Considering the importance of IPC standards for PCB manufacturing, it is essential to utilize them at every stage. The previous post highlighted terminologies such as IPC, IPC PCB, and so on. Also, it focused on the benefits of IPC standards for PCB manufacturing. This post explores different classes and types of IPC standards. So, stay tuned.
What Are the Classes of IPC Standards?
IPC standards categorize all electronics products into three different classes as follows:
- Class 1 (General Electronics Products and Equipment): As the name suggests, this category involves general electronics products that we use in our day-to-day life. This class is considered as the lenient class when it comes to allowing potential defects. Thus, PCBs don’t fall in this category. The products that fall in this category have a shorter life cycle. A flashlight is one of the best examples of a class one product.
- Class 2 (Dedicated Electronics Products): The products with high reliability and extended lifespan fall under this class. These products mainly focus on seamless or uninterrupted services, therefore rarely fail or malfunction during the operation. The motherboard of a tablet or computer, circuit boards in home appliances including air conditioners, televisions, microwaves, etc., are some common examples of class 2 electronics.
- Class 3 (High-reliability Products): Electronics that fall under class three class are of high standards. They are designed for mission critical applications. Class three electronics products should offer consistent performance or performance on demand. The products should ensure zero downtime and uninterrupted delivery services. Class three products are used in advanced medical equipment, clean technology and machine learning, defense systems, and many more.
What Are the Different IPC Standards for PCB Manufacturing?
Here are a few IPC standards every PCB manufacturer should comply with to build the printed circuit boards for mission-critical applications across industries. So, let’s have a look at them.
- IPC-2221: There are several IPC standards designed for ensuring circuit board design reliability and manufacturability. IPC 2221 is one generic standard that defines a multitude of circuit board design aspects including PCB design, layout, required materials, mechanical and physical properties, and more. Simply, this standard details how electrical considerations should be implemented on the circuit boards. PCB designing and manufacturing are of utmost importance. Some section of this standard helps the designer ensure the circuit board is optimized for manufacturing.
- IPC-2581: It is a generic standard used for transmitting data between a PCB designer and a manufacturing facility. It consolidates every aspect of the PCB design, from layer descriptions through assembly, into one standardized format to ensure consistent production results.
- IPC-4101C: This IPC standard addresses requirements for base materials, popularly called prepreg or laminate, used for multilayer or rigid PCBs. The standard deals with the type of material used for designing PCBs, their dimensions, and properties as well.
- IPC-A-600F: This standard defines acceptance criteria for the circuit board. Now, you may ask what acceptance criteria is. Acceptance criteria describe the observable conditions that are acceptable for all parts of the PCB, ranging from gold fingers to copper plating. IPC-A-600F visually represents the important requirement that is put forward in other specifications.
- IPC-6012B: This IPC standard establishes and defines the qualifications and performance of the requirement for rigid printed circuit boards, including solderability, structural integrity, conductor spacing, and so on.
- IPC-TM-650: IPC has published several test methods for printed circuit boards under this standard. Also, it describes guidelines for assessing aspects of PCBs. Using this standard, OEMs can check the board’s propensity for surface electromagnetic migration, resistance to the flow current across the board substrate surface, ionic cleanliness testing, and much more.
All these IPC standards are essential in the production of PCBs and other electronic products. They help ensure superior quality products, reduce overall costs, increase competitiveness, and much more. Rigiflex Technology is committed to these standards for delivering quality PCBs. The company also possesses PCB certifications, including IPC-6012, 6013, AS9100, ISO-9001, and UL94V.0.