Your Participation Needed in IPC Military Lead-free Survey

There is growing concern among military/aerospace suppliers about the availability and cost of leaded materials and components. IPC is conducting a confidential survey to assess the current state of the supply chain and the issues facing electronics manufacturers.

If you manufacture PCBs or electronic assemblies for military/aerospace applications, IPC requests your participation in this survey. As a “fast-facts” survey, the turnaround will be quick. It is open only through Friday, March 27. If you complete the survey, you will receive a report on the results at no charge by the end of April.

Please use this link to access the survey: Your response will be kept confidential and only aggregate data will be published in the report.


Four IPC Global Statistical Programs Now Open

IPC’s global statistical programs for the laminate, solder, process consumables and assembly equipment industries are now open to new participants for 2015. The deadline for IPC members to sign up is April 15. Participation is free to IPC member companies as a benefit of membership.

The statistical programs give participating IPC members access to global quarterly market data that would be impossible for them to collect themselves and prohibitively expensive for individual companies to obtain from research firms. As a neutral and trusted third party, IPC collects sales and other business and technical data from the participating companies using a secure and confidential online survey system. In exchange, these companies receive quarterly market reports showing aggregate sales and growth rates for the industry, segmented by detailed product categories and by region.

Participating companies use this quarterly data in their marketing, sales, planning and budgeting activities. The data helps them to track changes in their market shares, compare their performance against industry averages in their regions and product segments, and identify growing and declining markets. Current participants in these programs include most of the world’s leading producers.

The laminate and solder statistical programs are conducted in English and Mandarin Chinese. In addition to shipment data, the solder program also tracks worldwide consumption of lead-free versus tin/lead solder, and the use of SAC alloys. The process consumables program is conducted in English and Japanese. It covers dozens of product categories in plating materials, final finishes, solder mask and other imaging processes, developers and strippers. The assembly equipment statistical program tracks sales in units and value. It covers specific product categories under the headings of pick-and-place, inspection, test, soldering and dispensing equipment, as well screen printers, ovens, stencils and software.

The first-quarter 2015 surveys will go out on April 1. To ensure consistent survey samples for the year, participants must commit to completing all four quarterly surveys for 2015. IPC members interested in participating in the statistical programs for their industries may contact IPC at or by phone at +1 847-597-2868.



EU Court Advisor Releases Opinion on the REACH Article Debate

Last week, the European Union Advocate-General to the Court of Justice issued an opinion on the debate regarding the concept of an “article” under the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. The Advocate-General’s opinion stated that the threshold for registration requirements applies to the whole article, not at the level of each individual component (part). However, for SVHC (substances of very high concern) notification requirements, the Advocate-General’s opinion stated that the SVHC notification requirements apply to individual components. If any component within a larger article contains an SVHC above the 0.1% threshold, a company must comply with the notification requirements.

According to the Advocate-General, a component is an article if, once integrated, it retains a shape, surface or design of its own. REACH defines an article as “an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.” The Advocate-General reasoned that this definition does not distinguish between stand-alone articles and articles integrated in a bigger article and an article does not lose its function once it is integrated in a bigger one, though that function might change. The only criteria to be taken into account is whether the product has a shape, surface or design which is more relevant than its chemical composition.

Member States have had differing interpretations of an article, in particular how reporting threshold requirements apply to complex articles, such as a computer. The European Commission and most Member State authorities concluded that the threshold applies at the level of the whole article, but seven Member States, including France and Germany, had decided to apply the threshold at the level of each individual component, in the case of a laptop, the screen, plastic case, capacitor, integrated circuit, etc.

The EU Court of Justice is expected to release its judgment in the coming months, which will be the final ruling on the issue. 

IPC will keep you informed of any updates on the final ruling.


European Union Parliament Moving Forward on Conflict Minerals Legislation

During the last week of January, I met with policy advisors for the European Parliament (EP) Socialists & Democrats (S&D), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and European People’s Party (EPP) to discuss the EU conflict minerals legislation.

In each of the meetings, I introduced IPC’s EU Conflict Minerals White Paper which supports the European Commission (EC) proposal to create a voluntary, self-certification system for importers to the EU of conflict minerals. IPC also advocates for the inclusion of measures to exempt verified recycled minerals. All of the advisors I met with supported the Commission’s proposed global scope, as opposed to the Dodd-Frank focus on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjacent countries.  The proposed EU legislation would not include a list of affected and high risk areas, instead companies are expected to do this. All of the advisors I spoke with believe that it is politically impossible to change this aspect of the legislation.

Following IPC’s lobbying meetings on February 3, 2015, Iuliu Winkler, the EP Rapporteur, issued his draft report on the proposal for a regulation of the EP and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The report was issued by the Committee on International Trade, which has led jurisdiction on the conflict minerals legislation.

Amendments proposed by the Rapporteur include the addition of language to address scrap metals in a manner similar to that under Dodd-Frank; a two year transition to establish EU certification for responsible importers; and language amending the Directive 2014/95 to require large companies (greater than 500 employees) to disclose conflict minerals information.

Also on February 3, Bogdan Brunon Wenta issued a draft opinion with the proposed amendments supported by several members of the EP Committee on Development. Amendments proposed by the Committee on Development include a number of statements about the significance of the human rights issues and the criminal complicity of those continuing to engage in trade of conflict resources; requirements for mandatory certification; and mandatory due diligence reporting and auditing requirements for the entire supply chain including finished products containing conflict minerals.

The Development Committee is scheduled to vote on their amendments on February 24. Amendments approved by the Development Committee, along with other amendments submitted, will be voted on by the International Trade Committee in either March or April. The legislation is expected to be brought to all members of the EP for a vote in May. During the plenary, any member of the EP may propose an amendment, including those that were rejected by the International Trade Committee. Following the plenary vote, the legislation must be approved by the European Council, which is made up of a representative from each EU member country. If the Council does not support the legislation, as approved by the EP, they will return the legislation to the EP for further consideration and amendment.

Given the wide variety of opinions and proposed amendments on the conflict minerals legislation, it is hard to predict what will be included in the final legislation or when it will be passed into law. IPC will continue to stay involved, advocate for our members and keep you informed.

Industry Submits More than a Dozen Exemption Requests for RoHS Exemptions Set to Expire

IPC, in conjunction with an international industry stakeholder group, applied for more than a dozen exemption extension requests under the European Union (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. Throughout the process, IPC and several member companies provided important technical information in order to ensure the extension requests are robust and scientifically sound. IPC reviewed all extension requests and provided important feedback that resulted in credible material submitted to the EU Commission.

Extension requests were submitted for the following exemptions:

  • 4(f)         Mercury in other discharge lamps for special purposes not specially mentioned in this Annex
  • 6(a)        Lead as an alloying element in steel for machining purposes and in galvanized steel containing up to 0.35% lead by weight
  • 6(b)        Lead as an alloying element in aluminum containing up to 0.4% lead by weight
  • 6(c)         Copper alloy containing up to 4% lead by weight
  • 7(a)         Lead in high melting temperature type solders (i.e. lead-based alloys containing 85% by weight or more lead)
  • 7(c)-I      Electrical and electronic components containing lead in a glass or ceramic other than dielectric ceramic in capacitors, e.g. piezoelectronic devices, or in a glass or ceramic matrix  compound
  • 7(c)-II    Lead in dielectric ceramic in capacitors for a rated voltage of 125 V AC or 250 V DC or higher
  • 7(c)-IV   Lead in PZT based dielectric ceramic materials for capacitors being part of integrated circuits or discrete semiconductors
  • 8(b)        Cadmium and its compounds in electrical contacts
  • 13a          Lead in white glasses used for optical applications
  • 13b         Cadmium and lead in filter glasses and glasses used for reflectance standards
  • 15           Lead in solders to complete a viable electrical connection between semiconductor die and carrier within integrated circuit flip chip packages
  • 34           Lead in cermet-based trimmer potentiometer elements
  • 37           Lead in the plating layer of high voltage diodes on the basis of a zinc borate glass body

The final applications can be viewed here (by IPC members only).

IPC will continue to monitor and be involved in the exemptions process. If you have any questions, or are interested in joining IPC’s efforts, please contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of regulatory affairs and government relations, at or +1 202-661-8092.


Changes to California Proposition 65: IPC has it Covered

In early January, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released proposed changes to the Proposition 65 Regulations. The proposed changes are expected to increase the burden of compliance on all companies doing business in California.

The proposed regulations list 12 additional substances that companies are required to include on the warning label. One concern is that the list of these substances can change at any time which creates a high degree of uncertainty for industry. The 12 substances currently proposed are:

  • Acrylamide
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Chlorinated Tris
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Phthalate(s)

During IPC APEX EXPO, IPC will host a complimentary BUZZ session, California Chemicals Regulations on the proposed changes. The session will host a panel of experts, including a representative from California’s OEHHA office, who will give an overview on the proposed changes. Other panelists include industry representatives that will talk about how the proposed changes will impact the electronics manufacturing industry. The BUZZ session will be held on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 10:30 am at the San Diego Convention Center.



Attend an IPC APEX EXPO Tribute to Dieter Bergman — Industry Icon, Pioneer, Friend

All registered attendees at IPC APEX EXPO are invited to attend: A Tribute to Dieter Bergman

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 • 6:30 pm  Ballroom 6F • San Diego Convention Center


Decorated with countless awards over his lifetime, Dieter Bergman’s name will forever be synonymous with IPC and he has left a legacy of achievement, friendships and lasting memories.

Celebrate Dieter’s passion for industry, his unwavering work ethic and larger-than-life personality. Share your own personal memory of working with Dieter, personal reflection or aptly and affectionately titled “Dieter-isms” — such as his “45-minute answer to a 10-second question.”

Registration information:

The event ticket price of $25.00 will go toward the Dieter Bergman memorial scholarship fund. If you cannot attend the event, but would still like to make a contribution to the scholarship fund, you are welcome to do so.

Register here:

During the tribute, IPC will bestow the Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship award upon select individuals who have exhibited long-term leadership in developing and promoting IPC and global standardization efforts. Award recipients will be eligible to bestow the Dieter Bergman memorial scholarship upon the college or university of his/her choice.

If you would like to share a personal memory during the tribute, please contact Eboni Garner, IPC marketing coordinator, at Eboni will add you to the program schedule.

If you are unable to attend the tribute, but would like to send a short video message, you may send your video file to Your video will be incorporated into a video tribute that will run during the reception. Video files must be under two (2) gigabytes.

IPC-2231: The Cookbook for Design Excellence

by:  Cheryl Tulkoff, CRE

DfR Solutions

Does your organization design for true excellence? Design for Excellence (DFX) is based upon the premise that getting product design right the first time is far less expensive than finding failures and fixing them in later product development. Do it right, do it light. Do it wrong, do it long. While it may be easy to say, it is obviously way more complex than that.

IPC-2231, Design for Excellence Guideline during the Product Lifecycle, provides guidelines for establishing a best practice methodology for developing a formal DFX, specifically for layout of printed board assemblies. Think of it as a cookbook for DFX, where you can skim the design recipes you know, or dive into ones that you need more details on.

The outlined DFX process establishes a discipline of design review necessary to perform a detailed analysis of manufacturability attributes commonly found in electronics hardware for fabrication. It offers a complete framework of guidelines, references, and industry standards. It covers the full range of DFX disciplines and activities, as well as provides a unique color-coded function flow that allows user to focus on core functions related to design, manufacturing, test, or management.

With these new features, users can easily bypass areas where they have expertise and go straight to what they need. The document also acknowledges the unique and varying needs of organizations regarding time to market, cost, risk, and regulation.

Don’t recreate what’s been done well before and don’t make mistakes that others have solved. Learn more about IPC-2231 and designing for excellence at PD02/PD09 at IPC APEX EXPO 2015.

IPC Releases Global Public Policy Framework for 2015; Announces Dates for “IMPACT 2015: IPC ON CAPITOL HILL”

As an advocate for the electronics industry and a voice of its 3,500 member companies, who are spread across the entire electronics supply chain, IPC released its Global Policy Framework for 2015. This framework lays the foundation for IPC’s global advocacy efforts, outlining the top public policy priorities to promote a strong manufacturing economy.

The Global Policy Framework for 2015 targets four broad areas: driving technological innovation and advanced manufacturing; promoting a 21st century economy and workforce; advocating for smart regulation; and supporting science-based environmental protection. Specific issues under these headings included public-private partnerships for manufacturing innovation, tax policy, education and training, and environmental health and safety policy.

In addition to releasing its Global Policy Framework, IPC is also announcing the dates of its major U.S. public policy event of the year, “IMPACT 2015: IPC ON CAPITOL HILL.” This two-day event will take place on April 29 and 30, 2015 in Washington, D.C., giving C-level executives a unique opportunity to interact with senior policymakers and advise them on issues that affect the electronics industry.

Registration for IMPACT 2015 will be opened shortly at The Global Policy Framework can be found on IPC’s website at


Get your questions on export control regulations answered at IPC APEX EXPO

Do you have questions regarding the recent changes to U.S. export control regulations and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)?

Do you fully understand what “specially designed” PCBs for defense-related purposes and controlled under USML Category XI really means for military electronics, including printed circuit boards?

Join Sam Harmon, Foreign Service officer, Directorate of Defense Trade Control, U.S. Department of State, on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, California for a special meeting titled: New Export Control Regulations and Changes to ITAR Restrictions for Electronics.

Mr. Harmon will help clarify any confusion in the defense industry about ITAR’s effect on PCBs in ITAR-controlled defense articles. He will discuss how these regulations impact the industry, as well as answer questions regarding specific export controls.

Don’t risk misunderstanding these new regulations. Join us at this special meeting on Tuesday, February 24. For additional information, visit


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