NEBS Material and Component Testing
Ensuring Success for the North American Telecom Network
09 June 2020
Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) is a collection of specifications and criteria utilized by North American telecom service providers to evaluate and qualify telecom equipment. System and overall product compliance are often directly influenced by externally provided components and modules. As such, component and module manufacturers need to be able to demonstrate NEBS compliance to device manufacturers who will be integrating the products into systems being sold into the US telecom network.
Testing and verification of modules and components provides assurance to both the manufacturer and the integrator. It key to assure that components and modules will not impact a product undergoing a NEBS evaluation. Compliance will also assure that these components and modules will not have a negative impact on the existing NEBS compliance of a previously evaluated product.
The following primary specifications are of primary interest for modules and components.
- GR-1089-CORE - Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Electrical Safety: Addresses electrically related characteristics such as: electrostatic discharge, EMC emissions/immunity, lighting and surge, telecom safety, bonding, grounding and DC power ports.
- GR-63-CORE - Physical Protection: Addresses thermal and mechanical characteristics and includes: thermal and altitude exposure, shipping impact survivability, seismic and vibration, flame resistance, airborne contaminants and acoustic noise.
- GR-3108-CORE - Generic Requirements for Network Equipment in the Outside Plant (OSP): Addresses unique requirements of a product being deployed outdoors and aligns with the previous specifications with the exception of: thermal cold and hot start, temperature and humidity cycling, salt fog exposure and requirements for closure and housing, which is related to vandalism, dust intrusion, ballistic impact and solar load.
There are several components and modules suitable for evaluation. Each has unique concerns and considerations and, thus, evaluations to be made. The selection of applicable tests and criteria is for a given component or module depends upon the function and interfacing of the product. It is important to develop a test plan tailored to the function and deployment of the component or module being considered.
Small form-factor pluggables (SFPs) and quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFPs) have no conductive interfaces, so the primary concern for these components are EMC, bonding/grounding, thermal, fire resistance and mechanical stress. Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, or PCIe cards are deployed in telecom routers and servers. These components often have conductive metallic interfaces requiring testing and exposure. Modular power supplies, by their very nature, bring high-current surges into the test plan, along with safety, heat dissipation and fire-spread testing. Fans and fan trays are commonly supplied by third parties to telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Since they are critical to managing heat, testing is primarily based on the thermal fire control criteria within the NEBS specifications. Additional components and modules that may require evaluation include hard drives and memory.
Ensuring successful application and use of components and materials for products being sold into the North American network can be done with effect testing and verification. Learn more about NEBS materials and component testing and our expertise in the field in our complimentary on-demand webinar.
James Sudduth is a Senior Staff Engineer responsible for the technical oversight of Intertek network communication testing. He has worked in the industry for 32 years with participation in major standards publications and interfacing with North American service providers.
Keith Kuhn is a Sales Director within the Connected World team. Over his 24 years with Intertek, Keith has worked in both sales and operations with a focus on network communications equipment testing including NEBS and Regulatory EMC.