Some Military EMC testing projects are routine. This post describes a recent one that wasn’t.
Hydraulics International, Inc. asked us to test its four-wheeled 2-ton hydraulic power generator (pictured in MET’s Military EMC chamber), which is used to check the flight control of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. The V-22 Osprey is well known for its Rolls-Royce engines that tilt, allowing it to take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane.
The test plan was based on MIL-STD-461F, but MET was able to get approval on a couple deviations to save the customer time and money.
The first deviation was to decrease the unit’s RPM during testing. The test procedure called for measurements taken at 2,500 RPM, but MET was able to justify a lower RPM by proving that the unit’s electronics would not be affected by its engine speed. This deviation was important because the EUT’s 160 HP diesel engine would heat the military test chamber rapidly when run at high RPM.
The second deviation was for test method RS101, which normally requires many close proximity measurements using a small radiating loop sensor. For this large EUT, a non-deviated test plan would have required 60 hours’ worth of testing just for RS101. MET was able to acquire a deviation from the Navy by getting permission to take measurements only near the unit’s electronic control panel.
A challenge that did not require a deviation was how to exhaust the diesel fumes out of the test chamber, while maintaining the 200 V/m EMC chamber’s RF shielding effectiveness. Radiated emission ambients were shielded by using a small diameter steel exhaust tube that was secured to the chamber ceiling using metal-to-metal bonding techniques.
This project also required Data Item Description (DID) documentation. Read more about DID documentation, its benefits, and process on the bottom of this Military EMC testing page.
Have an upcoming MIL-STD-461 test requirement? Ask about MET’s complimentary MIL-STD-461 Pre-Testing Program, which greatly increases your chance of first time compliance. Contact us today.
This week, the nation’s top product safety organization – ICPHSO – is meeting for the 21st time, at its 2014 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium in Orlando, FL. MET Labs is participating as an exhibitor and sponsor.
There were a number of interesting sessions on product safety regulations, compliance, and legal issues. George Borlase, Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Assistant Executive Director for Hazard Identification and Reduction, led a session on “CPSC Activities in 2014.” Here are the highlights of his presentation:
Sequestration is officially over. During the mandatory 5% cut, CPSC experienced a decrease in funding of $6M. CPSC’s FY 2014 appropriation is $117M, equaling the agency’s full request, a rare feat in Washington, D.C.
So, CPSC is planning these changes in 2014:
- Workforce growth
- Full funding in Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System and IT infrastructure
- Full investment in nanotechnology research agreements
- Full investment in lab equipment recapitalization
- Continue import surveillance Risk Assessment Methodology pilot
Ongoing CPSC rulemakings include fuel gels, rare earth magnets, and recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs).
A priority for CPSC is deeper engagement in voluntary standards in these areas:
- CPSIA Section 104 durable products
- Electrical equipment
- Gas-powered appliances, to reduce carbon monoxide emissions and deaths from portable generators
The voluntary electrical equipment standards are concentrated on products that cause fires, including kitchen ranges, clothes dryers, space heaters, and power cords (the mechanical properties of insulation).
MET is expert in electrical/electronic product compliance and performance testing and certification. Contact us for a quick quote for an upcoming testing requirement, or attend one of our Compliance College seminars or webinars.
The FCC took 20 enforcement actions in 2013 against RF equipment manufacturers and vendors for violations of the FCC’s marketing rules and technical standards. These actions include enforcement of Rule Parts 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 27, 90, and 95. Fish & Richardson P.C. summarizes FCC Equipment Manufacturer Violations from 2006-2013 here.
Four of the six largest violations (with Consent Decrees ranging from $100,000 to $280,000) involved the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules. The HAC rules require handset manufacturers to report annually on their HAC compliance status, so manufacturers should expect that the FCC will continue to pursue HAC violations.
The FCC also continued its focus on Part 15 U-NII devices and digital devices. Violations involving equipment in the music industry, such as amplifiers and mixers, led to some of the year’s largest Consent Decree payments.
Effective September 13, 2013, the FCC raised the maximum penalty for most equipment violations from $112,500 to $122,500 per single violation.
The bottom line is that manufacturers and importers need to be careful about FCC compliance. Manufacturers with compliance issues can face delayed equipment approvals, contract disputes and lost sales opportunities, and even competitor or consumer lawsuits.
The Compliance Today blog for electrical product manufacturer compliance engineers saw a significant jump in readers and subscribers in 2013. Following were the most popular 2013 posts, by pageviews.
- EN 61010-1 3rd Edition Compliance Required in EU by October 2013
- FAQs Regarding IEC 62368-1, the Replacement for IEC 60950-1 & IEC 60065
- Russia GOST R Replaced by Customs Union Technical Regulation
- UL 1741 Safety Testing of Inverters Includes Anti-Islanding Requirement
- Amendment 2 of IEC 60950-1 Edition 2 Has a Few Notable Changes from Amendment 1
- COFETEL Replaced by IFETEL for Mexico Telecom Approvals
- Hazardous Location Product Safety Certification Requirements for EU, China, Russia, Korea & India
- Proposed Changes to R&TTE Directive for Radio Equipment Include New Name & Requirements
- FCC Proposes Big Changes to Part 15 & 68 Electrical Equipment Approval Process
- Top 35 Blogs for Electrical Product Manufacturers
To receive an email of each post when it publishes (about once a week), subscribe on the right side of this page.
Want more in-depth information on one of these topics? Check to see if we are planning a seminar or webinar on it.
Need electrical product testing? Fill out an RFQ.
Effective last week (January 15, 2014), ENERGY STAR Certification Body (CB) MET Laboratories will no longer certify new products to the Version 5.2 Computer Specification for ENERGY STAR, per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. V5.2 remains effective until June 2, 2014, when Version 6.0 will become effective.
The Computer specification includes the following product types:
- Desktop Computers
- Notebook Computers
- Small-Scale Servers for non-data center use
- Thin Clients
EPA is evaluating the inclusion of portable computers with detachable keyboards or with no keyboards (Slates/Tablets) in the computer specification. These products are excluded from the scope of Version 6.0, but EPA’s goal is to develop acceptable definitions to allow them to be included in a Version 6.1 specification.
The V6.0 specification updates the long-standing ENERGY STAR program for computers in several ways, including:
- Incorporating long and short idle state power in TEC (Typical Energy Consumption) calculation
- Revising the category system, and treatment of integrated displays and graphics for notebooks, desktops, integrated desktops, and thin clients to better reflect the characteristics that influence energy consumption
- Adding new incentives for energy-saving features such as Energy Efficient Ethernet, Switchable graphics, and power supplies that retain high efficiency at low load
Note to previously-certified manufacturers: When a specification is revised, manufacturers need to have existing models certified to the new specification. Due to the changes in test methods and TEC calculations in the new specification, CBs will not be able to use existing test data to re-certify existing models. All previously certified models to version 5.2 will have to be retested and certified to the new specification by June 2, 2014 in order remain on the Qualified Product List (QPL). To avoid delays and administrative burdens associated with retesting and certification, EPA encourages manufacturers to work with CBs to have their products certified to the new specification during the early certification period.
MET Labs is an EPA-approved lab and certification body for 15 product categories. Get a quote now to evaluate your product to Version 6.0.
In October, MET Labs joined other C12 Accredited Standards Committee members in Charleston, SC at the EEI Transmission, Distribution & Metering Conference to discuss proposed revisions to ANSI C12.1, ANSI C12.20, and others, for the evaluation of Watthour Meters.
This post is a summary of some of the proposed changes discussed during the Electricity Metering Subcommittee 1 & 16 meetings.
ANSI C12.1-2013 is now in a draft format and is due for release soon. The 0.5% accuracy class will be added to C12.1. This will effectively allow non-Blondel meter forms to have a specification at the 0.5% accuracy class.
Service Switch Working Group
Technical Report C12.30 on testing metering devices equipped with service switch has passed the comments phase and is ready to go to publication.
Harmonics tests will be added under Section 5.5.6 of the C12.20 standard in the next revision, due out in 2015.
Safety Working Group
UL 2735 Safety standard for Electric Utility Meters is now published as a non-consensus standard.
The next C12 Accredited Standards Committee meeting is April 9, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ.
Questions about the proposed changes? Ask Pat, our meter approvals expert.
The First Draft International Standard (FDIS) for Edition 2.0 of IEC 62368-1 was published last month. The FDIS is the final voting stage before a standard is released as an International Standard (IS).
IEC 62368-1 is a hazard-based, performance-oriented standard for IT equipment and A/V equipment, intended to replace IEC 60950-1 and IEC 60065. Read about why these standards are being phased out.
Now that Edition 2 is published, the National Committees (NCs) involved in IEC TC108 will be reviewing and voting on the document. The voting period deadline is January 10, 2014.
If the vote is successful as expected, the IS will be issued as IEC 62368-1, Edition No. 2 sometime in March or April timeframe. Edition No. 2 is expected to get much wider global adoption than Edition No. 1, which wasn’t accepted in Europe or Asia.
In the U.S. & Canada, the 62368-1 Technical Harmonization Committee (THC) is finalizing proposed content, including national differences, of the next CSA/UL 62368-1 based on Edition 2.0. These national versions have a target publication of 3rd Quarter 2014.
Major manufacturers trust MET Labs to product safety test and certify their IT equipment and A/V equipment. Contact us for a free quote, or submit a question to Pat, our electrical product compliance expert.
For a manufacturer looking to add Taiwan to its information technology equipment homologations program, a BSMI approval is required. Therefore, testing supplemental to typical IEC 60950 certification is necessary.
Standard compliance with IEC 60950 allows for the waiver of testing of I/O ports if they are sourced from a SELV (safety extra low-voltage) and/or power limited circuit. Most data and communication ports, like USB, video, and Ethernet, are sourced from these type of circuits. IEC 60950 says there is no need to prove via testing what is confirmed by engineering evaluation.
From BSMI’s perspective, they never know if and how the end user will misuse and connect improper devices to these ports, so they assume the worst case scenario and require all I/O ports be tested. BSMI references standard CNS 14336 for this.
Another important note: The power supply will also require additional testing if it doesn’t already have BSMI certification. The end product manufacturer should:
- Request the BSMI certificate from the power supply vendor/manufacturer
- If this is not available, request the power supply vendor/manufacturer to submit an amended CB scheme report covering the additional testing
MET Labs is experienced in helping major IT equipment manufacturers with their international approvals and global homologations programs. Contact us for a free quote, or submit a question to Pat, our electrical product compliance expert.
Most Military/Avionic EMC test programs include radiated emissions testing. This is the test method where the unintentional emissions which
radiate from a piece of electronic equipment under test are measured with an antenna and spectrum analyzer and plotted against the required limit. One issue which must always be dealt with during radiated emissions and other EMC test methods is control of the ambient emissions. Ambient emissions such as television, radio, and wireless signals are attenuated by the shielded EMC test chamber; however, they can travel into the chamber on the cables which connect to support equipment outside of the chamber.
If ambient emissions are not mitigated, they can appear as an EUT failure during testing. One way to deal with this issue proactively is to use shielded cables with shielded bulkhead connectors or feed-through capacitors (Figure 1) to decouple the ambient signals to ground.
In Figure 2, note how the ambient emissions exceed the Army ground limit at 28MHz when the power and signal
cables pass directly through an oversize chamber hole. In Figure 3, see how the ambient emissions have been attenuated below the noise floor of the measurement system, due to power cables connecting through 1uF feed-through capacitors and the shielded serial cable connects through a wall-embedded bulkhead connector.
Utilizing our machine shop, steel panels, and a variety of connectors, MET Labs provides custom bulkhead panels for all military and avionics test programs, at no additional cost to the customer.
Similarly, some electronic equipment requires water as part of its normal mode of operation, such as aircraft
galley equipment or water-cooled high power equipment. MET has installed regulated water at its Military/Avionic EMC test chambers using bulkhead fittings that maintain the shielding effectiveness of the chamber. MET has a variety of hoses and fitting available and trained staff to provide professional hookup to the equipment under test. This too is a free service provided to all MET customers.
Visit our quote center for an immediate EMC testing need, or Ask Pat, our resident electrical product compliance expert, for questions relating to chamber pass-throughs for water pipes and power & signal cables.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized Version 1.0 of the ENERGY STAR Data Center Storage Specification and the ENERGY STAR Data Center Storage Test Method.
According to EPA, datacenters are estimated to be more than 2% of total U.S. electricity consumption, so more energy efficient data center storage equipment will help data center owners and operators save significant money on their energy bills.
The ENERGY STAR Data Center Storage specification enhances the suite of ENERGY STAR datacenter equipment specifications, which currently includes Computer Server and Uninterruptible Power Supply specifications.
- Introduces an approach to product families that allows both homogenous and heterogeneous storage device configurations to be certified
- Includes requirements focused on power supplies, capacity optimizing methods, and standard performance data measurement and output
- Allows for variations within product families to incorporate newer storage devices and other system improvements over the life of the storage product
The V1.0 Specification requires all products to test and submit data using the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Emerald Power Efficiency Measurement Specification V2.0.2.
The effective date of the V1.0 Data Center Storage Specification is December 2, 2013, but MET Labs is already an EPA-recognized certification body (CB) for this category and is in advanced stages of the test lab recognition process with EPA.
Selling to the U.S. government? Did you know federal agencies are required to purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products?