Electronic – At what point does the responsibility of the manufacturer end with regards to FCC/CE testing


I'm curious as to when the responsibility of a manufacturer ends when dealing with emissions and RF testing, part of FCC and CE tests.

I repair TVs as a hobby and as business. I got a TV in from someone which would not power up most of the time. I found the soft-start circuit was stopping the TV starting, so I inhibited that. Now it works fine. But the PFC transformer makes a very audible whining sound, and the PFC bus voltage now measures 328V – when it really should be nearer to 390V. This tells me the PFC is not working (although the TV is fine with the reduced bus voltage) and so the TV probably wouldn't meet its emissions requirements. In this case, would the manufacturer be responsible for this?

Another example, an old Compaq power supply had a very odd "feature". When the 5V output was shorted, it wouldn't switch off. It would melt whatever was attached (including its own cable harness) and in the process make enough EM noise to cause an AM radio within half a metre to lose a station. Given that the 5V shorting is not a default configuration of the PSU, but it could happen, why is it covered in FCC/CE logos?

See, I am designing a power supply which might have an expected lifetime of 50,000-100,000 hours. But it won't last forever, that's pretty difficult to do. At the beginning of its life it would meet the requirements. But as it gets older, electrolytics degrade, ripple incrases, noise increases. Eventually, it won't meet the original requirements.

Best Answer

I live in Europe, and I can't comment on FCC regulations.

About CE certification there seems to be much misunderstanding. The CE mark on a product claims that the product complies to all relevant CE regulations, but it's the manufacturer who decides to use the marking, not some certifying organisation. If I decide to manufacture some product and place the CE marking on it, I'm free to do so. Did my product undergo required testing? No. Am I liable in case of technical problems due to non-compliance (for instance too much EMI)? Yes. A third party (usually a customer) can challenge my CE-compliance claim and then I have to prove the product is in fact CE-compliant.

(I wasn't sure about this myself, but I was told so by the director of the quality department of our company, who had a seat in several of those CE committees.)