IPC/WHMA-A-620 is the only industry-consensus standard that defines the requirements and practices for the manufacture of wire harnesses and cable assemblies. As a joint project of the Institute of Printed Circuits (IPC) and the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA), IPC-WHMA-A-620 has defined the “rules of the road” since 2002. Those rules keep changing, however, and a new version (Revision C) was released last February. If you’re an OEM, what does this mean for you?
IPC WHMA-A-620 is about global best practices. So whether you do business in North America, Europe, Asia, or anywhere else, IPC WHMA-A-620 is applicable. Many companies offer wire harnessing and custom cable assembly services, but not every electronic contract manufacturer is IPC WHMA-A-620 certified. Achieving this certification is a process, but the benefits are well-worth the effort. Employees develop skills and demonstrate competence. OEMs get high levels of service from certified technicians.
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 Certification Process
SHINE is IPC/WHMA-A-620 certified at the operator level. We also have an IPC WHMA-A-620 certified trainer on staff here at our manufacturing center in Adams, Massachusetts (USA). There are two levels of IPC-A-620 training and certification. To become a certified IPC trainer (CIT), an employee receives intensive instruction from an IPC-approved certification center. At the end of this course of study, the CIT must pass a certification examination. The CIT then returns to his or her company and provides a technician-level training program using instructional materials from the IPC-approved certification center.
During this technician-level training, employees learn about the IPC/WHMA-A-620 specification. Topics covered include cable and wire dimensioning, cable preparation, co-ax and twin-ax assembly, and crimp terminations. Students also learn about shielding, soldering, and the testing of wire harnesses and cable assemblies. At the end of the course, learners take a written examination. Technicians who pass the test and have meet all other training requirements receive an IPC certificate of course completion.
IPC/WHMA-A-620 Revision C
IPC/WHMA-A-620 has three major versions: A, B, and C. The original version (A) was updated to Revision B in October 2012. As this redlined document shows, there were numerous additions and deletions. With the introduction of Revision C in February 2017, IPC-A-620 is changing again. This latest version is designed to work in concert with two other important IPC standards: IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies; and IPC-J-STD-001, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies.
Because SHINE is committed to quality, we’re in the process of earning Revision C certification. We’ll keep you posted about our progress, and invite you to contact us with questions about IPC/WHMA-A-620 and what it means for your wire harnesses and cable assemblies.