What Does IPC Stand For?
Posted: Aug 18, 2018
The acronym ‘IPC’ stands for the Institute for Printed Circuits. Founded in 1957, IPC has since undergone numerous name changes to accommodate for advancements in technology and the electronics industry. For example, IPC changed its name to the Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits once utilities such as bare boards were diversified to include electronic assemblies and packaging. In 1999, a slogan was added to the IPC brand name"Association Connecting Electronics Industries". The organization is known today as "IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries", It has become the leading organization in PCB board regulations, specifications, and education. IPC continues to evolve their brand to accommodate for future advancements in PCB technology as well as the widespread growth of the industry.
Printed circuits (the ‘PC’ in IPC) are known today as PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) or alternatively PWBs (Printed Wiring Boards), which use conductive tracks made from interweaving and/ or overlapping layers of copper and substrate (non-conductive) to produce electrical pathways. In some cases, these layers are made of a flexible Kapton™ film and conductor sandwich. Electronic components such as SMD (Surface Mount Devices) are then soldered onto these boards and flex circuits. IPC has compiled an extensive catalog of courses and regulations for soldering such devices onto PCBs. They have gone beyond soldering practices as well and teach methods of PCB inspection (IPC-A-610 standards), proper packaging methods (J-STD-030 standards), and even stencil design methods. These courses are designed to familiarize soldering newcomers, trainees, and experts alike with the latest in PCB practices and PCB maintenance.
This not for profit trade industry organization works to provide a host of benefits for those who enroll in the courses, including a renewable two-year IPC certification for MIT's, CITs, and CIDs. IPC certification displays to employers an adeptness in the craft of soldering, cable harness production or PCB rework and repair skills from regulatory insights to mechanical skills. IPC trainees learn from IPC Training-certified methods in a ‘teach the teacher’ style. These seminars are hands-on and allow fluid communication between the trainer and trainee without the buffers of teacher’s assistants and online demonstrations. With centers and trainers all around the world, IPC ensures an equality of opportunity for anyone interested in working with PCBs. Soldering boxes, training kits, and IPC handbooks (such as the IPC J-STD-001) are provided by the center and require no payment in advance. Signing up on the IPC online portal is free as well. The portal is used for applying for recertification on specified IPC courses (note: CID/CID+s do not require recertification). For more information on IPC opportunities near you, visit the IPC website at ipc.org today.
The IPC also hosts a variety of trade fairs globally and regionally. These trade fair feature technical sessions, industry supported specification development and trade amongst its members. To the members, the IPC stands for these aspects of the industry as well as advocating on behalf of the industry’s interest on a worldwide basis.
From its humble beginning, the IPC stands for the entire electronics value chain from design to board production to assembly and testing. It is supported by industry in the entire global electronics value chain. IPC stands for the combined industry effort in the area of regulation, training, and specifications.
I am principal of BEST Inc. I have 18+ years experience in running small businesses. I am a practicing instructor in IPC certification and have a passion for teaching in a variety of life skills as well as in soldering and PCB repair.