IPC Standards Committee Reports — High Speed/High Frequency, Rigid Printed Boards, Embedded Devices, Printed Electronics

These standards committee reports from IPC APEX EXPO 2015 have been compiled to help keep you up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the third in a series of reports.

High Speed/High Frequency

The D-22 High Speed/High Frequency Performance Subcommittee reviewed and approved requirements for copper wrap, employment of filleting/tear drops for lands, and microvia target land structures in the working draft of IPC-6018C, Qualification and Performance Specification for High Frequency (Microwave) Printed Boards. The group also reviewed the requirements for lap shear in section and agreed that this should be an optional test selected by both the user and supply and therefore approved its transfer to section 3.10, Special Requirements. A final draft for Industry Review is planned for summer 2015.

The D-23 High Speed/High Frequency Base Materials Subcommittee found an additional handful of corrections needed to improve the IPC-4103A with Amendment 1. These will go out for comment to the final draft of Amendment 2, such that the rev A of the standard will issue as IPC-4103A with Amendments 1 and 2 prior to the fall 2015 IPC meetings in Rosemont, Ill.

Rigid Printed Boards

The D-31b IPC-2221/2222 Task Group reviewed proposed edits to a new working draft of IPC-2226A, Sectional Design Standard for HDI Printed Boards, which is the first revision effort for this standard since its original 2003 publication. One of the key aspects of revision revolves around Table 5-1, Typical Feature Sizes for HDI Construction. In addition to the work completed at this meeting, a subgroup of D-31b will make additional edits to the table and provide it back to the main task group in May 2015.

The D-33a Rigid Printed Board Performance Task Group met to begin the resolution of negative ballots and comments to the IPC-6012D, Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards. The group focused on negative votes related to copper wrap plating for Class 3 product, microvia target land contact dimension requirements, evaluations of microsections in the “as-received” condition, thermal zones, and marking inks. The task group will continue to resolve comments associated with these negative ballots by way of web conferences in spring 2015. 

Embedded Devices

The D-52 Embedded Component Materials Subcommittee held its first meeting as a reactivated standards development committee to begin work on revising IPC-4821, Specification for Embedded Passive Device Capacitor Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards. The two co-Chairs, John Bauer and Joel Peiffer, went through the group’s charter and the work ahead of them to properly revise the standard. The leaders are generating the needed TAEC PIN to begin the effort.

The D-35 Printed Board Storage and Handling Subcommittee met to review industry feedback to the working draft of IPC-1601A, Printed Board Handling and Storage Guidelines. The group added guidance and illustrations relative to marking and labeling for moisture sensitivity for bare printed boards, including cautionary text that avoids users from making the incorrect assumption that bare boards would have to meet the requirements of the IPC/JEDEC J-STD-033 specification, which is intended to address moisture sensitivity for components only.

The D-54 Embedded Devices Test Methods Subcommittee was also reactivated just prior to the 2015 IPC APEX EXPO event and is currently chaired by Jan Obrzut and soon to be vice chaired by Jason Ferguson of NSWC-Crane, as soon as funding is allowed for his efforts. Again, this subcommittee will assist in the work on revising the IPC-4821 to its Revision A.

The D-55 Embedded Devices Process Implementation Subcommittee met to celebrate publication of IPC-7092, Design and Assembly Process Implementation for Embedded Components, which describes the design and assembly challenges for implementing passive and active components in either formed or placed methodology inside a printed board. The subcommittee invites feedback for content that can be used for a possible revision or amendment.

Printed Electronics

The D-60 Printed Electronics Committee agreed to take an active role in mapping and coordinating printed electronics standards development.

The D-61 Printed Electronics Design Subcommittee determined that the A revision of IPC-2291 project may switch to a design standard for printed electronics to go in line with the IPC-222X design series. The subcommittee is now being led by Alan Burk, Almax, who will review the design documents and develop a skeleton document for the design standard this summer. Based on this, IPC-2291A may be retitled (and redesignated) as a design standard.

The D-62 Printed Electronics Base Materials Substrates Subcommittee is expanding the specification sheet for IPC/JPCA-4921A to allow for additional materials that are being used for printed electronics. The subcommittee is collaborating with the D-65 subcommittee on test methods to be added to the specification sheets.

The D-64 Printed Electronics Final Assembly Subcommittee reviewed the final draft for industry review of IPC-6901, Performance Requirements for Printed Electronics Assemblies. The meeting attendees recommended changing the name and scope of the document to better explain the document as is. The title of the document is now Application Categories for Printed Electronics. This change was approved by the subcommittee, and the document is now moving to ballot for planned publication by fall 2015.

The subcommittee is also beginning work on a performance standard for printed electronics to fit in the IPC-6010 series.

The D-65 Printed Electronics Test Methods Development Subcommittee continues to gather information on known test methods for printed electronics and investigating other non-printed electronics test methods that can be applied to printed electronics.

The D-66 Printed Electronics Processes Subcommittee is reviewing a proposed process guidelines standard from JPCA as another IPC/JPCA joint document on printed electronics. The subcommittee is also investigating the possibility of developing a process implementation standard that could be part of the IPC-709X series.

EU Parliament Votes for Mandatory Conflict Minerals Requirements

The European Parliament unexpectedly voted today to require mandatory conflict minerals certification by companies in the European Union (EU).

The European Parliament voted 402 in favor versus 118 against with 171 abstentions on a proposal to require companies, including electronics firms, that buy gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten to certify imports do not provide financial support to conflict. The regulation applies to all conflict-affected high risk areas in the world, of which the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes area are the most obvious example.

The leftist and green euro-Members of Parliament at the last minute succeeded in passing amendments for an obligatory system by 378 to 300 with 11 abstentions, in a vote to challenge a more pro-business proposal from the European Commission that would have made conflict-free certification voluntary.

The legislation is expected to be blocked by EU governments who fear it would impose an unrealistic burden on business. Under the EU co-decision process, the legislation must also be approved by the EU Council, which is made up of representatives of the EU governments.

IPC has been actively involved in lobbying for voluntary conflict minerals requirements by highlighting our experience with Dodd-Frank implementation and the difficulty of implementing conflict minerals tracking through long and complex supply chains. On May 4-6, IPC Director of Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations Fern Abrams represented IPC at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Responsible Supply Chains Forum on conflict minerals where the EU proposed legislation was discussed. On May 8, IPC joined other leading European trade associations in issuing a joint statement encouraging the Members of the European Parliament to adopt the report, as voted on by the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA). The INTA report would have made mandatory the proposed voluntary system of certification for EU smelters and refiners and would exempt recycled metals.

IPC is assessing the vote and reaching out to other stakeholders on next steps to ensure that the EU Council continues to address industry concerns on conflict minerals.


Electronics Industry Leaders Present a Unified Voice on Capitol Hill

By John Hasselmann, IPC vice president of government relations

IPC understands that presenting a unified voice for the electronics industry is essential for advancing policies that affect the industry’s long-term future and strengthens the U.S. and global economy. That is why 22 IPC member-company executives descended on the nation’s capital for IMPACT 2015: IPC on Capitol Hill. During the two-day event, executives held several discussions with members of Congress and Administration officials on issues that are critical to the future of the electronics industry and the economy. These meetings provided industry insiders an opportunity to educate lawmakers on key issues from the association’s Global Policy Framework, including support for:

• Robust funding for the public-private partnerships authorized by the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2014;
• Increased long-term funding for basic research and development programs, including the “American Innovation Act” (S. 747, H.R. 1398);
• Comprehensive tax reform, including a permanent R&D tax credit (H.R. 880);
• Education & training programs in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math); and
• Bipartisan efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (S. 697).

IPC members met with key policymakers in both the Executive and Legislative branches, including:

Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Dr. Willie May, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) about the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and its status;
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, discussing bipartisan efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA);
Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA), key supporters for the manufacturing industry and leaders in championing the RAMI Act and the NNMI;
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Republican Co-Chair of the U.S. Senate Manufacturing Caucus, who recently cosponsored the Manufacturing Universities Act of 2015, which authorizes NIST to establish a program to designate up to 25 institutions of higher education as U.S. manufacturing universities; and
Rep. Edward Royce (R-CA), who received the “2015 Government Impact Award” for his exemplary leadership and commitment to building a stronger U.S. electronics industry.

The full agenda and list of meetings can be found here: http://events.ipc.org/events/impact-2015-ipc-on-capitol-hill/agenda-f2fcee7a753347a3b9878fd603dea1e1.aspx.

In addition to these meetings, IPC also arranged over 40 individual meetings between member company executives and their hometown congressional representatives. These meetings provided the opportunity for executives to establish personal relationships with their Member of Congress and share personal experiences from the industry.

IMPACT 2015 was a huge success for IPC and its members, bringing in the largest number of executives yet for the event. IMPACT 2015, along with IPC’s advocacy work around the world, demonstrates a commitment to strengthen the electronics industry’s voice in the halls of government. Representing our industry as a unified force is one of the most effective ways we can shape its future.

Thanks again to all who participated! We hope to see you again next April as we further establish these relationships at IMPACT 2016.


Rep. Royce receives 2015 Government Impact Award from IPC President & CEO John Mitchell


A group meeting with Senator Cory Gardner

A group meeting with Senator Cory Gardner

IPC Standards Committee Reports — Base Materials, Fabrication, Assembly and Joining, Flexible Circuits

These standards committee reports from IPC APEX EXPO 2015 have been compiled to help keep you up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the second in a series of reports.

Base Materials

The 3-11 Laminate/Prepreg Materials Subcommittee successfully examined both Amendments 1 and 2 to the IPC-4101D, Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards. Amendment 1 concentrates on handling sections of IPC-4101D that do not cover the use of inorganic fillers in legacy designs, as well as other changes in the D revision. Amendment 1 is moving through its final draft for comments and will shortly move to the ballot stage.

Amendment 2 addresses the needs for reduced contamination levels as desired by the European Space agency, and is in queue to be worked upon behind the efforts with Amendment 1.

The 3-11f UL/CSA Task Group discussed rigid and multilayer materials and printed boards. Specifically, the group addressed the addition of what will be designated as FR-15.0 and FR-15.1 ANSI grade laminates that will not have to be LTTA tested and will meet a 150 OC RTI. These laminates initially started out as more typical FR-4 grades that meet a 130 OC RTI, but were found to meet the 150 OC limit.

The 3-11g Corrosion of Metal Finishes Task Group discussed metal finish corrosion on component leads and printed board surface finishes. The Flowers of Sulfur (FoS) corrosion test method for surface mounted chip resistors will be used for testing some sample coupons once these are assembled with components. History of work on mixed flowing gas testing was reviewed with work occurring to define why the amount of chlorine has such a large variable impact on overall corrosion rate.

The 3-12a Metallic Foil Task Group addressed the non-contact surface roughness test (proposed TM 2.2.22). The task group saw the Gauge R&R evaluation results from the six test sites. While not perfect results, adequate Gauge R&R was realized (<20) to push the test method ahead.

The 3-12d Woven Glass Reinforcement Task Group completed a first round of testing for fabric weave closer to quantify what is currently termed spread glass. The first results need improvement and will be pursued with another round robin of testing on a single woven style. Additionally, another 3 weaves are proposed for addition to the IPC-4412B using the balloting procedure for amendments.

Fabrication Processes

The 4-14 Plating Processes Subcommittee reviewed revision A efforts underway on IPC-4552, Specification for Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold (ENIG) Plating for Printed Circuit Boards, primarily for those meeting attendees who have not participated in regular teleconferences. The group also reviewed work that has occurred on an amendment 1 to IPC-4556, Specification for Electroless Nickel/Electroless Palladium/Immersion Gold (ENEPIG) Plating for Printed Circuit Boards.

Assembly and Joining

The 5-11c Electronic Assembly Adhesives Task Group is resolving comments from the final draft for industry review distribution of IPC-HDBK-4691, Handbook on Adhesive Bonding of Electronic Assembly Operations. The group plans to distribute the handbook for final ballot in summer and publish by fall 2015.

The 1-13 Land Pattern Subcommittee and 5-21a IPC-7070 Task Group met jointly to consider component mounting issues being addressed in two IPC standards: IPC-7070, Component Mounting: Issues and Recommendations and IPC-7351, Generic Requirements for Surface Mount Design and Land Pattern Standard. IPC-7070 will address component placement issues, while IPC-7351 will address board design, land pattern and through-hole pad issues. Since the board actions in IPC-7351 combine the existing standard with a proposed through-hole standard (IPC-7251), the committee decided to circulate a survey to ensure that all previously involved committee members are informed of these potential actions.

The 5-21g Flip Chip Mounting Task Group continued its work on revision A to IPC-7094, Design and Assembly Process Implementation for Flip Chip and Die Size Components. The group is focusing its attention on expanding the document to include more recent technology for flip-chip application, current trends in terminal designs for higher density flip-chips and modifying substrate and interposer terms to reflect current trends.

The 5-21k IPC-SM-817 SMT Adhesive Task Group re-formed and opened IPC-SM-817, General Requirements for Dielectric Surface Mounting Adhesives, for revision A. This task group will be modify the standard accordingly in the coming months.

The 5-22a J-STD-001 Task Group reviewed more than 80 open action items and comments on IPC J-STD-001F, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies. This task group met a second day to resolve comments on criteria common to both IPC J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610, Acceptability for Electronic Assemblies. IPC staff is now preparing J-STD-001 revision F for ballot.

The 5-22arr J-STD-001/Conformal Coating Material & Application Industry Assessment Task Group discussed the current status of round robin testing and made a number of revisions to measurement protocols.

There were three J-STD-001 related committee meetings. The 5-22as Space Electronic Assemblies Task Group continued work on the addendum used for electronic assemblies that need to operate in micro-gravity, micro-atmosphere environments with extreme temperature excursions and very high mechanical shock and vibration during launch.

The 5-22f IPC-HDKB-001 Task Group had an initial meeting to develop a roadmap to update the handbook to incorporate Revision F changes. In addition, the 5-22bt J-STD-001 Technical Training Committee met to share ideas for improvements to the training program for Revision F. This committee also reviewed the new IPC Certification Quality Initiative, which provides uniquely scrambled exams and electronic training reporting.

The 5-22h Thermal Profiling Guide Task Group held its first meeting and focused on revision A of IPC-7530, Guidelines for Temperature Profiling for Mass Soldering (Reflow & Wave) Processes. The group discussed missing definitions and modification of what thermal profiles should be covered, including special applications of laser, inductive soldering, hot bar, and hot belt. The group also discussed development guidelines, calibration, process control, and process guidelines.

The 5-23a Printed Circuit Board Solderability Specifications Task Group completed work on IPC J-STD-003C, Solderability Tests for Printed Boards. This group is discussing a replacement for the solder float test which has been proven to be unreliable. An amendment with typographical corrections and some clarifications will be published in later this month.

The 5-24b Solder Paste Task Group began review of all test methods originating with the group.

The 5-24c Solder Alloy Task Group discussed how to properly incorporate two new alloy families into the Appendix tables A-1, A-4 and A-5 in the J-STD-006C by an Amendment Ballot process. The decision is to not use trade names or company names in the standard, but to use site IP information, patent number, when such was awarded, and the alloy composition.

Flexible Circuits

The D-11 Flexible Circuits Design Subcommittee met to advance the Working Draft to IPC-2223D, Sectional Design Standard for Flexible Printed Boards. The group reviewed a proposal for a new section that addresses a new cover material used as a bonding agent in rigid-flex designs, which would allow for the elimination of the window “cut-out” of covers in the rigid area. The group also reviewed a proposal to address electroless “flexible nickel” plating for ENIG applications in flexible printed boards, however the current proposal has not yet been accepted due to concerns expressed by the group over the level of reliability testing that has been performed to date on the material.

The D-12 Flexible Circuits Performance Subcommittee met to advance the Working Draft to IPC-6013D, Qualification and Performance Specification for Flexible Printed Boards. Edits were made to text and the supporting illustration Figure 3-15 for the definition of thermal zones in microsection evaluations. The group also reviewed a cross-sectional illustrated drafted by Michael Collier of Teradyne that addresses voiding or delamination in the transition zone between flexible material and rigid material. There is a lack of a corresponding microsection inspection/test for this type of anomaly, and so the group will reconvene via teleconference in early summer 2015 to draft a Destructive Physical Evaluation (DPA) section for IPC-6013D when there is a suspicion of this type of anomaly.

The D-13 Flexible Circuits Base Materials Subcommittee discussed new a modified requirement for propagation tear strength for a polyimide film that would be a slightly lower value for 50 to 100 micron thick material. This will be covered by an Amendment 2 to IPC-4202A.

The D-15 Flexible Circuits Test Methods Subcommittee worked on the TM (Insulation and Moisture Resistance, Flexible Base Dielectric) to what was believed to be a draft of the C revision of the TM. However, after the meeting at the 2015 IPC APEX EXPO, the group has discovered a major flaw in the method as developed and continues its work on revising this test method.

Conflict Minerals Legislation Moving Forward in the EU

Last week, I attended the ICGLR-OECD-UN Group of Experts Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains. The meeting, which was held two weeks in advance of the European Union (EU) Parliament Plenary vote on conflict minerals legislation, provided a glimpse into the future of conflict minerals legislative and market requirements for manufacturers.

High-level updates from the UN Group of Experts on the DRC & International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Secretariat made clear that while some progress has been made in reducing the link between tin, tantalum and tungsten with violence, gold smuggling continues to provide significant funding to armed violence. Additionally, those perpetrating violence have turned to the exploitation of other natural resources including palm oil and illegal wildlife trade.

Additional presentations at the OECD meeting on Columbia, the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and China clearly indicate that the OECD and the EU will continue to move forward with a global focus.

Despite the mixed record of conflict minerals action, the EU is plunging ahead with regulations. Ms. Signe Ratso, EC Directorate General of Trade, defended the Commission proposal for voluntary action. But, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) spoke of the need for mandatory controls for the entire supply chain. Judith Sargenti, a member of the European Parliament, spoke of her intention to offer amendments during the European Parliament (EP) plenary debate and vote on May 18 and 19, 2015.

On May 8, IPC joined other leading European trade associations in issuing a joint statement encouraging the Members of the European Parliament to adopt the report, as voted on by the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA) on April 14, without additional modification. The INTA report would make mandatory the proposed voluntary system of certification for EU smelters and refiners and would exempt recycled metals. By a close vote, the committee rejected amendments seeking to extend this mandatory scheme to those who purchase minerals for the production of goods such as mobile phones and other electronics. Although IPC is concerned about endorsing any mandatory measures, we feel that the legislation adopted by the committee report is a reasonable compromise.

IPC Standards Committee Reports — Printed Board Design, Cleaning & Coating, Testing, Process Control, Product Assurance

These standards committee reports from IPC APEX EXPO 2015 have been compiled to help keep you up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the first in a series of reports.

Printed Board Design

The 1-10b Current Carrying Capacity Task Group met to discuss a replacement methodology for the legacy IPC-TM-650 Method, Conductor Temperature Rise Due to Current Changes in Conductors. A Design of Experiments (DOE) was discussed that included where test coupons would be designed, fabricated and tested. A follow-on web conference will be required to determine what types of conductors will be provide on the coupon design, and whether or not flexible circuit materials and various via structures (blind, buried, staggered, etc.) will be employed.

The 1-10c Test Coupon and Artwork Generation Task Group met to establish design parameters for a new “K” test coupon that is a derivate of the AB/R design found in Appendix A of IPC-2221B, Generic Standard on Printed Board Design. This new design is intended to address drill to copper assessment. The task group will also be working on the completion of the AB/R/D Users Guide as a supplement to the IPC-2221B Appendix A in the spring of 2015.

The 1-14 DFX Standards Subcommittee met and continued work on IPC-2231, Design for Excellence (DFX) Guideline During the Product Lifecycle, scheduled for release in 2016. Comments received to date were reviewed by the committee and appropriated into the document as agreed.

Cleaning and Coating

The 5-31g Stencil Cleaning Task Group met to work on IPC-7526, Stencil and Misprinted Board Cleaning Handbook.

The 5-31j Cleaning Compatibility Task Group met to work on test methods and a material compatibility document to replace MIL-STD-202 Method 215. The task group is nearing completion of the draft documents.

The 5-32a Ionic Conductivity Task Group discussed the status of the method detection limit round robin testing and the plan to amend two test methods as a result. They also discussed the need for a test method for localized extraction.

The 5-32b SIR and Electrochemical Migration Task Group met to continue with their work on test methods to support surface mount insulation resistance testing.

The 5-32c Bare Board Cleanliness Assessment Task Group met to review a collection of five test methods within the IPC-TM-650 Test Methods Manual that the group will take ownership of. The objection, in concert with an overall effort to update the IPC-TM-650 Test Methods Manual, will be to review these methods and determine which ones are in need of either revision or reaffirmation as is.

The 5-32e Conductive Anodic Filament (CAF) Task Group discussed how to push the revision B of IPC-9691, User Guide for the IPC-TM-650, Method 2.6.25, Conductive Anodic Filament (CAF) Resistance Test (Electrochemical Migration Testing) to as rapid a completion as possible. The task group decided to meet monthly via web conference so the final draft for comments could be in circulation within the CAF group and other interested parties before the IPC meeting in Rosemont IL in late September of 2015.

The 5-33a Conformal Coating Task Group met to work on Revision C of IPC-CC-830, Qualification and Performance of Electrical Insulating Compounds for Printed Wiring Assemblies. The revision will include changes to Moisture and Insulation Resistance (MIR) and the dielectric withstanding voltage (DWV) test methods and test criteria. Two subgroups, 5-33AWG and 5-33AUT also met to work on the test patterns/coupon and ultra-thin coatings, respectively.


The 7-11 Test Methods Subcommittee to review a proposal by IPC to update the many test methods within the IPC-TM-650 Test Methods Manual that are either outdated and no longer applicable within the industry, outdated but still applicable and in need of revision, or lack an applicable IPC standard or guideline that references the method. IPC staff are prepared to launch this project in April 2015 and will work to secure task groups willing to “adopt” a test method and determine its need for archival, revision, or reaffirmation without change.

The 7-12 Microsection Subcommittee announced the acceptance of the Gage R&R Validation Report for the new IPC-TM-650, Method 2.1.1F, Microsectioning, Manual and Semi or Automatic Method, by the IPC 7-11 Test Methods Subcommittee. The revision is a combination of previous versions of IPC-TM-650 Methods 2.1.1 and Method will be cancelled following the release of Method 2.1.1F in the spring of 2015. The subcommittee agreed to then begin discussions on a new methodology that can be used for failure analysis in microsection evaluations.

Process Control

The 7-23 Assembly Process Effects Handbook Subcommittee addressed problems, probable cause, and actions taken in troubleshooting assembly processes and updated the original IPC process effects handbook, IPC-PE-740, Troubleshooting for Printed Board Manufacture and Assembly, with new information. The group reviewed each of the 15 sections of the draft document and solicited further information/pictures. In addition, subcommittee members requested the document be finalized and released for comment before the fall Standards Meetings in Rosemont, Ill.

The 7-24 Printed Board Process Effects Handbook Subcommittee continued work on the draft for IPC-9121, Troubleshooting for Printed Board Fabrication Processes. The subcommittee plans to have a working draft for subcommittee review in time for comment review at the IPC fall meeting.

Product Assurance

The 7-30 Product Assurance Committee reviewed the status of the projects in its scope and started planning for the IPC meetings to be held in September 2015.

The 7-31b IPC-A-610 Task Group met to resolve comments on criteria common to the recently-released F revisions of IPC-A-610, Acceptability for Electronic Assemblies, and IPC J-STD-001, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies. IPC is now preparing an amendment for final industry Review.

The 7-31bc Telecom Addendum Task Group met to open the document for revision. The Task Group plans to update the addendum using Revision F of IPC-A-610, Acceptability for Electronic Assemblies as the base document.

The 7-31k Wire Harness Design Task Group and 7-31h IPC-HDBK-620 Handbook Task Group met to complete the draft of a new document for the design of cable and wire harness assemblies. IPC is preparing the document IPC-D-620, Design and Critical Process Requirements for Cable and Wiring Harnesses, for Final Industry Review.

Prepare to Succeed in the Electronics Industry with IPC

IPC President and CEO John Mitchell shares ways to prepare for the future of the electronics industry. With solutions such as the IPC Study of the North American Labor Pool for Electronics Manufacturing and the IPC International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Interconnections, there are many opportunities to prepare today for tomorrow’s challenges.



Stakeholder Consultation on EU RoHS Exemption Applications Launched

On April 24, 2015, the Öko Institut, consultants to the European Union (EU), announced the launch of an online stakeholder consultation. The stakeholder consultation will run for eight weeks from April 24 to June 19, 2015.  

The consultation covers three requests for renewal of exemptions listed in Annex III of the Directive:

Exemption renewal request 9b: “Lead in bearing shells and bushes for refrigerant-containing compressors, with a stated electrical power input of only 9 kW or lower for the HVACR industry” with requested expiry date three years after the publication of the amended RoHS Annex

Exemption renewal request 13a: “Lead in white glasses used for optical applications”

Exemption renewal request 13b: “Cadmium and Lead in filter glasses and glasses used for reflectance standards”

And three new exemption requests:

Exemption request 2015-1: “Lead in thin film electronic sensor elements such as pyroelectric sensors or piezoelectric sensors”

Exemption request 2015-2: “Lead in high voltage cables and cable assemblies for a rated voltage higher than 250kV DC, containing up to 4% lead by weight” (for industrial monitoring and control instruments, Annex IV)

Exemption request 2015-3: “Lead as activator in the fluorescent powder (1% lead by weight or less) of discharge lamps when used as phototherapy lamps containing phosphors such as BSP (BaSi2O5:Pb) (Annex IV)

IPC, in conjunction with an international industry stakeholder group, applied for more than a dozen exemption extension requests under the EU RoHS Directive. The RoHS2 Directive dictates expiration dates for all exemptions granted and several critical to the electronics manufacturing industry are set to expire in 2016.

EU Parliament International Trade Committee Votes for Mandatory Conflict Minerals Regulation

Last week, on April 14, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA) voted on amendments to the EU’s conflict minerals regulation that were proposed by its members. The INTA voted to make mandatory the proposed voluntary system of certification for EU smelters and refiners. By a close vote (22-16) they rejected amendments seeking to extend this mandatory scheme to those who purchase minerals for the production of goods such as mobile phones and other electronics.

The draft regulation covers tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Amendments proposing the extension of the scope of the legislation to other minerals and metals were rejected by the INTA committee.

On March 30, 2015, IPC, and a number of other associations issued a statement emphasizing the need for EU legislation to adhere to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) framework and those concepts that have been assessed in the regulatory impact assessment performed by the EU Commission.

The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) on the INTA committee also approved the establishment of a “European certification of responsibility” for “downstream operators,” such as electronics manufacturers.

The draft regulation adopted by the INTA committee will be voted on by the full European Parliament during their May 18 – 19 plenary session. During the plenary session, any member of the EU Parliament can offer an amendment, even those that were rejected by the INTA committee. IPC members with facilities in the EU are encouraged to contact their MEPs and urgethem to support the European Commission proposal for a voluntary program.

Tulane University Conducts Conflict Minerals Market Impact Survey of Entire Supply Chain

IPC members and many other companies are continuing to be burdened by compliance with U.S. conflict minerals regulations, while Europe contemplates its own conflict minerals regulations. In a continuing effort to quantify the burdens experienced by companies, especially those in the supply chain, Tulane University is conducting a Conflict Minerals Market Survey. The survey results will also assist IPC and other industry associations in lobbying for less burdensome regulations in other parts of the world, such as those currently being considered in the European Union.

All companies impacted by conflict minerals legislation or produce, procure or consume tin, tungsten, tantalum and/or gold (3TG) are invited to participate. This survey will focus on the upstream and downstream 3TG supply chain. The survey can be found at http://payson.tulane.edu/3tg15. The deadline to complete the survey is June 15, 2015. The survey is expected to take survey respondents between 10 and 30 minutes to complete and is available in English, French and Mandarin.



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