In many cases, the electronic signals in an electronic product are transported between the printed circuit board assemblies through wires, in general, bundled together in wire harnesses. The connection to the “world outside” is done by wires as well, we mostly call them cables. They come in different forms, lengths, and configurations with connectors in various shapes and pin counts. The electrical connections are made by connectors with contacts that can be soldered or crimped. Sometimes wires are soldered to terminals. Ground connections within wire harness assemblies sometimes are even ultrasonically welded.
Wire assemblies can be quite simple like the cable that connects a headphone to an MP3 player or very complex like the cable wire assemblies that connects the various electronic control units and periphery components of the electronic installation in an airplane or space craft.
The operating circumstances can differ as well and they will have to stand up to their task, withstanding vibrations, temperature shocks, and cycling, bending, pulling, and sometimes operate in very harsh environments. Depending on the application they might be used in situations where they come in contact with aggressive fluids like oil, gasoline, cooling fluids and various other chemicals.
So a harness assembly can’t be taken for granted and has to fulfill certain requirements. Here is where the IPC/WHMA-A-620 comes in. The IPC/WHMA-A-620 is the standard for Requirements and Acceptance of Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies. It is co-developed by working groups from IPC and WHMA, the Wiring Harness Manufacturing Association. It goes into process related items like materials, tools, and equipment to use for manufacturing processes. But also you can find the relevant information and criteria for the inspection of cable harness assemblies.
The extensive amount of illustrations make the texts “come to live” for the inspectors showing them what to look for when judging the wire harness assemblies.
The latest revision of the IPC/WHMA-A-620 is the C revision. It was published by IPC in January 2017. Again it has been updated to reflect the latest techniques and insights from the wire harness manufacturing industry. Comments and suggestions to the former version have been evaluated by a team of experts from the industry and changes were made to texts and tables. New illustrations have been added as well, making it well fit and the superior guidance document for everyone involved in processing, inspecting and using wire harness assemblies.
Even though this revision of this document is quite new to the market the PIEK and its Master IPC Trainers are fully prepared to inform you of the applicable training programs, the updated requirements of this standard and certify you as a Certified IPC Specialist or maybe even as a Certified IPC Trainer.