Qualify your products to IPC specifications with Element’s industry-leading expertise and efficient testing processes.

The Institute for Printed Circuits (IPC) is a global trade association representing the electronics industry, with a focus on design, PCB manufacturing, and electronics assembly. Element is accredited by IPC to inspect and test printed boards, components, and materials, and to validate products subject to IPC standards.

Element’s experts are experienced in testing all levels of electronic products. We start at the materials level testing printed circuit board (PCB) laminate, copper, solder mask, conformal coating, final finishes, soldering materials, adhesives, marking inks, components, etc. Element qualifies the completed bare PCB, as well as the completed printed circuit assembly (PCA) and offers full root cause failure analysis.

Certification to IPC standards and key product qualifications

Element performs testing to qualify products to numerous IPC specifications, including these major ones:

    • Acceptance: IPC-A-610
    • Assembly: J-STD-001
    • Solderability: J-STD-002, J-STD-003
    • Flux/Solder – J-STD-004, J-STD-005, J-STD-006
    • Coat/Mask/Marking – IPC-CC-830, IPC-4781
    • Printed Board/Acceptance: IPC-A-600, IPC-6012, IPC-6013, IPC-6015, IPC-6016, IPC-6018
    • Rigid Laminate – IPC-4101, IPC-4103
    • Flex Laminate– IPC-4202, IPC-4203, IPC-4204
    • Cleaning/Cleanliness: IPC-9202

Additionally, we perform testing per the IPC-TM-650 Test Methods Manual including testing per Section 2.1, Visual Examination; Section 2.2, Dimensional Measurements; Section 2.3, Chemical Testing; Section 2.4, Mechanical Testing; Section 2.5, Electrical Testing and Section 2.6, Environmental Exposure.

Element also provides testing to MIL-I-46058C, Amendment 7: Military Specification for Insulating Compound, Electrical (For Coating Printed Circuit Assemblies). Although the status of this standard is “inactive for new design,” testing to this standard still allows a product to be placed on the Qualified Products List (QPL), from which all military manufacturers must select and use coatings. Click here to learn more about testing to MIL-I-46058C.

Qualification programs for printed circuit boards

Many printed circuit board suppliers must be qualified to build per the IPC-6012, IPC-6013, IPC-6016, or IPC-6018 standards. Both the IPC-6012C and IPC-6013B documents, as well as others in the IPC-6010 performance specification series, indicate that the qualification program is “as agreed between user and supplier” (AABUS). This means that you, as the user, can select any combination of specific tests or the entire array of tests for the supplier’s boards to undergo. A sound qualification program should include lot acceptance testing and periodic quality conformance testing to ensure product consistency.

IPC training courses at Element

In the printed circuit board (PCB) and printed circuit assembly (PCA) world, IPC training courses are the industry standard for evaluation and certification. Based on specific areas of expertise, the IPC training courses cover all of the key areas of the PCB/PCA construction process. Element employs multiple Master IPC Trainers (MIT’s) to help certify you at many Element locations, as well as remote or in-person or at your location. Click here for more information and to see the current course schedule.

Our training includes the following programs:

    • IPC-A-600 – Acceptability of Printed Boards: The must-have training for understanding the acceptance criteria associated with printed circuit boards.
    • IPC-A-610 – Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies: The most widely referenced standard from IPC, which is the foundation for most PCB/PCA QA departments.
    • IPC-6012 – Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards: Typically ties to IPC-A-600, this document is dedicated to the acceptance testing and requirements associated with rigid boards.
    • IPC/WHMA-A-620 – Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies: The IPC-A-600/A-610 version as it pertains to cable and wire harnesses.

Why choose Element?

Members of Element’s staff serve as chairs or vice chairs of several IPC committees including the Assembly and Joining Committee, the Testing Committee, the J-STD-004 Flux Specification group, the SIR task group, and the Ionic Conductivity task group. Element experts also contribute to numerous other committees as well as vote on the IPC advisory committee, the TAEC, Technical Activities Executive Committee.

Element PCB experts developed the latest IPC-A-600 MIT/CIT/CIS training class, as well as the IPC-6012/600 MIT/CIT/CIS training classes. IPC-6012, Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards, and IPC-A-600, Acceptability of Printed Boards, are used to assess the quality of rigid PCBs.

Element has all of the resources and experience necessary to discuss, develop, perform, and interpret IPC qualification and conformance. Contact us today with any questions you may have.

Element’s testing capabilities cover all the tests and methods specified by the major IPC standards, including:

  • Visual Examination
  • Solderability (Surface and Through Hole)
  • Dimensional
  • Plating Adhesion
  • Bond Strength for Type 1 boards
  • Plated Through Hole Construction Integrity (prior to Stress)
  • Plated Through Hole Construction Integrity after Thermal Stress
  • Plated Through Hole Construction Integrity after Rework Simulation
  • Dielectric Withstanding Voltage
  • Continuity
  • Insulation Resistance
  • Thermal Shock
  • Cleanliness
  • Moisture and Insulation Resistance
  • Bending Flexibility (used for a flex-to-install type of application)
  • Flexible Endurance (used for a continuous flex type of application)
  • Bond Strength of the Stiffener

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Our deliverable is certainty - high quality data, test reports and certificates that you can absolutely rely on when making decisions about your materials and compliance. Engage with an expert today.

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