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Wireless Product Testing & Certification – How to Meet Regulatory Compliance

Most wireless product OEM’s know that an often under-valued but ubiquitous aspect to product manufacturing is mastering regulatory compliance. 

So much occurs behind-the-scenes prior to a successful product launch and the more experienced manufacturers know that one of the greatest catalysts to make or break a timely path to market is product testing and certification. Major markets for wireless products tend to require certification of conformity for FCC or EU’s Radio Equipment Directive (RED) before product can legally be sold.

The majority of hardware product manufacturer’s rely on one or more third-party testing and certification lab partners to help ensure that compliance requirements are proactively met, often starting as early as prototype testing. The following is a breakdown of common wireless testing phases:

Antenna Characterization

Depending on the frequencies of the wireless radio and the technology, one or more antenna designs should be tested to ensure that the results are acceptable once product development reaches a design freeze. Your lab should always be available for characterization testing within the antenna chamber to mitigate unexpected RF performance. MiCOM Labs offers blocks of time allocated for antenna testing and can accommodate your development needs. 

EMC: Conductive & Radiative Pre-Screening

Depending on the function of your wireless device, applicable regulatory standards may include intentional or unintentional transmission (e.g. FCC CFR 47 Part 15). During the course of engineering verification and development, conductive EMC testing can be tested earlier as housings and other mechanical components have a lesser impact on the outcome. Radiative RF testing requires an anechoic (or semi-anechoic) chamber and should ideally be reserved for when your product has reached a later-stage verification of development. In many instances, MiCOM Labs can offer complimentary pre-screening if final testing is performed at our testing lab – inquire directly with a client advisor for a free consultation.

Compliance Testing & Test Report Generation

By this phase of product development, your client advisor should have already provided a detailed test and certification program which outlines all applicable regulatory standards the product will be tested to. If you’re working with MiCOM Labs, our cloud-based system will automatically generate a test plan and a preview of the draft report. These issued test reports will constitute the basis for your subsequent application to the regulatory authority for product certification. 

Product Certification

Once all of the required documentation (including test reports, specifications, declarations, photos, BOM, schematics, etc.) are prepared, the completed application will be sent by an accredited TCB (US FCC), FCB (Canada ISED) or RCB (Japan MIC) for final approval. If working with MiCOM Labs, this process is seamless as we are both an accredited testing lab as well as an authorized certification body. 

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