Germany based TUV Rheinland operates one of the world's best test/product certification facility for compliance certification of electronics products in Bangalore, India. In India, there is new rule going to be effective from Mar 2013, where 15 IT products need to be registered with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) so that they are compliant with new standards. This means lot of tests need to be done on these equipments. TUV Rheinland offers facilities in Bangalore for such testing.
Kalyan Varma, Country Head, Products, TUV Rheinland India shared some of his thoughts on emerging opportunities and how his company TUV Rheinland playing the role of test infrastructure provider for the forecasted $400 Billion electronics hardware market by year 2020. Here is what he conveys in a one-to-one interaction with this writer:
Why a test facility for India:
Kalyan: India is emerging as hub of embedded solutions or design solution, the moment you touch hardware design for Indian market especially in global point of view, you need to do some mandatory regulations certification to be done-- that could be wireless -- that could be EMC-- that could be safety testing.
Kalyan claims his company offers lot more extensive tests which are not available in STQC facilities operated by Government. He gives an example of Bluetooth integrated product such as tablet computer, which can not be certified at STQC labs for some tests.
Earlier for some of the tests in RF emission and reception, Indian electronics OEMS were shipping their product to Taiwan and such some faraway locations, but now TUV Rheinland offers one of the world's best test setup for RF emission/reception compliance in its Bangalore facility. This facility is also used by many off-shore companies.
Some of the key tests on electronics products done at Bangalore facility:
TUV Rheinland tests SAR (specific absorption rate) for wireless device, Kalyan says his lab is the only facility in India offering SAR testing. Another important tests include FCC, CE certification, electrical safety test and electromagnetic compatibility tests. TUV Rheinland offers all such important tests at one place.
Plan for compliance testing at early stage of design:
Kalyan: Now many leading software companies such as Infosys ,TCS are entering into hardware domain. Because of the software industry background, they might not aware of what regulation to be followed , how much it cost? how much time it will take? We normally encourage them to come to us at concept level stage of design, take an estimation like what time it takes practically to do in India, and also learn what are the high level requirements to be followed. Then they would go back and they will do the development of the products at different stages, at every stage we recommend them to do some amount of pre evolution.
He says they won't suggest anything related to the real design of the product. Their suggestions are only limited to regulations.
Support for testing semiconductor chips:
Kalyan: We do that chip qualifications all here, companies like Atmel, Redpine, and Cypress Semiconductor were some the companies who got their chips tested here. But no India based chip company yet. But there are lot of Indian product companies getting tests done.
Test offering models:
TUV Rheinland rents its facility for testing-alone without any certification in case of conceptual design. For OEMS, it offers full project with both testing and certifications, where it informs the customer every stage of test. When a failure occurs they may suggest what is the cause of failure but never give any formal consultancy in fixing the error.
Support for small and tiny companies:
TUV Rheinland supports companies of all sizes. They have companies with two or three people working.
Current rate of product failure: Currently the rate of failure is 70 to 80 %. The fixes may be very simple to extremely complex. To fix some it may be a just to change one or two connections which can be done with in an hour, but for some it may take a year.
Kalyan says the Bangalore facility is overloaded with work, his staff working 2 shifts and sometimes in three shifts. They are expanding in the coming years.
On the Indian product quality, He quotes "If you go to Europe, if you have product made in China and you have product made in India, and buyer make a choice between these two where price is not a constraint, they would select Indian product"
Infrastructure in India: Kalyan says "If Indian electronics industry develops at 20 -25%, even we (Test facilities) become a bottleneck." What he meant is there is not enough test facilities now to support such kind of growth.