IPC Standards for PCBs
Rush PCB has established technological advances that allow manufacturing of complex Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) inexpensively. Since almost all electronic devices have at least one PCB as an integral part, the quality of the device is directly proportional to the quality of the PCB it uses. Therefore, a failure in the PCB can fatally cripple the entire electronic system. This is the main reason Rush PCB conforms to international quality measures while designing PCBs and manufacturing them.
The Association Connecting Electronics Industries or IPC, a global trade association, has certain standards for manufacture of different electronic components, including PCBs. The association has set acceptability standards for PCBs for various industries such as:
- Medical Equipment and Devices
- Industrial Equipment
- Information Technology
- Military and Aerospace
Rush PCB is committed to serving their customers with the latest technology for PCB prototypes with minimum trace/space and time critical layouts, thereby guaranteeing manufacturability and scalability, while offering their customers the best in reliability and conformation to IPC standards.
Rush PCB offers varied electronic and prototyping printed circuit board services in sectors such as:
- Information Technology Support
- Network Management Systems
- Mobile Devices
- Wireless Networking
- IT Applications Development
- Telecommunication Infrastructure
Rush PCB has adopted IPC standards for almost all steps of PCB manufacturing, starting with design, following through with production, and finally, for assembly of electronic components.
A variety of classes exist within the IPC standards. Rush PCB follows the IPC-A-610 standard, as it covers elements most essential to assembly of printed circuit boards, such as:
- Laminate Conditions
- Chip Components
- Terminal Connections
- Heat Sinks
IPC-A-610 defines some basic principles as Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.
IPC-A-610 Class 1
Class 1 is applicable to General Electronic Products and is the lowest of the Classes. It is also the most lenient towards allowances for potential defects. The main requirement here is the function of the completed assembly.
IPC-A-610 Class 2
Most non-critical electronic assemblies request for Class 2, as OEMs of such products aim for long-term reliability. However, this class does allow for some imperfections as well. For instance, even if the alignment of some SMDs are not aesthetically perfect, it is acceptable, provided the PCB operates electrically and mechanically as intended.
IPC-A-610 Class 3
This standard is for the most critical PCB assemblies. It means the CEM must build the electronic assembly in accordance with all the IPC criteria. As this includes laminate selection, material qualifications, plating thickness, manufacturing process, and inspection.
Achieving the Class 3 standard involves additional expenses driving the cost of the PCB higher. Ensuring the desired placement accuracy may mean slowing down the pick-n-place machines. More time may be necessary for extra inspection and cleaning, and there may be higher degree of scrap.
The agile and flexible team of Rush PCB is readily available to implement the requirements of the customer. Moreover, we can augment the customer’s team with our experienced PCB designers, fabricators, assemblers, and developers and provide PCB prototypes according to customer requirements.
Advantages of IPC Standards
As IPC standards are acceptable worldwide, OEMs prefer PCBs manufactured by Rush PCB. In addition, Rush PCB follows IPC defined conditions that help to refine the manufacturing process. These are:
Target Conditions—Rush PCB ideally aims for these conditions.
Acceptable Conditions—For maintaining reliability, Rush PCB may make a trade-off between design and performance.
Defect Conditions—Conditions defining rejection for repair, rework, or scrap.
Process Indicator Conditions—These generally do not affect form or function of the product. They essentially are related to factors such as machine, design, and/or material.
Rush PCB essentially conforms to IPC standards to clearly understand the customer requirements and deliver according to expectations. Customers can select the IPC standard, and Rush PCB is committed to deliver the product according to the requirements.