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Wireless module warning

01 December 2014

Product compliance expert TÜV SÜD Product Service is warning machinery manufacturers which integrate wireless modules into their products that they may be selling non-compliant equipment, as they struggle to understand complex rules.

TÜV SÜD is seeing a significant growth in the number of non-compliant products entering its laboratories due the rising trend for wireless modules to be added into an expanding variety of products, such as televisions, washing machines, fridges, telematics devices and factory machinery.

Machines that were not traditionally subject to the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE) must now meet its requirements and manufacturers are failing to realise this.

A presumption is often made that when an R&TTE compliant module is integrated into a final host machine, no further radio testing is necessary. However, this is not the case if the module is not integrated in accordance with the module manufacturer’s instructions, and it must also meet additional essential requirements of the R&TTE Directive, such as safety and EMC aspects.

Jean-Louis Evans, managing director of TÜV SÜD Product Service, said: "The integration of wireless modules is going beyond the more traditional market, such as laptops and mobile phones, and they are now being included in everything from domestic fridges to industrial machinery. The problem is that while these wireless modules are being sold to manufacturers as being compliant, once they are integrated into another product that changes the rules.

"Manufacturers are assuming that because the wireless module is compliant, that they do not have to do any more tests to declare against different standards - this is wrong. Market surveillance authorities can come down hard on manufacturers that supply non-compliant equipment to the market and ignorance of the rules is no excuse,” concluded Evans.