Wire harnesses and cable assemblies help power various electrical devices. It refers to the wires and cables’ systematic and integrated arrangement in an insulating material. The concerned assembly helps transmit signal or electrical power. It provides various benefits over loose wires and cables. The wire and cable harness assemblies help to simplify connection to more significant components by integrating wiring into a single ”ready to install” or ”drop-in” installation. It results in decreased installation time and increases its safety and security. The assembly secures the individual components against the adverse effects of abrasions, vibrations, and moisture. The assembly process is followed by post-production testing to validate the harness for electrical functionality.
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard is the only industry-consensus standard for cable, wire, and harness assemblies. A quality backed standard describes the Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies. IPC 620 serves as the only industry-consensus international standard about the acceptance and performance of cable and wire harness assemblies. The standard was developed as a joint project of the Wire and Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA) and Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).
Manufacturing wire harness assemblies based on strict industry standards paves the path for creating a healthy competitive environment. Since its debut in the year 2002, it has undergone various IPC 620 standard revisions to meet the evolving trends of the market. IPC 620 enjoys international acceptance, and it has emerged as the essential process, materials, and inspection document in the industry. Harness assemblers across 42 countries follow it, and it has been translated into seven languages: English, German, Chinese, French, Danish, Spanish, and Polish respectively.
How does the IPC 620 standard make a difference?
The current marketplace is essentially customer-centric. Customers value three things. It includes quality, delivery, and price. The quality requirement is at the top-tier, and using valuable tools such as the IPC A-620 standard helps significantly enhance the quality factor. The standard emphasizes on process-based approach with quality in mind. It thus bears a direct impact on delivery and cost.
The cross-market demand for these specialty wire and cable harness assembly components increases. These assemblies are complex, multipart systems, and ensuring their performance and functionality is critical. The IPC 620 standard, developed over three years with 86 connectivity suppliers and OEMs, provides guidelines and effective reference points. It guides the production of crimped, mechanically secured, and soldered interconnections. It overlooks the various activities associated with manufacturing the cable and wire harness assemblies.
IPC 620 standard defines criteria for various aspects. It deals with the following:
- Requirements for individual wire seals,
- Safety wires and preparation,
- Solderingto terminals,
- Insulation displacement connectors (IDCs),
- Crimping of both stamped-and-formed and machined contacts,
- Ultrasonic welding,
- Coax/biax cables,
- Overmolding of flexible flat ribbon and Wire-wrap terminations.
Various companies globally employ at least one IPC-certified personnel to train others in using the IPC 620 standard. Companies also tend to employ at least one assembler certified in the IPC 620 standard. Stakeholders can use the standard in various ways. Operators can use it as a workmanship standard or train employees on how to spot defects and make high-quality releases.
IPC 620 Standard Revision
The IPC 620 standard revision D was released in January 2020. It is the latest revision. IPC/WHMA-A-620D is 420 pages long. The D revision addresses more than 375 documented comments and recommendations from users across the industry. Revision D consists of more than 700 full-color pictures and illustrations. The revised edition has removed the “target condition” from the entire standard. Within the scope of 19 chapters, it defines criteria for soldering to terminals, safety wires and prep, crimping of contacts, insulation displacement connectors, and ultrasonic welding, among others. It consists of changes in Section 18 solderless wrap criteria. It includes a new section for over-molding of flexible flat ribbon. The revision has removed the “target condition” from the standard.
IPC 620 standard identifies three classes of products. The product class defines criteria for Target, Acceptable, Process Indicator, and Defect conditions.
- Class 1 includes the General Electronics Products
- The Class 2 includes the Dedicated Service Electronics Products
- Class 3 includes the High-Reliability Electronics Products
Variants of the IPC A 620 certification
The three variations of IPC A 620 certification include:
- IPC/WHMA-A-620 CIS (Certified IPC Specialist): The concerning certification is intended for operators.
- The IPC/WHMA-A-620 CIT (Certified IPC Trainer): It is intended for those who want to train operators that seek to become CIS.
- IPC/WHMA-A-620 (Certified Standards Expert): It is for those who seek to become experts in the field of the relevant standard. Companies often assign experts as coordinators to enable the correct application of the standard within the company.
- Once you become IPC 620 certified, the certification has a validity of three years. Individuals must recertify themselves at the IPC Authorized Training Center.
The IPC 620 standard provides increased end-user reassurance concerning quality workmanship and performance. It is one of the most widely standard for cable, wire, and harness assemblies.