to prove that it actually does so.

This is not as horrific and complex as it sounds !

Basically there are two types of environment, quiet and noisy.

An electrically quiet environment such a domestic home or business office, the equipment must not radiate much electrical noise that will interfere with other nearby equipment. But because it is an electrically quiet environment, your equipment does not need to meet very high noise immunity standards.
So for this class of equipment, passing emissions can be more difficult, passing immunity is dead easy.

An electrically noisy environment such as heavy industry, nobdy cares much how much additional noise your product belts out (within reason). But your product needs to have proven high noise immunity so it will not malfunction and perhaps create safety issues.
For this class of equipment, passing emissions is easy, but passing immunity can be more of a challenge.

The standards are usually not that difficult to meet. Good engineering practice very often will get you through with only very slight changes required, if any. These rules are not there to drive manufacturing business bankrupt, but to weed out truly awful products.

Have a good look at a competitive product that already complies, and see what they have done as regards design and engineering. If your product is built to a similar standard, it too should pass fairly easily.

I suggest you look up a local EMC test laboratory in the telephone book, and go over there and have a chat with one of their engineers.

Warpspeed,

Thank you for your response. Your information is useful and helpful to me. I have been reading about this subject for several days now and it is very confusing. You were mostly just talking about the EMC directive, I was also under the impression that I will be "under" the low voltage directive as well for the CE marking?

Also any idea where I can find out what documentation I will need to have on hand for corresponding with these directives? I couldn't really find a solid answer by searching google etc.

Thank you for any info!

-Ethan
 

Ubergeek63

Well-Known Member
It also depends on application... medical app requirements are more stringent than others.

You will have great difficulty finding answeres since they want to charge you $100 for each directive. Aren't they sweet?

Dan
 

ethan169

New Member
It also depends on application... medical app requirements are more stringent than others.

You will have great difficulty finding answeres since they want to charge you $100 for each directive. Aren't they sweet?

Dan

The application of my product is not in a medical field, so I should be all set there (hopefully).

As for the proper directives. The only way to obtain them is to pay? If so where would I even find the proper directives and how do i know they are legitimate?

Thanks again guys!

-Ethan
 

Ubergeek63

Well-Known Member
The application of my product is not in a medical field, so I should be all set there (hopefully).

As for the proper directives. The only way to obtain them is to pay? If so where would I even find the proper directives and how do i know they are legitimate?

Thanks again guys!

-Ethan
Well you can get clues if you look hard enough or ask the right questions of the right people.

We, for instance, use EN 60601-1 for medical safety specs, and yes they do expect to cash in for each individual thing as well! It is much more than copy costs for something that supposedly is an open standard.

As for EMI you will not have the equipment to do the tests anyhow. While the equipment and setups are defined in the spec, which might be EN 55022, they call out specific antennas, caliber of spectrum analyzers, and shielded rooms.

Once you have a report, the test house should give you the graphs showing where you fail and by how much. At that point a home brew $100 spectrum analyzer can give you relative readings, though it is probably cheaper to rent a real one for a one shot deal, to give you a good idea of if mods have sufficed before going back for the oficial word.

Dan
 

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Warpspeed

Member
There ar so many possibilities with this.

Is it battery operated ?
Does it run off the mains.
Are there special safety requirements such as wet environments or explosive gasses ?
Does it emit or receive radio frequencies as part of it's main function ?

You need to talk to a testing laboratory and once they know what your product is, what it actually does, and where and how it is to be used, they can advise on the standards that need to be met.

The same laboratory can then do any testing and hand you a file with all the relevant test details, photographs, and full traceability for all the test equipment used.

You can almost guarantee that file will never again see the light of day, unless someone complains about your equipment, and the authorities decide to investigate.

It is rather like consulting your doctor or your lawyer. You will get some very sound advice on exactly what needs to be done.
 

ethan169

New Member
I see. Ill have to search for some testing labs in my area then. This is a little bit more difficult then i thought.

thanks for all of your help!

-Ethan
 

Warpspeed

Member
Not really Ethan.
The Laboratory will just say something like, "that comes under Standard X and Standard Y, standard Z is not applicable in your case".

They will provide you with copies of the relevant standards.
The standards themselves will spell out unambiguously the tests that need to be carried out, how to carry them out, and the required measurement limits that need to be met.

How you do that is entirely up to you.
If you were a large Corporation, you could do it all yourself in house, and that would be perfectly o/k to do it that way.
For small business it will always cost less to have a commercial Lab do it for you, and arguably the results would be more solid if you ever need to defend the testing later, if challenged.

What you need to end up with is a file that contains all the construction details of your product. Mechanical drawings, circuit diagrams, and photographs, to show exactly how it was when tested. You also need copies of the test results in the file. That is all there is to it. You can then add the compliance mark to your manufactured product.

If later you are challenged, the file is the evidence of your compliance, and if they order a retest, you need never fear the results are going to turn out any different.
 
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