Selling your product at home and around the world – important info!!Follow article
So you have designed an amazing, innovative product and are ready to start selling it? All you need to do now is to demonstrate it complies with the laws of the lands you want to get into. You already know this, right? If you don’t, don’t worry, you are not alone, but 3 leaders in the industry – Raspberry Pi, DesignSpark and UL – are here to help you understand what you need to do to make sure your product is covered when you put it on the market. Failing to do so could result in some pretty sad consequences, that is, your product being pulled from the market, and we know you don’t want that! It is important that you understand what you need to do early on in your design phase so that you are not met with any nasty surprises (i.e. costs).
The companies who can help
Raspberry Pi as you probably know is the most popular series of British computers ever made and they have a strong collaboration with the DesignSpark community, driving forward a unique innovation environment. UL is a leading global compliance company who helps manufacturers get their products to the global marketplace. Between the three of us, we have created a unique team, whose sole purpose is to educate and help people who are using the Raspberry Pi and DesignSpark resources to fully understand the compliance obligations.
The technology industry (well any industry actually) is peppered with companies that have left the compliance requirement till the end of their design phases only to find that the budget and effort required is something that they cannot support comfortably. Or at all. Some have been totally oblivious and not considered it at all and some have misunderstood and fallen foul of the appropriate authorities. Sad stories when one realises the effort and imagination which has gone into these products.
So how can the Raspberry Pi, DesignSpark and UL Tri-variate help you?
Well, we will give you an insight into what you need to understand below. There is also information on the respective companies websites (see hyperlinks above), we have a number of forums, seminars, technology hub events, but ultimately call us.
If there is one message to take away here, it is to ENQUIRE EARLY – it is never too early to ask and the advice is free.
So, why ask early?
Well, it very much depends on what your product does and what technologies it employs.
But first a little lesson on what your product may need to comply with. Let’s take Europe as an example. In Europe, if you put a product on the market you have to comply with any directives that it falls under. So, if you have a product that has a sensor (of some kind) which transmits its data via Bluetooth (radio), typically speaking, the directives that would apply would be the EMC and Radio Equipment Directives. Under those directives it is likely you would have to perform an evaluation (probably test) for the Radio Performance (RP), Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), and Safety (SAF).
Nowadays there are loads of pre-approved modules and development kits which take a lot of the design hurt out for you and also carry “some” pre-compliance, which means you can inherit that in your own design; this is usually as part of the RP testing. However, you may design your own radio, in which case you would have to perform that testing yourself. You may be attaching long cables, sensors, displays etc and this will have an impact on the electromagnetic compatibility performance – this is where a device does not affect another electronic device nor be affected – so that again needs to be assessed. And that is just for Europe. When you go global many different countries have their own requirements. Some accept the testing from Europe – some don’t and expect you to test again in their respective countries.
We are afraid there is more! Even though you have jumped through hoops to comply with the legal stuff, you may have to comply with the “certification requirements” of the technology you are using. This in includes Bluetooth Qualification, ZigBee certification, Wi-Fi.
This is more of a marketing requirement but is still “mandatory”.
We hope this isn’t putting you off designing, but as you can see it is an important topic that you should really consider at the design stage. There is usually cost involved and you do need to understand what that cost is and to make sure that it is in your budget. This has in some cases directed the design decisions of a product.
But don’t worry. It actually isn’t that bad and all products that you see on the market will (or should) have gone through the same process.
The diagram below shows a typical design-to-market process and we suggest that you consider speaking to professionals like our tri-variate.
But follow some simple guidelines and all should be fine. And if you need some more help our little tri-variate has some contacts for you below:
So, in summary:
- Engage Early – speak to us!!
- Get the information you need
- Correctly estimate and match your costs to the chosen technology
- Devise your Compliance Plan
- Get regular updates and assistance
- Build your Product
- Win in your marketplace!
Contacts for further help