Revised Automotive Addendum moving away from IPC Class 2

24 January 2019

The newly released IPC-6012DA WAM1 contains some groundbreaking changes for the Automotive industry according to Chair, Jan Pedersen. “It’s all about developing the standard to reflect this industry’s special requirements, in this case, high-reliability products in particular”, says Pedersen.

 “While the first addendum was related to IPC-6012D class 2 and 3, WAM1 is the Automotive supplement to class 3 only. An Automotive superclass. All references to IPC class 2 has been either removed or rewritten. Why are we doing this? To meet the requirements for products with high reliability. The changes are now a realistic tool for the Automotive Industry, and it has elements that will impact the industry but also simplify”, says Chair of IPC-6012DA Task Group and Senior Technical Advisor at Elmatica, Jan Pedersen.

 Visual inspections a challenge

Another returning industry-challenge has been related to inspections. Life-critical products in the Automotive sector requires zero defects or 0-km failure.

 “Considering the volume in this industry, and increased miniaturization, a 100% visual inspection by an operator is not practical. WAM1 have included a requirement to use AOI – Automated Optical Inspection –  of all layers and a recommendation to use AVI – Automated Visual Inspection of the finished PCB”, says Pedersen


Some other major changes in the addendum:

  1. In the requirement for Acceptance test, WAM1 have included a suggestion to implement Thermal Stress testing and a requirement to 100% AOI on all conductive layers.

  2. The requirement to Lifted lands after thermal stress has been harmonized with IPC-610 and is now measurable to one pad thickness.

  3. The requirement to Cleanliness testing has been rewritten including a recommendation of tests to be used in PPAP documentation.


“The test requirements for cleanliness or Ionic Contamination used today are from the 70ties and in reality only meant for process control. We gave this a good start in IPC6012DA, and improved further in IPC-6012DA WAM1 to make it easier to understand, update and to harmonize with ongoing revisions of other IPC documents”, says Pedersen.


The need for guidelines arises

As further improvements and specializations of the current IPC standards will arise, a need for guidelines for how to use the standards might be necessary.

“We suggest IPC start looking into developing guidelines on how to implement the different addendums related to the “mother-standards”, as the IPC-6012DA WAM1 towards IPC-6012. It might be challenging to understand how to use the standard, which applications apply where and which fits into which category, says Pedersen.

 This and other questions will be posted next week at the IPC APEX EXPO, where IPC-6012DA WAM1 will be presented.

“The task group will meet up and start looking into what revisions and improvements need to be pinpointed next time, says Pedersen.

IPC-6012DA WAM1 will be presented on Tuesday 29th of February at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego.

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