IPC A-610 Training For Specialist
Posted: Nov 09, 2017
IPC A-610 Training
When bringing on associates new to the electronics assembly market there are a variety of training programs that will help to bring them "up to speed". Typical electronic manufacturing services companies provide some type of company orientation as part of their "on-boarding" process. This module and the safety of their will talk about company values, policies and history/culture. Another typical training module that new associates are exposed to is hazardous materials to ensure their safety and the safety of their fellow employees. Another manufacturing-oriented training program usually includes OSHA training which includes how waste is handled, how chemicals are handled and the proper operation of machinery in and around the plant. As part of this instruction EOS/ESD training including company-specific procedures are included. In addition to the EOS/ESD training, some type of component identification is also included for new manufacturing associates. In addition to all of the above IPC A-610 Training is usually included, especially if the company is taking on contracts of greater commercial importance where this training is critical to winning or maintaining contracts.
The IPC A-610 training program is a modular industry-accepted, ANSI certified training program based on the IPC-A-610 training. The IPC A-610 standard describes the acceptance criteria for finished printed circuit boards. It is developed by a technical committee consisting of users, consultants, training providers and OEMs who discuss updates and changes to the standard. These updates are driven by new devices, new processes, new materials and new practices in the PCB and wire harness assembly industry. The IPC-A-610 standard consists of acceptance criteria for Class I, Class 2 and Class 3 assemblies. These classes define the different grades of acceptance criteria based on the nameplate holder’s identification of the product for various end uses. Class 1 products are those in which the device has to meet minimum functional requirements in relatively benign environments. Think of toys that are very inexpensive. Class 2 products are those in which the products require continued performance and extended life, and for which uninterrupted service is desired but not critical. As an example, smart phones, telephones, and tablets are typically categorized as Class 2 assemblies. Class 3 assemblies include products where continued high performance or performance-on-demand is critical, equipment downtime cannot be tolerated, the end-user environment may be uncommonly harsh, and the equipment must function when required, such as life support or other critical systems. An example of a Class 3 electronics assembly is a weapons system for the military.
The IPC-A-610 training for specialist is targeted at a variety of individuals and job functions within the electronics assembly company. Typically personnel from sales, management, quality, operations, quality control and others receive the IPC-A-610 training spread out over from 1-3 days depending on which modules or topical areas are pertinent to the business at large. The modules or topical areas of understanding this specification are as follows:
- Module 1: Introduction to the IPC Professional Policies and Procedures
- Module 2: Forward, Applicable Documents and Handling of Electronic Assemblies
- Module 3: Hardware Installation
- Module 4: Soldering (Including High Voltage)
- Module 5: Terminal Connections (Prerequisite: Module 4)
- Module 6: Through-Hole Technology (Prerequisite: Modules 4 & 8)
- Module 7: Surface Mount Assemblies (Prerequisite: Modules 4 & 8)
- Module 8: Component Damage and Printed Circuit Boards and Assemblies
- Module 9: Solderless Wire Wrap
In order to be certified as a CIS as part of the IPC-A-610 training the applicant must as the introductory modules 1 and 2. After passing this the IPC A-610 Training program for Specialist inside of the company can consist of a combination of the other modules depending on company needs.
The IPC-A-610 training consists of a variety of lectures that parse the information found in the specification out to the CIS candidates. This information comes from the slide deck created by the IPC training committee for IPC-A-610 and is augmented by the instructor’s knowledge and experiences. The candidate for the IPC A-610 training then has to demonstrate proficiency by sitting for an exam in each of the modules with a 70% passing rate.
James Barnhart is the Senior IPC Instructor at BEST Inc. By trade, I am an electrical engineer and holds patents in various fields including industrial controls, surface science and PCB rework/repair.