All posts tagged: standards

In order to continue maintaining wireless standards to meet contemporary and future needs – the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced Wi-Fi HaLow, the Alliance’s branding for their work developing and promoting wireless networking solutions based on the IEEE 802.11ah standard.

The IEEE 802.11ah standard is a new extension of the very popular and widespread IEEE 802.11-2007 wireless networking standard, providing a new physical layer and MAC layer specification for Wi-Fi networks that can operate in the sub-gigahertz bands at around 900 MHz.

Because of the different propagation characteristics of radio waves at this frequency, this change significantly extends the range of existing Wi-Fi networks that currently operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, and allows the radio to propagate through walls and obstructions much more effectively. This allows homes and buildings to be comprehensively covered with reliable Wi-Fi connectivity without using a large number of access points, with a probable need for only one access point per building for seamless, reliable coverage even in large buildings.

Having reliable wireless networking connectivity across a whole home or building with minimal infrastructure is particularly attractive for Internet-of-Things, home automation or building management applications, and these IoT applications are the main application area that 802.11ah networks are aimed at enabling. Wi-Fi HaLow opens up new use-cases for Wi-Fi, such as home automation, smart energy networks, wearables, consumer electronics, low-power sensors, and what the Wi-Fi Alliance refers to as the “Internet of Everything”.

IEEE 802.11ah has rebuilt and optimised the physical layer and the MAC layer from the ground up, although the higher network layers remain more consistent with existing versions of the 802.11 standards.

These changes provide extended range, strong improvements in power efficiency, more scalable operation, and an enhanced link budget compared to 2.4 GHz systems. At the same time, however, 802.11ah aims to leverage the established Wi-Fi and IP networking ecosystem where possible, for easy configuration, easy pairing to access points or mobile devices, and connectivity into existing networks and the Internet.

802.11ah supports 4, 8 or 16 MHz of bandwidth, allowing higher data rates depending on the allocated spectrum that is available in different regions, with the low-bandwidth 1 MHz and 2 MHz modes being mandatory and globally interoperable for all devices where this lower bandwidth is realistic. For example, 26 MHz is available in the 900 MHz band in the United States, making these higher-bandwidth modes accessible.

The standard aims to offer a minimum of 150 kbps of throughput with 1 MHz of bandwidth used, or as much as 40 Mbps with 8 MHz of bandwidth. This is obviously less than what we expect from traditional Wi-Fi networks, but the favourable combination of moderate bandwidth, moderately low power consumption and long-range propagation make 802.11ah an attractive competitor with other technologies such as IEEE 802.15.4/6LoWPAN in building automation and IoT applications.

These lower-bandwidth nodes are well suited to low-cost battery operated sensor devices in IoT applications, where a relatively low data rate is required. No power amplifier is required for “home scale” transmission distances, and the minimum data rate of 150 kbps means that IoT sensors transmitting short, lightweight messages can remain in a sleep state most of the time – and wake up for a short period to transmit a burst of sensor data, lowering average power consumption and offering maximum battery life.

Average power consumption in this type of application is also reduced by using more efficient protocols at the MAC layer, such as smaller frame formats, sensor traffic priority, and beaconless paging mode. The MAC is also optimised to scale to thousands of nodes by using efficient paging and scheduled transmissions.

As with existing 802.11 Wi-Fi devices, the work of the IEEE and the Wi-Fi alliance ensures that 802.11ah devices will be interoperable across all the different hardware vendors, with a strong open standardisation process that brings in participation from many industry representatives and stakeholders.

With its focus on embedded and IoT applications such as home automation, 802.11ah is not intended as a general-purpose high-speed wireless networking solution for the home or office. It is likely to deliver significantly reduced speeds compared to familiar 802.11 networks, with speeds in the low tens of megabits per second. This is perfectly sufficient for the typical kinds of intended applications with an IoT focus, however.

The 802.11ah standard is intended to be an attractive competitor to Bluetooth in IoT and consumer electronics applications, offering longer communications range than either Bluetooth or existing Wi-Fi, but with a significantly reduced power consumption compared to familiar 802.11 Wi-Fi solutions on the market at present.

halow1As this technology becomes more available in the market, it’s likely that it will begin to supplant Bluetooth in certain consumer electronics applications, as well as supplanting other wireless standards such as existing Wi-Fi and 802.15.4 networks in the Internet-of-Things domain where relatively long-range communication with a large number of low-bandwidth devices is required.

Here at the LX Group we have end-to-end experience and demonstrated results in the entire process of IoT product development, and we’re ready to help bring your existing or new product ideas to life. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, telephone 1800 810 124, or just keep in the loop by connecting here.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in IoT embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad Awais802.11ah – WiFi HaLow for wireless networking solutions

The Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance is an organisation, which has served as a resource centre and industry leader since 2008 – whose goal is to seek the establishment of Internet Protocol as the dominant, open standard adopted by industry as the basis for the connectivity of “smart objects”, machine-to-machine and Internet-of-Things networks and applications.

The IPSO Alliance provides a foundation for industry growth by fostering awareness, providing education, generating research, promoting the industry, and creating
a better understanding of IP and other open protocols and standards and the role they can play in the Internet of Things.

Through the work of the IPSO Alliance, many industries have come to realise the benefits associated with using the Internet Protocol within their Internet-of-Things and M2M products and applications. The Alliance is moving forward from explaining “Why use IP in IoT devices” to “How to use IP” down to the individual device level in connected IoT networks.

While the Alliance will continue to educate and inform on the numerous fundamental benefits of IP, it has embarked on defining the set of appropriate protocols, architecture and data definitions for IoT “Smart Objects” so that engineers and product developers working in this field will have access to the necessary tools in order “to build the IoT right” using open standards in a way that the IPSO Alliance considers to be the most valuable for everybody.

Primary goals of the IPSO Alliance are to promote the Internet Protocol as the universal, most secure and most resilient infrastructure on which to base ever more critical and ubiquitous connectivity, and to carry on their core mission of “Internet Protocol enabling the Internet of Things”. It is a goal of the IPSO Alliance to promote the use of IP as the premier solution for access and communication for smart objects as well as to invest in innovation in IP- and open-standards-based Internet-of-Things technology.

The Alliance aims to uphold open standards for IoT connectivity including but not limited to IP, supporting the Internet Engineering Task Force and other technical standards organisations in the development of standards for smart objects and Internet-of-Things connectivity, building on the technical work of these bodies with promotion, outreach and education.

The main objective of the Alliance is not to define new technologies and standards, but to document the use of IP-based technologies defined by the standards-building organisations such as IETF with focus on support by the Alliance of various use cases.

Furthermore, the IPSO aims to promote the use of the Internet Protocol by developing and publishing white papers and case studies and providing updates
on open standards-building progress from associations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, with a particular focus on Internet-of-Things applications and what IPSO refers to as “Smart Objects”, which promote Web-scale interoperability between IP-connected devices and IoT applications.

The Alliance has recently broadened its standards vision to include education on the best practice for the use of IP and other open protocols to create end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things, promoting the use of open standards, not just through awareness that these open standards exist but also through education of developers on how to actually use them most effectively in IoT products.

With an aim to understand the industries and markets where M2M and IoT devices can have an effective role in growth when connected using the Internet Protocol, and to organise interoperability tests that will allow members and interested parties to show that products and services using IP-based connectivity for “smart objects” can work together and meet industry standards for communication, the alliance is a beneficial group to further the use of IP in various products.

IPSO aims to build stronger relationships around IP and other open standards within the industry and to create a better understanding of IP and its role in connecting Smart Objects, fostering awareness that the Internet Protocol is an existing, proven networking solution based on open standards that is already deployed and demonstrated to be eminently scalable.

The availability of Internet Protocol, including IPv6 and 6LoWPAN, on constrained embedded systems and low-cost microcontrollers with very limited memory and other resources has made possible a new kind of device and a new kind of Internet, with ubiquitous interoperability between “smart objects” and connected Internet-of-Things devices.


The Internet Engineering Task Force specifies a set of standard protocols for Constrained Resource Environment (CoRE) IP-enabled networks, including the Constrained Resource Application Protocol or CoAP, applicable to low-power and low-bandwidth embedded devices.

CoAP is an application protocol for machines and connected devices, as HTTP is for the World Wide Web, but designed specifically for machine interaction and operation over networks of resource-constrained devices. IPSO’s Smart Object Guidelines provide a common design pattern, an object model that can effectively use CoAP to provide high-level interoperability between “smart objects” and connected software applications on other devices and services.

For more information on the IPSO alliance, you can visit their website from the following URL – And if you’re looking for a partner to help bring your new or existing products to the Internet-of-Things, we have the experience, expertise and team to get the job done. Getting started is easy – join us for an obligation-free and confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisIPSO – the Internet Protocol for Smart Objects Alliance

The Internet-of-things market is growing exponentially – and to some observers it may seem to be an unchecked industry with regards to standards and compatibility. However it isn’t too late to define workable standards – and just that is being done with the International Telecommunications Union’s Internet-of-Things Global Standards Initiative.

In case you’re not familiar with it, the International Telecommunications Union is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies.

This group coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards – ITU’s standards-making efforts are its best known and oldest activity.

The ITU’s Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT GSI) is an initiative of the ITU’s standardisation group that promotes a unified approach for the development of technical standards and recommendations to enable the best possible standardisation and interoperability of the Internet of Things on a global scale.

This international initiative of standardisation has the potential to benefit everybody, from the developers and vendors of Internet-of-Things products and solutions through to consumers. Recommendations developed by the IoT GSI are developed in collaboration with other standards developing organisations – allowing developers, vendors and providers working in the emerging Internet-of-Things industry worldwide to offer a wide range of Internet-of-Things technologies in a standardised and interoperable way. The IoT-GSI also aims to act as an umbrella for further development of IoT standards worldwide.

The purpose of IoT-GSI is to provide a visible single location for information on and development of IoT standards, these being the detailed standards necessary for IoT deployment and to give service providers the means to offer the wide range of services expected from the IoT with a high degree of global standardisation.

By building on the work of other ITU standardisation group efforts in other areas such as network aspects of identification, ubiquitous sensor networks and machine-to-machine communications – the ITU can hopefully bring together different IoT-related standardisation groups both within the ITU and in the wider industry to develop detailed standards for IoT deployment.

From the global perspective of technical standardisation, the IoT can be viewed as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting physical and virtual things based on new, and existing, interoperable information and communication technologies. ITU sees enormous potential in the Internet of Things, and hence enormous value and importance in these standardisation efforts, harmonising different approaches to the architecture of the IoT worldwide.

The ITU sees the IoT GSI as important because the deep changes to the fundamental approaches being taken to the provision of situation-aware telecommunication services from network-connected things, and the associated breadth of topics that need to be addressed, are well beyond what could be covered within any particular study group following routine standards development processes.
Furthermore the GSI also provides essential external visibility for the ITU standardisation group’s work, and is a clear and obvious place to go for information on the sector’s work in this particular area. Indeed, it serves as a banner under which to unify all the IoT-relevant activities being carried out within the ITU standardisation group.


Once finished, the IoT GSI aims to have developed a consistent definition of what the Internet of Things actually is, to provide a common working platform bringing together different standards-making, industry and academic representatives, and to develop consistent standards for IoT deployments – taking into account the work already done in other standards development organisations, and recognising that global coordination is the key to widespread success of the IoT.

To meet these objectives, the ITU Joint Coordination Activity on the Internet of Things (JCA IoT) was formed in 2006, bringing together representatives from numerous standards developing organisations, including industry forums and consortia, working in IoT-related areas.

The Joint Coordination Activity provides a platform to exchange IoT information and discuss coordination matters, avoiding overlap and duplicated effort. One of the activities of the JCA is to maintain the ITU’s IoT Standards Roadmap that includes standards from the worldwide ecosystem of standards development organisations that are either approved already or presently under development.

ITU’s IoT-GSI acts as an umbrella for the various standardisation efforts worldwide. Founded on the principle of international cooperation between governments and the private sector, ITU represents a unique global forum through which governments and industry can work towards consensus on a wide range of issues affecting the future direction of this increasingly important industry.

The technology community has highlighted a need to focus standards work in one place, distributing expert resources efficiently and avoiding the emergence of competitive approaches and the GSI responds to this, promoting a unified approach for the development of technical standards and recommendations in order to best enable the IoT efficiently and consistently on a global scale.

Recommendations developed under the IoT-GSI by the various ITU standardisation groups in collaboration with other standards developing organisations will enable technology and service providers worldwide to offer the wide range of services and products that are expected to emerge from the Internet-of-Things industry in the most interoperable and consistent way.

Although doing so may be tempting from an economical perspective, ignoring standards in your IoT-enabled product design could cost you more in the long term, by losing interoperability with other systems – or even scaring off potential customers. Therefore it’s important to be aware of the options in the market and how they can benefit your situation.

Here at the LX Group we have experience in developing IoT systems using various platforms, and can help with any or all stages of product design – to bring your ideas to life.

To get started, join us for an obligation-free and confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisThe IoT Global Standards Initiative

After the initial excitement of generating an idea for a new Internet of Things device, there’s still countless design considerations to take into account – some of which you may not have even heard of. And a fair amount of these will be generated by the needs of specific markets around the world. So let’s consider some of the challenges involved in designing an Internet-of-Things device or appliance and bringing it to the global market.

What are some of the different factors that need to be taken into account when bringing a hardware device to market internationally? The need for multi-voltage off-line power supplies and multi-lingual product manuals are well-known things we’re used to with all our technology products – but with modern Internet-of-Things gadgets employing Internet connectivity, cloud computing and wireless radio-frequency mesh networks, there are some increasingly important factors to consider which may not be as familiar to the design team.

For mains-powered systems, international differences in mains voltage and frequency are an obvious factor to start with to ensure compatibility with the worldwide market. Modern switch-mode power supplies can easily be designed to span the possible worldwide voltage range between 100 V AC and 240 V AC without manual switching or configuration, at grid frequencies between 50 and 60 Hz. However, it should be remembered that the mains voltage is only assured within a tolerance of around plus or minus 10 percent, so an example of a good input voltage specification for a well-designed modern SMPS might be 85-265 V RMS AC at a grid frequency of 50-60 Hz. Extra attention is needed in systems where a clock or timebase is derived from the frequency of the AC grid – in systems of this sort, manual specification of the frequency may be required even if the power supply itself does not care about the AC frequency.

lx1When designing and deploying wireless sensor networks, Internet-of-Things networks and similar modern technologies where radio communication is used, attention also needs to be paid to differing international allocations of RF spectrum and licensing requirements for the use of the RF spectrum. Spectrum allocations and licensing requirements for Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands differ between countries – for example, the 915 MHz band should not be used in countries outside ITU Region 2 except those countries that specifically allow it, such as Australia and Israel.

A device that operates with a certain frequency spectrum and power level that requires no license, or falls into a class license, in one country may not be able to be legally operated in another country without specific operator licensing. For example, some devices operating in the 70 cm (433 MHz) spectrum that fall within the Low Interference Potential Device (LIPD) class license in Australia and hence can be freely operated cannot be used in the United States except by licensed amateur radio operators. The European Union’s Reduction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) directive took effect in 2006, restricting the use of certain substances considered harmful to health and the environment, such as lead and cadmium, except in technological applications where elimination of these elements is not viable.

While RoHS compliance is not required for all electronic equipment sold throughout the world and is only strictly required for devices sold into the EU market, it is achieving widespread acceptance throughout the electronic manufacturing industry worldwide. However, in some specialised applications where extremely high reliability and resilience against factors such as tin-whisker formation is required, such as space and defence technology, these factors may take precedence over ROHS compliance and the use of lead-containing solder alloys and platings may be specified.

lx2Different testing organisations are responsible for setting and enforcing the standards for electrical safety and RF spectrum usage in different countries, and it can be challenging to keep track of the different testing requirements needed before bringing your product to market in every market country.

For example, Underwriters Laboratories is well known in the United States for their role in drafting safety standards and providing compliance testing procedures for safety-related factors, whilst approval from the FCC is required to recognise compliance with RF spectrum and electromagnetic interference requirements – a completely separate thing to safety certification. And for another example, the TUV provides a similar role in the verification of safety-related standard compliance in the German market.

Other social and socio-economic factors that might not be as obvious can affect the user experience your product provides in different customer markets – for example, a device that constantly needs to “phone home” to an Internet-connected service may not function effectively in a country without widely available, or reliable, Internet access. In a situation like this, it may be beneficial to have a system designed to store and buffer its collected data locally on a storage device and only synchronise with an Internet service occasionally when connectivity may be available.

In conclusion, there’s a myriad of not only standards but also operational considerations to take in account when designing your next product for the global market. However don’t let that put you off – the greater the challenge, the greater the possible success. But if you’re not sure about testing, standards, compliance, markets abroad or any other factor – parter with an organisation that does: the LX Group.

Here at the LX Group we have the experience and team to make things happen. With our experience with connected devices, embedded and wireless hardware/software design, and ability to transfer ideas from the whiteboard to the white box – we can partner with you for your success.

We can create or tailor just about anything from a wireless temperature sensor to a complete Internet-enabled system for you – within your required time-frame and your budget. For more information or a confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisDesigning Internet of Things Devices for the World

As the Internet-of-things industry and products is justifiably booming – like any emerging market or technology area there are several challenges and pitfalls to work through and hopefully avoid. As with the boom in personal computer types in the early 1980s, through to various standards in video and audio media towards the end of the last decade – making the right choices now can be a challenge.

When choosing IoT platforms – do you face problems with privacy, security, or expensive over-engineering of technology for technology’s sake? Are you considering replacing existing systems that aren’t really broken in a way that offers no real return in terms of user experience or economic value – just to be on the “latest craze”? With the standards of the IoT not being entirely prevalent or fixed, issues such as reliability, privacy, security, ownership and control of private data still pose questions that are barely beginning to be worked out.


The Internet of Things is not just something that is hidden away – out of sight somewhere inside an embedded control system. The growth in this field is also represented in a growth in the use of smart devices and technologies that are directly facing the domestic or industrial consumer.

One of these challenges is security of end-user data. As various devices enter the domestic arena, increasingly-enlightened consumers will have be concerned and have various questions about their privacy and security. And as these Internet of Things devices start to generate detailed real-time data about how much electrical power you’re using, which lights and appliances you have turned on at particular times, or even personal medical data logged directly from biomedical sensors – customers and end-users expect to know where that data is being collected and used, by whom, and why. To achieve confidence and acceptance amongst consumers, companies collecting data through Internet-of-Things systems must do so only with the consumer’s consent and only in a secure and controlled fashion.

The next challenge to meet is demonstrable financial benefit. Consumers expect that if they’re paying for new technology that they serve them – and not just the utility or manufactured. For example, if residential electricity consumers are paying for new smart metering infrastructure – then consumers expect to see how the new technology actually benefits them, not just providing a financial benefit to the energy provider who can save money by removing the number of meter readers.

Do the new technologies actually show a clear financial benefit, to corporate, industrial and household users? It has been said, for example, that one Australian electricity distribution company is “building its own Internet” to collect electricity billing data from residential smart meters. It seems ostensibly absurd to “build your own Internet” instead of building solutions that operate – with appropriate security and reliability – on top of the established Internet.

Although everyone may seem to have an education with regards to IoT devices, another challenge is educating potential and existing customers to the benefit of the devices. For example, as Internet-of-Things devices must be relatively inexpensive if they are to become truly ubiquitous in the home and not only adopted by early adopters who see past the initial price tag. For example, if an IoT-enabled light fixture costs $100 against a few dollars for a conventional bulb, it is not clear how widely adopted such a product will be. Although it’s worth noting that the total cost of ownership should be considered by the consumer – including the necessary cloud or software services, and not just the cost of the hardware node.


Another larger challenge, and one that needs to be overcome (or prepared for) before any final sales and installation is the hardware or software standards being used in the device. For example can the device work with IPv6 addressing? With the upcoming exhaustion of IPv4 addresses the address space represents a significant limit for the Internet of Things, for example there is no way that every refrigerator can have an IPv4 address exposed out to the Internet. However, with the introduction of IPv6 the problem is solved. Thus hardware needs this support.

Although the Internet-of-things will eventually prevail – the example challenges listed above and many more still exist. Improvements for the end-user and operator still introduce design problems and perhaps a little “fortune-telling” just as any new wave of technology or standards.

But how do you ensure your hardware will meet upcoming or new standards? Will your Internet-of-things ideas translate into profitable, desired systems by all stakeholders – not just your design team. Or can your existing systems be enhanced to benefit from the Internet-of-things without a total redesign? All these and many more questions can be answered by a design house with the expertise and experience such as here at the LX Group.

At the LX Group we have a wealth of experience and expertise in the IoT field, and can work with the new and existing standards both in hardware and software to solve your problems. Our goal is to find and implement the best system for our customers, and this is where the LX Group can partner with you for your success.

We can create or tailor just about anything from a wireless temperature sensor to a complete Internet-enabled system for you – within your required time-frame and your budget. For more information or a confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisDesign challenges for the Internet of Things

As people use an increased number of technological items in every field imaginable, there is the chance that these items can interfere with each other and cause undesirable effects. An early example of this is the use of cordless telephones manufactured in the early 1980s – although they worked reasonably well, if your neighbour had one there was a good chance that they would interfere with each other. Or a parents’ baby monitor might have been affected by trunk radio systems in some areas, resulting in some “interesting” noises from the bedroom.

To combat these and many other possibilities, a wide variety of standards and compliance requirements have been created to enable devices to co-exist – and to prove your products are designed appropriately. Ultimately these requirements do need to be met in order to sell your products, making compliance non-negotiable.

So what needs to be done? Let’s examine some of the more important compliance standards, which include:

Electromagnetic compatibility testing – this ensures your product doesn’t generate electromagnetic disturbances that can affect other items. In Australia we use the “C-Tick” standard outlined by the ACMA. This cover items such as industrial, scientific and medical equipment; audio-visual and IT equipment; as well as household appliances and motor-operated equipment and tools. For the European Union market, the standard is CE (Compliance Engineering) and covers over fifteen separate possible standards for various devices. In the United States their FCC also has similar testing and standards requirements. Anecdotally speaking, the larger the prospective market – the greater the amount of testing.

UL Certification – The Underwriters Laboratory is a private organisation based in the United States whose goal is to develop standards and tests to avoid hazards especially in electrical devices. They have over 15 standards just for electrical and electronic products such as battery standards, EMF from electric motors and so on. Having your products meet the relevant UL (and FCC) standards would be required for use in North America and be looked upon favourably in other markets.

RoHS directive compliance – The “Restriction of Hazardous Substance” directive is a relatively recent yet important standard to meet. After taking effect in 2006, it is enforced in all member states of the EU, and also a positive compliance to aim for as RoHS is recognised in other markets. To be RoHS compliant, your products must contain less than a certain amount of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls or polybrominated diphenyl ether. Great care needs to be taken by designers and purchasing staff to ensure all ingredients, components and assemblies used in the final product meet this standard, and the same issues as avoiding counterfeit electronic components can apply when sourcing RoHS-compliant parts.

WEEE compliance – This can be considered a partner to RoHS – as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment compliance requires manufacturers or importers to not only specify the material content of their products, but also pay for all costs related to the collection, transportation and recycling of their products. Compliance can be costly and there is no doubt will be included in the product price for EU customers, however the environmental rewards can be claimed as a product benefit.

Industry-specific standards – Each industry also has its’ own specific standards to allow for peculiarities or special circumstances. One example is the mining industry and electronic/electrical equipment used in underground coal mines. Standards Australia has a range that take explosive atmospheres into account – so lighting, power outlets, communication equipment, portable motor-operated devices and more need to be designed in a way so they don’t spark or create heat hazards.

Military Standards – as expected, Defence customers pose their own set of challenges and this also includes military standards. These are generally much higher than those required for consumer or industry use, and especially in the electronics field can require sourcing components that also meet the standards. Existing products will usually require redesigning for military use, including test and measurement or communication products.

Product compliance and meeting standards may seem like a nightmare, however with the appropriate research of your customers’ needs and taking these into account before and through the design process, you can produce the right products for your clients. If you are unsure of what to do or where to start, here at the LX Group we can work with you to achieve your compliance goals efficiently, including:

  • EMC emissions and immunity testing (including C- Tick, FCC and CE)
  • Electrical safety (mains certification)
  • UL certification
  • RoHS and WEEE compliance
  • Industry-specific standards (including medical and mining)
  • Ingress Protection (IP) rating
  • Packaging and labelling requirements

For more information or a confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisLX Group discusses Compliance and Standards