What you need to know about the Radio Equipment Directive
The compliance process in electronics product development can appear complex, and rules or regulations are often misinterpreted. This was further complicated with the introduction of the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) in 2017 which added a raft of new regulations for manufacturers. But what exactly is RED, and how does it impact the products you need for your business?
What is the Radio Equipment Directive (RED)?
The European Union (EU) established the RED in 2017 to replace the former Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTED). It ensures that all radio equipment adheres to a strict framework in order to be sold in the EU.
The main aim behind the directive is to help improve market surveillance and also increase the number of products meeting regulatory compliance. The way that this is implemented is through a mandate of standard technical requirements for telecommunications apparatus. Approved equipment that is compliant is able to be sold without restriction between countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and latterly a post-Brexit UK.
What has changed?
The main change with the RED is that there is no provision for Telecom Terminal Equipment (TTE); this now comes under the EMC (EMCD) or Low Voltage Directives (LVD). There is also no lower limit to the radio frequency spectrum under the compliance remit and there are no voltage limits for radio equipment in terms of LVD safety obligation. However, there does need to be provision for universal chargers to address wastage issues.
What technologies does it affect?
As well as a large geographical area, the RED includes a large number of different technologies that utilise radio communications or tech such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 4G. The scope includes all radio receivers including broadcast TV and radio equipment. It also includes any equipment capable of being connected to a public telecommunications network, even if that is not the intended purpose for the equipment. The RED does not include amateur radio kits, marine equipment, airborne components and products, or any equipment utilised for military, police, and state security.
What does this mean?
A wider scope in terms of both the geographical area and number of technologies that fall under RED ensures a single market for radio equipment. The Radio Equipment Directive sets essential standards to address a wide range of concerns such health and safety, electromagnetic compatibility, and the efficient use of the radio spectrum, allowing businesses to buy from EU suppliers with confidence.
For businesses such as manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators, there is a concern that in a post-Brexit world the UK market will be flooded with offers of non-compliant technologies. These would be technologies that are not compatible with business’ legacy systems and potentially pose a threat to their partnerships with businesses in the EU. For this reason, it is vital to be able to use equipment that adheres to the RED industry standards.
Providing RED Compliance Equipment with Advantech
Our partner Advantech ships from the EU and we are pleased to say that some products are fully RED compliant. This materialises around two of their key products, the UNO-2271G – Intel® Atom™ Pocket-Size Smart Factory Edge Gateway with 2 x GbE, 1 x mPCIe, HDMI, eMMC and the ARK-1124H – Intel Atom™ E3940 QC SoC With Dual HDMI/ Dual LAN/ Four USB Modular Fanless Box PC.
Advantech gives you the ability to use a rugged embedded computer as part of your business and be assured that it is up to the same industry standards across the continent. If you are interested in talking to Distec about our RED compliant hardware, please get in contact here