For the operation of an electronic assembly, it is important that it is built the way it is intended. The customer expects that the products delivered to him are exactly the way he ordered them. The correct components must in their proper location and in many cases, the polarity has to be considered. Solder connections have to fulfill certain criteria, a proper wetting is important, as are parameters like hole fill, solder fillets, solder width and height etcetera.
In order to function properly components and printed boards can not be damaged above a certain extent, sometimes no damage is accepted. Components installed on the PCB come in various shapes and configurations. The industry commonly uses through-hole components as well as SMD or Surface Mount Devices. Also, terminals for wire attachment can be found on the assemblies.
An inspector at the assembly plant is the responsible person for checking if all relevant parameters are met. As such he plays a key role in ensuring that the products delivered to the customer are conform with the specifications. To perform his job adequately it is most important that he has all relevant information. This can be assembly drawings, contracts and other documents provided by a customer. Also, he will need to have access to the relevant specifications and acceptance criteria like they are found in the IPC-A-610 standard.
IPC-A-610 is the standard used widely in the electronics producing industry for the inspection of printed board assemblies. It covers various aspects of the printed circuit board assemblies, it depicts the target conditions, ideal situations which not always will be met, as well as the tolerances, described as acceptable conditions. Non-conforming or defect situations are displayed as well. Furthermore, it goes into situations that do not affect operation but are a non-desired condition related to process material, design or machine issues. These are considered process indicators and although they do not have to be treated, they could be the basis for improvements within the processes.
The Master Trainers at PIEK have a long experience in training both operators (CIS) and trainers (CIT) in line with the IPC-A-610 training programs. With the standard translated into many languages, PIEK provides certification in English, German, Dutch and French language. Assuring that inspectors have the relevant information and are capable of correctly interpreting this in their daily job is the goal of these training programs.
When the correct decisions are made this might improve the financial yield of the assembly plant. Avoiding unnecessary rework and repair operations reduce operations and thus costs, while still maintaining functionality and reliability.
Obviously, these training courses can be interesting for other people involved in the assembly processes as well. Likewise, it might help customers, designers and all other parties involved in designing, ordering, installation, rework and repair etcetera.