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Two New Broad-Use IPC Standards Updates Now in Effect

The two most widely used standards in the electronics industry, IPC-J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610, have been updated. How will this impact your work?

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® has released the G revisions of IPC-J-STD-001, Requirements of Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, and IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies. These documents refer to the two most widely used standards in the electronics industry, and are on a three-year renewal cycle. Updates help ensure that manufacturers keep pace with the continuously changing technology within the electronics industry and stay competitive in a global marketplace. Connector Supplier talked with Teresa Rowe, Senior Director, Assembly & Standards Technology at IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries, to find out more about these updated standards.

Connector Supplier: First, looking at IPC-J-STD-001, what are the major revisions we’ll see in this edition of the standard?

Teresa Rowe: This revision includes requirements for a lead-free control plan for Class 3 manufacturers, new staking criteria, numerous changes to surface mount criteria, and new figures throughout the document.

CS: What changes impact the IPC-A-610?

TR: Changes to IPC-A-610 include synergy with IPC/WHMA-A-620C, where criteria appear in both documents and can be the same for both electronic assemblies and cables. Also, there are new criteria for jack posts, numerous changes to surface-mount criteria, and new or updated figures throughout the document.

CS: What specific products or applications influenced these updates?

TR: Revisions to IPC documents are made based on industry input. For the J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 documents, this included more than 1,400 comments submitted to the two task groups with recommendations for technical and editorial changes. Comments for these two documents are gathered in one place and either dispositioned by the appropriate task group or by both task groups in a joint session. Surface-mount technology is of great interest to the industry, along with more clarity for requirements. Since the documents are used globally and are translated into many languages, it is important to ensure that they clearly and concisely convey the requirements.

CS: What industry requests does the IPC consider as they make changes to these standards?

TR: The standards are developed by industry volunteers using industry input. The task groups are comprised of industry subject matter experts, and they consider each request and associated data supporting the request before making changes to the standards.

CS: What are the major impacts the electronics industry will notice with this update?

TR: The electronics industry will see changes in process and acceptance criteria throughout the assembly process.

CS: Looking ahead to the next three years, what developments is the IPC watching as it prepares for future revisions?

TR: Both task groups deferred many comments from the Revision G efforts. These include new component types and technologies that will be researched and evaluated for future task group review and consideration. The task group working on J-STD-001 is also preparing an amendment to the document to address Section 8 on cleanliness. The requirements in this section are based on 25-year-old data, and the testing requirements are outdated for today’s technology. The task group debated how and when to introduce these significant changes to industry. Initially, they were going to wait until Revision H, but they recently determined that they should introduce the changes as an amendment. They will also discuss adding a compliance date in the amendment so that manufacturers who are required to use the latest revision of a document will have time to update processes to compliance. IPC has published WP-019, An Overview on Global Change in Ionic Cleanliness Requirements, to explain these new requirements, and there are educational opportunities scheduled in 2018 in preparation for the release of the amendment.

CS: When will these changes take effect?

TR: These changes are available now in the Revision G documents. IPC’s Technical Activities Executive Committee (TAEC) issued a position statement in 1998 that remains in place today. It states, in part, that “the use and implementation of IPC publications is voluntary and is part of a relationship entered into by customer and supplier,” and when an IPC publication is updated, “it is the opinion of the TAEC that the use of the new revision as part of an existing relationship is not automatic unless required by the contract.”

CS: Are there any aspects of the new standards that could prove challenging to manufacturers?

TR: Each manufacturer’s contractual requirements and processes are unique to their products. IPC encourages those who are updating their processes to closely review the changes to see how the changes will impact them. For those who want to see a line-by-line comparison of the current and previous revisions that could assist them in review of their internal processes, IPC published official redline documents for both J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610. IPC also encourages those with questions to contact the technical staff at answers@ipc.org.

CS: Is there anything else the electronics industry should understand about these standards revisions and the process by which they were created?

TR: These documents were developed using IPC’s ANSI-approved Standardization Procedures. This process includes a public industry review and a formal ballot. IPC acknowledges the strength of its standards comes from the dedication and expertise of its industry volunteers. If anyone is interested in participating in standards development, a request to be added to the task group can be made by contacting answers@ipc.org.

 

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Amy Goetzman

Managing Editor at ConnectorSupplier.com
Amy Goetzman made her first foray into the world of connectors and electronics two decades ago, when she helped Alice Tanghe edit The Inside Line, an early and influential publication for the connector industry. She’s worked for a diverse array of publications and companies, and has written about global logistics, architecture, building materials, science, technology, and the arts. She has contributed to Connector Supplier for the past 10 years, and is very pleased to formally join the Bishop family of publications as a managing editor. Amy has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in English from the University of St. Thomas. You can reach her at amy@connectorsupplier.com.
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