Building a better black box

The boxes that hold modern electronics are extremely important, whether they’re helping create a brand image for the product or playing an active role in protecting circuits or reducing electromagnetic  emissions. Surprisingly, very few standards exist in this world.

IPC is stepping in to change that. IPC-HDBK-630, Guidelines for Design, Manufacture, Inspection, and Testing of Electronic Enclosures, is in final draft and should be available for industry review in early 2013. It provides many of the factors needed to create these boxes. There are plenty: paints and epoxies, screws and adhesives, metals and plastics just to name a few.

Other standards will follow. Several more documents are needed to address the huge range of options in this field. As these standards come out, they’ll make it simpler for companies to set the parameters for design and manufacture, which should help lower prices and reduce the number of questions and problems that arise when buyers and customers define parameters without standards.

There’s an opportunity for companies to help create these standards while helping themselves. When volunteers attend meetings and help write the specs, they bring back lots of valuable information. Committee meetings provide a place where people from throughout the supply chain share ideas and concerns, providing insights that can be very helpful.

As the second round of standards move forward, IPC is reaching out to attract more volunteers from various fields. The supply chain for enclosures is broad. The broader the participation in standards, the more likely it is that the documents will address the needs of many different industries.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact krisroberson@ipc.org. The task group will meet on Thursday, February 21, at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego.

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