Manufacturers of PCBs (printed circuit boards) try their best to ensure consistency as per quality throughout the production phase of printed circuit boards. However, to achieve this consistency, they have to pay extra attention to each production phase of a circuit board, from the designing stage to the packaging phase. Moreover, to ensure they do not alter any stage via changing the elements or production process. They also have to follow specific standards that include the popular IPC standards. But what do IPC standards entail? Why are they crucial? And why should you follow them during the assembly process of your printed circuit board?
IPC in a Nutshell
Generally, IPC is a trade association that caters to the electronics interconnection industry. The IPC provides crucial industry standards manufacturers utilize while assembling printed circuit boards. Moreover, following these standards helps manufacturers:
- Protect their electronic equipment from faults after production
- Perform market research more efficiently
- Undertake public policy advocacy
- Train their employees more efficiently
The IPC association is a member-driven organization. Moreover, this association has over three thousand member companies that are spread out all over the globe. Members of this organization include major companies that play crucial roles in the electronics industry globally, that includes:
- Original equipment producers
- Assembly companies
- Board manufacturers
The IPC organization hit the industry back in 1957 when it was known as the institute of printed circuits. However, after this company expanded from dealing with bare board alone to assembling and packaging electronic products, it changed the IPC meaning to the new popular institute of Interconnecting and packaging electrical circuits.
The headquarters of IPC are in Illinois. However, this organization still has multiple offices in the USA and other countries, which include:
The IPC was accredited as an organization that can develop standards by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). But what exactly are IPC standards?
IPC standards are popular acceptability codes utilized in the electrical industry. The IPC association publishes various standards for almost every production phase of electronic products that, includes standards for the following stages:
- Designing et cetera
The IPC association currently has over three hundred active standards. Moreover, the IPC has over one thousand standards in its library resource. Multiple electronic and PCB designers from all over the world utilize these crucial standards to carry out critical tasks such as:
- Generating customized blueprints
- Referencing generic designs
Formation of the committee
A committee made up of volunteers come from various sectors of the electronic industry come together, draft, edit then vote to pass different IPC standards. Moreover, over three thousand industry experts worldwide are involved in this standard passing process. However, to make this committee sitting possible, the IPC association utilizes resources such as emails, teleconferencing, and in-person meetings altogether. Doing so ensures that all committee members attend and participate in the event.
The IPC association also offers validation service programs which include an analysis of various gaps in the running standards. Doing so helps manufacturers address multiple production issues, and it also helps them determine the things they have to alter or add to comply with the standards.
Moreover, the IPC maintains a list of qualified products and manufacturers, which helps you determine whether or not a manufacturer complies with the IPC standards.
The IPC association has over 110 IPC training centers that are licensed and fully operational spread out across the globe. Additionally, this association also provides training resources and multimedia and online education. It also hosts learning events and management and technical conferences, which include:
- The IPC APEX EXPO is the largest exhibition that caters to the electrical manufacturing industry. The association holds this association in south china and North America.
Moreover, this association carries out market research to help generate more helpful standards and works in environmental policy and government relations. IPC effectively advocates for the electrical sector with multiple regulators spread out across the globe.
IPC Printed Circuit Boards
Since the IPC association generates standards for the electronics and electrical industry, it plays a critical role in creating standards for printed circuit boards in the circuit board sector. Actually, this association has developed multiple standards for every manufacturing phase of a printed circuit board, from the designing phase to the packaging stage and more.
For instance, during the designing phase of printed circuit boards, IPC plays a crucial role in setting standards utilized when selecting the correct file format for the design blueprint. Moreover, the IPC also sets standards that PCB designers utilize when:
- Choosing the printed circuit board designing software to use
- Developing the design itself
- Documenting the electronic product
Moreover, these standards also significantly impact the materials, surface finishes, and surface mount gadgets manufacturers utilize to generate their circuit boards. Furthermore, manufacturers also follow this standard during the quality testing phase and production acceptance test phases.
IPC printed circuit board standards also set standards for electronic work and soldering in printed circuit boards. However, these soldering requirements often relate to solder splice, wave, and reflow soldering.
Various manufacturing firms also rely on these standards to see whether or not their electronic and electrical assembly processes are acceptable. Moreover, these standards also cater to wire harnesses and cover cable assemblies. Finally, IPC sets standards used by manufacturers during the testing and inspection phase of printed circuit boards before they are released to the public to ensure they are safe.
Why should you follow IPC Standards?
Generating high-performing, reliable, and safe printed circuit boards require you to pay impeccable attention to small details during the production process of printed circuit boards. Moreover, it would help if you remained committed to generating high-quality printed circuit boards throughout the manufacturing process. Adhering to the IPC standards during your PCB manufacturing process can help you achieve this feat.
There are so many IPC standards that cater to every production phase of PCBs, from the design phase all the way to the packaging phase. Therefore all you have to do is comply with them and you will remain consistent in generating high-quality PCBs.
IPC standards for PCBs are crucial to all manufacturing firms that deal with the assembly of printed circuit boards. These standards help you generate high-quality printed circuit boards at reduced costs. Moreover, IPC standards increase competitiveness, boost credibility and streamline communications. Therefore, following these standards will help you earn more profits.