10 Steps to Successful Auto EMC Testing: Part 3

Automotive Testing Steps 7-10

It’s all good. You began with Steps 1 – 2 and moved through Steps 3 - 6. You defined your product’s market, drafted a test plan, built and tested prototypes, and done it while in touch with the manufacturer. Now you’re in the home stretch and ready to do final validation testing. Welcome to Steps 7-10 of Elite’s Ten Steps to Successful Automotive Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing.

To paraphrase the philosopher and baseball great Yogi Berra, if you don’t know where you’re going you might not get there. Let’s set up the final tests because after going through the first six steps, you know where you’re going.

7. Schedule Well in Advance

At Elite, quick access to lab service is always the goal. But depending on workload, there could be a schedule backlog of multiple weeks. Be sure to contact Elite well in advance of the date the product will be ready for testing.

When you talk to the Elite team, give them your product’s requirements. They have the expertise to identify the appropriate standards and test methods and then outline the conformity assessment process.

Once a proposal is generated, Elite will schedule all services based on the required time and available lab resources. An early communication channel with Elite’s lab scheduler is the best path to the desired start and completion dates. A purchase order is usually not required to hold a scheduled test date, but one will be required to start testing.

Some regulatory tests for European Union vehicles and their sub-assemblies require an “E-marking” approval through a European Notified Body (NB). These are processed directly between the NB and the equipment manufacturer. Elite can provide contacts for NB services while working with the NB to coordinate test scheduling.

8. Prepare for Validation Testing

Ahead of the scheduled testing date, a functional system needs to be delivered to the test lab. Be sure to add time to make sure the wiring harnesses, support equipment, and other ancillary hardware are ready to begin the test. The lab will need the following items at minimum:

  • A properly approved test plan for validation by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • Device(s) to be tested 
  • Wiring harnesses
  • Load box and support equipment to properly simulate the systems that interface with the test item
  • Laptop computer with a controller area network (CAN) bus simulator
  • Monitoring equipment
  • Instructions for operating the equipment

Some support equipment can be provided by Elite, but clients should identify their needs early so the necessary resources are ready when your tests begin. Pre-arranged equipment available through Elite includes:

  • Fiber Optic Transceivers
  • Laptop PCs, Oscilloscopes, Audio Analyzers
  • Communication Simulator (CMW500)
  • Mechanical fixturing, tooling, and test automation

9. Be Available When Testing Begins

Elite business hours are typically 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Plan to arrive shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the first scheduled test day. If special shifts or extended hours will be necessary, contact Elite at the earliest phase of the test project.

Elite clients are always welcome to be present for testing and are encouraged to attend the initial setup and first few test operations. Equipment can be shipped with setup and operating instructions, and Elite can provide remote video conferencing capabilities to save time and expenses associated with traveling to our lab.

Elite’s engineers then configure the unit for testing and run tests while monitoring the device’s performance. If the client is not present during the test, a technical support contact who can be quickly reached needs to be identified to resolve any issues. Spare test samples, if available, are also recommended.

10. Respond Quickly to Project Delays

Project delays in advance of the test starting date sometimes happen. If they do, clients need to notify Elite so the reserved lab time can be reallocated, and a new start date can be set.

When problems occur during testing, Elite’s engineers work closely with the client to resolve them. This includes test-item setup complications, non-compliances, or Elite equipment faults. For cases where clients are not present during testing, the client contact needs to be available by phone or video conference for troubleshooting. In those cases email and mobile phone contact information are needed.

Contact Elite today! Our Experts, Your Timing, Best Value

Automotive EMC testing can be a challenging process, but with the support of Elite engineers you can rest assured that you’re working with the most knowledgeable, best equipped, and best value service provider in the industry. Contact us to get your project started on the right path.

Let us know how we can help you succeed with your product development.

Why Trust Elite?

  • 60+ years of EMC testing experience
  • 20+ automotive EMC test engineers and iNARTE organizational certification
  • 15+ years of continuous laboratory recognition from Ford, GM, and Stellantis (formerly FCA)
  • Only independent test laboratory fully recognized for all Ford, GM, Stellantis, Mazda, and Hyundai-Kia EMC test methods

Call Elite at 630-495-9770 with your questions.