The electronic manufacturing industry requires standardization to streamline the PCB design, plus the manufacturing, and assembly process. Implementing IPC standards across the manufacturing lifecycle helps ensure process efficiency, leading to the release of high-quality products. As a result, the products deliver better performance, have a longer life, and are in compliance with lead-free regulations. IPC is a global association for the electronic manufacturing industry. It has more than 300+ active multilingual industry standards covering almost every electronics product development cycle stage.
One of the most widely adopted IPC standards is IPC A-620. The IPC/WHMA-A-620 is a quality standard that identifies the "Requirements and Acceptance for Cable/Wire Harness Assemblies." This standard describes the industry-recognized method of setting expectations about acceptable criteria that define workmanship and quality to manufacture cable and wire harness assemblies. Cable and wire harnesses are found in various electronic products, including aerospace products, automobiles, medical equipment, and telecommunications. IPC 620 standard applies to crimped, mechanical, secured, or soldered interconnections.
IPC-a-620 is a crucial material, process, and inspections standard. Undergoing IPC A-620 training will help the stakeholders adhere to the specifications and develop high-quality customized harnesses or assembly for the project. IPC-A-620 standard was initially released in 2002, but now it has become the industry standard for quality. It identifies the expectations between WHMA (Wire Harness Manufacturers Association) members and respective customers about the necessary guidelines and standardization for cable and wire harness assemblies.
IPC A-620 Identifies Three Classes of Products
As described by WHMA, the three product classes identified under IPC A-620 are:
Class 1: General Electronics Products
Class 2: Dedicated Service Electronics Products
Class 3: High-Reliability Electronics Products
Each of these classes includes the criteria for Target, Acceptable, Process Indicator, and Defect conditions.
What are the current revisions of the IPC 620 standard?
The newly released D revision of IPC/WHMA-A-620, Requirements, and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies, put forth the most current criteria. Revision D also has more than 700 full-color pictures and illustrations. It addresses more than 375 documented comments. It has removed the "target condition" from the entire standard. The revision D was published in January 2020, and it is 420 pages long. Within the 19 chapters, it defines criteria for
Safety wires and prep,
Soldering to terminals,
Requirements for individual wire seals, crimping of stamped and formed and machined contacts,
Insulation displacement connectors, ultrasonic welding,
Over-molding of flexible flat ribbon, and
wire-wrap termination, among others.
IPC/WHMA-A-620 Certification Program
The IPC 620 training and certification program has two tiers of instruction.
Certified IPC Trainers: In this, the trainers are part of a week-long program consisting of 29 instructional hours. Trainers can also opt for an additional eight-hour hands-on course. The trainer candidates are certified to provide Application Specialist training.
Certified IPC Specialist: It is modular training and is limited to various topics required for an individual's work requirements.
Validity of IPC A-620 Certification
The validity term for an IPC/WHMA-A-620 certification is two years. You need to recertify within six months before the certificate expires.
Thus, certifying to the IPC 620 standard is crucial to define workmanship and optimize quality in manufacturing cable and wire harnesses.