NEWS FROM IPC
IPC Delivers the First Automotive Standard on Performance Requirements for Rigid Printed Boards
In September of 2015, IPC delivered revision D of IPC-6012, Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards. Building on this base standard, IPC has developed the first automotive addendum, IPC-6012DA, Automotive Applications Addendum to IPC-6012D Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards.
This addendum addresses the reliability of rigid printed boards which must survive the vibration and thermal cycling environments of electronic interconnects within the automotive industry. Some of the highlights included with IPC-6012DA are the identification of automotive performance classes, recommendations for sustainability and reliability testing identification, and solder makes thickness coverage over conductors, planes, and adjacent surface mount devices. The addendum also provides requirements for hole size, hole pattern accuracy, and pattern feature accuracy requirements.
“This is an important step towards a standardized level in a complicated field of suppliers and demands,” said Jan Pedersen, chairman of the IPC-6012DA Automotive Addendum to IPC-6012D committee and senior technical advisor at Elmatica. “IPC-6012DA, addresses the specific requirements and parameters for building and supplying printed circuit boards for the automotive industry, which are not covered in the base standard IPC-6012D.”
The busy committee won’t be resting on their laurels. Later this year, a task group will be established to prepare the standard for the medical sector, an industry not yet harmonized in terms of PCBs. Users and suppliers in the medical sector will be invited to participate.
“The idea behind the automotive addendum was to find a consensus in the jungle of corporate specifications, a common document describing basic PCB requirements for the automotive industry,” added Pedersen. “Now that IPC-6012DA is finalized, we are very proud, knowing this standard will bring the automotive requirements for both users and suppliers up to a standardized level.”
IPC-6012DA is available now for all those involved with PCBs for the automotive industry. Learn more about IPC-6012DA.
|Toxics Law May Give Some Regulatory Relief
IPC was proud to see Bloomberg Government’s coverage of the newly reformed TSCA bill, which was signed into law on June 22. Fern Abrams, director of regulatory affairs and government relations for IPC, is mentioned in the article and offers insights on what this bill will mean for the manufacturing industry.
June 24, 2016 06:13PM ET | Bloomberg BNA
June 24 (BNA) — Car, engine and printed circuit board manufacturers are among the companies that may get some regulatory relief from the newly amended chemicals law, according to industry officials.
The newly signed overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which President Obama signed into law June 22, would require the Environmental Protection Agency to determine whether TSCA’s reporting requirements should be reduced or altered for companies that recycle, reuse or reprocess inorganic by-products.
The changes the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576) made to TSCA guarantee a regulatory process—not a regulatory outcome, Fern Abrams, director of regulatory affairs and government relations for IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries, told Bloomberg BNA in a June 16 interview. IPC represents companies throughout the electronics industry supply chain, including those that design and make printed circuit boards for machinery and computers.
The outcome of the mandated regulatory process, Abrams said, could be to make it easier for companies that make finished goods to recycle wastes with copper and other metals.
Focus on Recycling
Honda North America Inc., is hopeful that the EPA will alter the inorganic by-products reporting requirements to allow its facilities to more easily meet the corporate objective of sending zero waste to landfills, a Honda official told Bloomberg BNA.
The complex process of determining which by-products sent for recycling would be subject to toxics law reporting and which would not is a hurdle to achieving that goal, the Honda official said.
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), who worked with sponsors of the Lautenberg Act to insert the by-products provision, told Bloomberg BNA: “We must make certain that TSCA reporting requirements are encouraging industries to recycle by-products when possible, not incentivizing them to be discarded in landfills.”
In an e-mail, Johnson said he learned from electronics industry representatives during the toxics law reform negotiations that the agency’s reporting requirements, which did not exist for the first 30 years of the law’s implementation, created a disincentive to recycling.
The newly amended law only has a small provision that addresses by-products.
Under that provision, the administrator must conduct a negotiated rulemaking and propose a rule not later than 3 years after enactment. Negotiated rulemaking is a process in which federal agency representatives and affected parties work together to reach consensus on what can ultimately become a proposed rule, the Congressional Research Service said in a 2006 report.
The Lautenberg Act amended TSCA to say the proposed rule would limit reporting requirements of the Chemical Data Reporting rule, which the EPA issues under Section 8 of the toxics law. EPA’s rule will address manufacturers of inorganic by-products “when such by-products, whether by the by-product manufacturer or by any other person, are subsequently recycled, reused or reprocessed,” according to the amended section of the toxics law.
The rule would not alter a recycler’s obligations to report to the EPA saleable material it generates from by-products; that obligation remains, Abrams said.
Inorganic By-product Issues
Abrams said inorganic by-products’ reporting requirements became an issue in 2002 when the EPA lifted the previous exemption it had provided for inorganic chemicals.
Metals, a form of inorganic chemicals that can be recycled, are the critical issue, she said. Copper is a common metal found in by-products generated when printed circuit boards are made.
The problem, Abrams said, is that the EPA’s by-products reporting requirements mean circuit board manufacturers have to know how the recycler is transforming the manufacturers’ rinse waters, spent etchants or other manufacturing leftovers into something the recycler will sell.
If the recycler uses heat or a physical process to separate metals from the by-products to generate a saleable product, the manufacturer does not have to report by-product production under the Chemical Data Reporting rule, she said.
If, however, the recycler uses a chemical reaction to recover metals from the electronic manufacturer’s by-products, then the manufacturer is responsible for filing reporting information for the chemicals in its rinse waters and other by-products, she said.
“A recycler’s processes are often proprietary and are in constant flux based on market conditions,” IPC said in background materials it provided Bloomberg BNA. Making manufacturers’ by-products reporting obligations contingent on recyclers’ processes compromises data quality, IPC’s materials said.
Data quality is compromised, Abrams said, because manufacturers have to guess about the recycler’s operations.
The rulemaking process required under the amended TSCA should allow many aspects of the by-products issue to be raised for public discussion and resolved, Abrams said.
One important issue is whether public health or environmental protection benefits by the by-products’ data the agency gets from the reporting rule, she said.
The agency receives much of that information already through EPA reporting requirements mandated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Abrams said.
Separate Challenge Remains
The changes made to TSCA will not address a separate challenge IPC members face, Abrams said.
The newly amended law addresses the by-products provisions of Chemical Data Reporting rule obligations.
Companies with manufacturing processes that generate by-products also may be subject to Section 5 of the toxics law, which addresses new chemicals.
If a recycler uses a chemical reaction, the by-product that is fed into the recycler’s reaction is—according to EPA’s definition—a new chemical that must be listed on the TSCA inventory of chemicals in commerce, Abrams said.
The amended law does not require the EPA to address that obligation.
“If the by-products are not listed on the inventory, recycling cannot lawfully occur,” IPC’s background materials said.
If, however, a manufacturers’ by-products are not recycled but sent to a landfill, the by-products are not subject to either the toxics law’s new chemicals or Chemical Data Reporting rule requirements, Abrams said.
The EPA’s interpretation of the new toxics law for by-products discourages recycling, she said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reproduced with permission from Daily Report for Executives, 123 DER (Jun. 27, 2016). Copyright 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <http://www.bna.com>
IPC Extends Deadline on Call for Participation for IPC APEX EXPO 2017
Deadline for technical conference paper abstracts extended to: July 8, 2016
IPC has extended the deadline of their invitation for engineers, researchers, academics, technical experts and industry leaders to submit abstracts for IPC APEX EXPO 2017 to be held at the San Diego Convention Center. Professional development courses will take place February 12, 13 and 16, 2017 and the technical conference will take place February 14–16, 2017. The extended deadline is July 8, 2016.
The industry’s premier conference and exhibition for the electronic interconnection industry, IPC APEX EXPO provides presenters and their companies with a notable and cost-effective opportunity to promote their expertise and gain visibility with key engineers, managers and executives from all segments of the industry worldwide. Staff from companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, Indium, Flextronics, Intel and MacDermid have presented papers at past technical conference sessions at IPC APEX EXPO. To recognize exceptional achievement, awards will be presented for “Best Paper.”
Expert papers and presentations are being sought on design, materials, assembly, processes, test, reliability and equipment in the following areas:
A 200-400 word technical conference abstract summarizing original and previously unpublished work covering case histories, research and discoveries must be submitted. The submission should describe significant results from experiments and case studies, emphasize new techniques, discuss trends of interest and contain appropriate technical test results. In addition, course proposals are solicited from individuals interested in presenting half-day or full-day professional development courses on design, lead-free technologies, manufacturing processes, process improvement, materials, test and reliability.
Technical conference paper abstracts are due July 8, 2016 and course proposals are due August 5, 2016. To submit an abstract or course proposal, visitwww.IPCAPEXEXPO.org/CFP.
North American PCB Business Growth Slowed in May
IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for May 2016
IPC have announced their May 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders in May continued ahead of last year’s levels, but at slower rates than in recent month. The book-to-bill ratio also declined slightly but remains positive at 1.01.
Total North American PCB shipments in May 2016 were 4.4 percent above the same month last year. Year-to-date growth is up 5.3 percent for the first five months of the year. Compared to the preceding month, May shipments were down 3.1 percent.
PCB bookings in May increased a mere 0.1 percent year-on-year, bringing year-to-date bookings growth down to a positive 4.0 percent. Orders in May 2016 were down 5.6 percent from the previous month.
“Business growth in the North American PCB industry remained positive, but growth rates have slowed,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Shipments exceeded bookings in May for the first time in six months, which pushed the book-to-bill ratio down another notch, nearly to parity” she added.
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report,containing detailed May data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available within the next two weeks. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, military and medical market growth, demand for prototypes, and other timely data. This report is available free to current participants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others. More information about this report can be found atwww.ipc.org/market-research-reports.
Interpreting the Data
The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months. A ratio of less than 1.00 indicates the reverse.
Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they reflect seasonal effects and short-term volatility. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month might not be significant unless a trend of more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in both bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.
IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics are based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid PCB and flexible circuit manufacturers selling in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are normally available in the last week of the following month.
Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. First Chinese Company to Earn Certification as Qualified Manufacturer to IPC-6012/IPC-A-600
IPC’s Validation Services Program has awarded an IPC-6012/IPC-A-600 Qualified Manufacturers Listing (QML) to Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd., a manufacturer of single sided, double sided, and multilayer printed circuit boards in the Dongguan, Guangdong province of China. Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. is the first Chinese company to receive IPC’s Validation Services QML for these standards. Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. met or exceeded the testing requirements for board coupons and passed a three-day, on-site audit under Validation Services Program. Maintenance of the QML requires testing of board coupons every quarter and passing of periodic factory audits.
IPC-6012, Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards, covers qualification and performance of rigid printed boards, including single-sided, double-sided, with or without plated-through holes, multilayer with or without blind/buried vias and metal core boards. It addresses final finish and surface plating coating requirements, conductors, holes/vias, frequency of acceptance testing and quality conformance as well as electrical, mechanical and environmental requirements. IPC-A-600, Acceptability of Printed Boards, an illustrated guide to printed circuit board acceptability, covers target, acceptable and nonconforming conditions that are either internally or externally observable on bare printed boards.
“Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. hoped that a validation audit by IPC to IPC-6012 and IPC-A-600 would allow us to claim with justification that our operations demonstrated expertise in rigid printed circuit board manufacturing. But even if we did not become validated immediately, we expected the IPC experts would identify areas where we were could improve and so provide guidance for our on-going quality efforts,” said Mr. Dai Jie, Marketing Director at Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. “As it turned out, we achieved validation on the first attempt. Our IPC validation certificate is displayed prominently at the company entrance, and has been the object of interest and admiration by visitors. Plus, the IPC team showed us two areas where we have been able to make worthwhile operational enhancements.”
IPC’s Validation Services QML Program was developed to promote supply chain verification. It also provides auditing and certification of electronics companies’ products, and identifies processes which conform to IPC standards. Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. and other trusted sources of supply can be found on IPC’s QML database at www.ipcvalidation.org.
“We are excited about Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. being the first Chinese company to receive IPC’s Validation Services QML for IPC-6012/IPC-A-600,” said Randy Cherry, IPC director of Validation Services. “We are pleased to recognize Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. as the newest member of trusted QML suppliers. Dongguan Shengyi Electronics Ltd. has differentiated itself from the competition by becoming part of IPC’s global network of trusted industry sources.”
For more information about IPC’s Validation Services QML Program, visit www.ipcvalidation.org or contact Randy Cherry at RandyCherry@ipc.org or +1 847-597-2806.
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