A must for all quality assurance and assembly departments, IPC-AE illustrates industry-accepted workmanship criteria for electronics assemblies through full-color photographs and illustrations. Topics include flex attachment, board in board, part on part, lead free, component orientation and soldering criteria for through-hole, SMT new termination styles and discrete wiring assemblies, mechanical assembly, cleaning, marking, coating, and laminate requirements. IPC-A is invaluable for all inspectors, operators and trainers. Revision E has photos and illustrations of acceptability criteria of them new or updated. This revision has been critically reviewed for clarity and accuracy. The document synchronizes to the requirements expressed in other industry consensus documents and is used with the material and process standard IPC J-STD
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I agree that the classes in the IPC-A or the J-STD document for that matter are completely unrelated to whether a product is used in an aerospace application. I believe that the common misconception that "Class 3 is aerospace" is related to the fact that this is often true. For the most part, the added costs of meeting Class 3 requirements are uneconomical for most commercial, and nearly all consumer applications. There are certainly industrial and severe service applications that require Class 3,however.
It is really the environment and reliability requirements, not the application, that drive the selection of the class. Design of Experiments DoE techniques have been an area of independent study. Fritz has published over a dozen papers at various industry conferences. IPC classes, with regard to the Assembly Standard are used to standardize the acceptability levels of electronics. Class 1 being least stringent to Class 3 being most. The standard is a tool to establish level of quality and communicate quality acceptance criteria across industry.
The secondary purpose, for our facility, is to ensure we understood the cost and inspection needed to support customers If the IPC standard and class is identified,you now know the level of quality expected from manufacturing systems only.
Test specifications, Material control and other systems, will need to be evaluated for quality assurance, I would recommend. For this reason, there is not single standard that would meet needs of all FAA electronic products. Good Luck
The IPC-A comes into view when the electronics are ready to the point that the components are soldered to the circuit board and are ready for installation. The document is intended for, among other things, the final inspection before the product is sent to the customer. To ensure that the customer receives the product he has ordered and that there are no errors or malfunctions that should not be contained in it, a final inspection is done and this document is a tool for the inspector to carry out that inspection. It consists of a number of chapters in which various topics are discussed, including the general requirements for solder connections. The specific requirements for various components that are currently contained in electronic products.