The importance of IPC standards for PCBA

The importance of IPC standards for PCBA

Table of Contents

What is PCBA?

Using conductive rails, pads, and other features carved from copper sheets bonded onto a non-conductive substrate, a printed circuit board (PCB) is used to physically support and electrically link electronic components.

Typically, components are soldered onto the PCB in order to link them electrically and mechanically. Printed circuit board assembly is known by the abbreviation PCBA. PCBA is a term used to describe a PCB that has all of its electrical components soldered on it.

What does IPC PCBA mean?

The IPC PCBA standard is a set of specifications for PCBA. The IPC PCBA standard covers the design, manufacture, and assembly of PCBs. It includes material specifications, dimensions, tolerances, soldering, and inspection. PCB manufacturers and assemblers use this standard to ensure that their products meet the requirements of their customers.

The IPC-PCBA standard is also used by government and military organizations, as well as by companies in the aerospace and medical industries. This standard is periodically revised and updated to keep up with changes in technology and the needs of the electronics industry. The most recent version of the IPC-PCBA standard is Revision D, which was released in December 2014. These standards are developed and maintained by the IPC Standards Committee.

The IPC symbol

What is IPC in PCBA?

IPC is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to the global electronics interconnection industry. IPC members include manufacturers, designers, service providers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronic interconnection technologies.

IPC’s mission is to promote the growth of the electronics interconnection industry by providing technical, educational, and advocacy programs that enable members to compete effectively in a global marketplace.

The brief history of IPC

IPC was founded in 1957 as the Institute for Printed Circuits, Inc. It later changed its name to IPC. IPC’s mission is to advance its members’ competitive excellence and financial success through standardization, education, market development, and advocacy within the global electronics industry.
IPC has more than 3,700 member companies worldwide, including over 1,600 companies in North America.

Companies worldwide use IPC standards to ensure quality and consistency in manufacturing PCBs and other electronic interconnection technologies. IPC’s education and training programs help industry professionals improve their skills and keep up with the latest technology trends. IPC also provides its members market research, networking opportunities, and advocacy support.

The brief history of IPC

What are IPC PCBA standards?

IPC PCBA standards are divided into two main categories: performance standards and quality standards. Performance standards specify the minimum requirements a PCB must meet to be considered functional. Quality standards specify the criteria a PCB must meet to be considered defect-free.

There are many different types of performance standards, but some of the most common include circuit density, trace width, and minimum feature size requirements. Quality standards are typically more concerned with process control and minimizing manufacturing defects. Some common quality standards include IPC-A-600 and IPC-6012.

IPC-A-600 guides the acceptability of printed boards, while IPC-6012 establishes standards for the qualification and performance of rigid printed boards. Inspectors generally use IPC-A-600 to evaluate the acceptability of printed boards, while manufacturers use IPC-6012 to establish standards for the fabrication of rigid printed boards. Purchasers also use IPC-6012 to specify the requirements for rigid printed boards.

What is right IPC certification?

There is no single IPC certification for PCBA. The most important factor to consider when choosing an IPC certification for PCBA is the specific needs of the company and the products being manufactured.

Other factors that may be considered include the cost of certification, the time required to complete certification, and the benefits of certification. Some common certifications for PCBA include IPC-A-610, IPC-J-STD-001, and IPC/WHMA-A-620.

IPC PCBA certification can provide many benefits, including improved quality control, reduced manufacturing costs, and increased customer satisfaction. Certification can also help to ensure that products meet all applicable regulatory requirements.

The cost and time required for IPC certification for PCBA vary depending on the specific certification being sought. However, all certifications require the completion of an accredited training course and passing a written examination.



Initial Certification

Certified IPC Specialist (CIS)

Recertification (Every 2 years)

Certified IPC Specialist (CIS)

Initial Certification / Recertification (Every 2 years)

Certified IPC Trainer (CIS)Non-Modular

Initial Certification

Certified IPC Trainer (CIT)

Recertification (Every 2 years)

Certified IPC Trainer (CIT)


What is an IPC Specialist?

An IPC Specialist is a professional certified by the IPC with a high level of knowledge and expertise in PCBA design and manufacturing. PCB manufacturers and suppliers typically employ IPC Specialists, and their main role is to provide support and guidance to PCBA designers and engineers.

They may also be involved in developing new IPC compatible PCBA technologies and processes and in the testing and quality assurance of finished PCBs. IPC Specialists typically have a background in electrical engineering or a related field, and many also have experience working in the PCB industry.

The IPC provides training and certification programs for IPC Specialists, and there are three levels of certification: Certified Interconnect Designer (CID), Certified Interconnect Manufacturing Engineer (CIME), and Certified Interconnect Process Engineer (CIPE).

IPC specialist

What is IPC standard soldering in PCBA?

IPC standard soldering in IPC PCBA is a process specification for soldering electronic components to printed circuit boards. The specification defines the requirements for materials, methods, and inspection criteria for soldering.

Electronic manufacturers and contract assemblers use the specification to ensure that components are properly soldered to PCBs. Inspectors also use IPC standard soldering to verify that the soldering process has been performed correctly.

IPC standard soldering is a joint effort of the IPC and the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC). The specification is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1 covers the requirements for soldering materials, including solder alloys, fluxes, and cleaners.
  • Section 2 covers the requirements for soldering methods, including hand soldering and automated soldering.
  • Section 3 covers the requirements for inspection criteria, including visual inspection and electrical testing.

IPC standard soldering is widely used in the electronics industry and is recognized as the industry standard for soldering.The specification is periodically revised to keep up with changes in technology and manufacturing processes. The most recent specification revision is IPC-A-610 Revision G, which was released in 2016.

IPC PCBA standard soldering is an important part of the electronics manufacturing process and is essential for ensuring the reliability of electronic products.

What is the importance of IPC standards for PCBA?

IPC standards are important for PCBA because they guide how to design, manufacture, and test PCBAs. The standards help ensure that:

  • IPC PCBA is reliable and compatible with each other in all environments, and they help to reduce manufacturing costs.
  • IPC PCBA is compatible with each other, which is important for system integrators who need to combine multiple PCBs into a single system.
  • IPC PCBA is  safe to use in all environments, including those with high levels of electromagnetic interference.

How to select suitable PCBA products and manufacturers according to IPC standards?

IPC standards are important reference documents for selecting IPC PCBA products and manufacturers. In order to ensure the quality of products, it is necessary to first investigate whether the selected products and manufacturers meet IPC standards to avoid unnecessary troubles in future use.

The following is a specific analysis of the selection of IPC PCBA products and manufacturers according to IPC PCBA standards:

  • Select suitable PCBA products according to your own needs to avoid buying inappropriate products, such as whether you need high-speed, stable, or small size;
  • Evaluate the comprehensive ability of various manufacturers in terms of technology, equipment, quality control capabilities, and service levels;
  • Make an on-site visit to understand their actual production situation and production strength;
  • Based on the evaluation results, choose the most suitable manufacturer that meets your requirements;
  • To avoid risks, it is recommended to sign a contract with the selected manufacturer in advance to clearly state the quality requirements of the products and other relevant matters.
the importance of IPC standards


Through the above analysis, we can see that when selecting IPC PCBA products and manufacturers according to IPC standards, it is necessary to comprehensively evaluate various aspects to choose the most suitable option.

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