If you work in the field of manufacturing of cable, wiring, or harness assemblies, or you aspire to become a part of the industry, or you just want to enhance your knowledge in the field for professional reasons or career aspects, you need to know what is IPC 620 standard. If you’re a complete stranger to the topic, you’ll have a clear idea about the certification by the end of this article.
Let us start with the basics and try to answer the questions like why and when we need quality assurance for products such as cable, wiring, and harness assemblies.
The Reason behind Quality Assurance
Electronic technology is being implemented at a faster rate with time. With modernisation, things are developing at a faster pace and making their way into our daily lives as a necessity. Electronics such as engine control systems, driver aid systems, and media centres abound in automobiles. This means that these electronic systems are crucial for any automobile to work in the first place.
The wire harness is an important component of a vehicle’s electronics. It serves as a backbone, linking the digital components to one another as well as to other components like the engine and chassis. It also provides power to the other electronic equipment aboard.
If we talk about cables and wiring, the obvious reason would be to ensure the quality standards of the product. Every product needs to be checked concerning quality to provide good quality products for consumers. The second and a very important reason to ensure the quality element of cables and wiring is for safety concerns.
What is the Certification?
Now, let us understand what IPC 620 standard is and its importance. The standard specifies the materials, procedures, tests, and acceptability criteria for crimped, mechanically fastened, and soldered connectors, as well as the associated assembly activities (lacing/restraining criteria) for cable and harness assemblies. It is authorised to apply any method that generates an assembly that meets the acceptability standards outlined in this standard.
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 certification is a collaboration of IPC and WHMA. The Wire and Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA) and Institute of Printed Circuits (IPC) worked on the project to make this standard globally recognised, and it also resulted in IPC/WHMA-A-620 being adopted as the standard for cable wire quality assurance.
IPC and WHMA
In case you’re unaware of IPC and WHMA, here’s a quick introduction to both of the organisations.
The Institute of Printed Circuits (IPC) is a global trade organisation dedicated to assisting its members in achieving competitive excellence and professional success in the electronics industry while providing financial success as well. The organisation was founded in 1957, and over 3,000 companies across the world use IPC programmes and services to increase their competitive edge and financial performance.
The Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association is dedicated to providing its members with technical support, access to benchmarking, leading-edge technology, and the ability to network with the leaders in wire processing equipment, services and manufacturing. The Wiring Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA) was founded in September 1993 by nine (9) members of the Board of Directors.
Topics and Elements
To obtain the certification, one has to clear the examination first. Some students prefer self-study while others join training centres and institutes for better assistance. The objective of the examination is to test whether the candidate possesses the required knowledge and skills for the certification or not.
The elements/topics that are covered in the certification require a thorough knowledge and understanding of:
- Soldering criteria
- Wire interconnection requirements
- Soldered requirements for connecting to terminals
- Wire welding requirements
- Hardware installation
- Wire and terminal requirements
- Crimp requirements
- IDC terminal requirements
Benefits of the Certification
The certification is well-received globally and is respected as well. The benefit of the certification is the widened scope in the field. One is more likely to get better job opportunities with this certification. Better job opportunities not only mean a higher salary but also better working conditions, environment, and incentives.
With better job opportunities, the standard enhances and increases one’s knowledge about the topics relevant to the field. It increases the theoretical and practical knowledge of individuals.
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard measures the level of expertise in various products and technologies related to wire and cable assembly. In simple language, it can be said that certification is good for personal and professional growth. Personal growth due to the increased knowledge and professional because of better job opportunities.
We have already discussed how IPC (Institute of Printed Circuits) and WHMA (Wire Harness Manufacturers Association) collaborated on the IPC/WHMA-A-620. The IPC/WHMA-A-620 was first published in 2002 and has since become the industry standard for measuring quality. It is not a very complicated certification; however, the correct preparations are needed to be able to pass the examination. One needs to make sure to prepare from credible and reliable materials only.
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