How do people / companies deal with compliance testing (CE, UL, FCC, etc.) what I would call "platform-oriented and modular" products?
The idea being that a family of products might exist, where a lot of the electronics and firmware are shared among them, but each variant has different modular sub-systems integrated, and corresponding differences in firmware. Let's assume the product is an intentional radiator, using an FCC registered Wi-Fi module to keep things concrete, and that the product is powered by a UL marked 5V AC/DC USB wall-wart.
What strategy do you use to certify for compliance all modular combinations of the product family of products. It feels like modularity is a good design goal, but if it implies hundreds of variations each having to be independently tested for compliance, it seems untenable financially for real products. Is there a nuance I'm missing that makes the economics of modular design work from a compliance standpoint?
In 2018 it's also not uncommon to have field upgradeable firmware. This gives rise to the question of what exactly is tested for compliance? Does updating firmware in the field invalidate compliance marks?
Do the institutions that govern product safety and electrical compliance have allowances for these types of concerns, or are they just becoming dated? I want there to be a method to say: I tested the product in these configurations, and they represent a superset of all possible configurations, and they all met the regulatory standards; therefore other hardware configurations and firmware updates in the same family are compliant, no more testing required. Is that possible? Do product test labs support that sort of thing?