IPC-A-600 Or IPC-6012: What Standard Should Be Used?


IPC (Institute of Printed Circuit), which is also known as “The Association Connecting Electronic Industries” is an international trade association serving the electronics assembly industries and the printed circuit board. IPC is known worldwide for its standards that verify the quality of manufactured PCB assemblies and printed circuit boards. Manufacturers must meet many comprehensive inspection specifications that meet the IPC standard. IPC-6012 and IPC-A-600 are two of the key guides, also referred to as performance and test documents. Both work hand-in-hand. IPC-A-600 is the visual representation and IPC-6012 is the specification of the IPC-6012 document. Here briefly explain what basic concept of IPC-A-600 Or IPC-6012

IPC-6012: Qualification And Performance Specifications For Rigid Printed Cards

IPC-6012 is a specification that defines the qualification and performance requirements for the manufacture of rigid printed circuit boards. The requirements apply to multi-layer, single-sided boards, HDI boards, active/passive embedded circuit printed boards as well as printed metal core boards.

IPC-A-600: Acceptability of Printed Boards

IPC-A-600, also known as IPC-600, sets the acceptance criteria for each product class. This document describes the objective, acceptable and non-compliant conditions that can be observed externally or internally in printed circuits/boards. It represents the visual interpretation of the minimum requirements specified in various board specifications, such as the IPC-6010 series. The visual representations in IPC-A-600 represent the specific criteria for the performance requirements of the applicable IPC-6010 series document. Customers and manufacturers can also agree on acceptance criteria that will replace the requirements of the corresponding IPC standard.

What Are The Differences Between IPC-A-600 Or IPC-6012?

IPC-6012 defines the standard requirements and required specifications for each PCB class and is a performance specification. Class 1 is associated with general electrical boards having a limited life and a “simple” function as found in remote controls. Class 2 is reserved for dedicated electronic service products, which means that the plate has a long life and can, therefore, be mounted on a TV, computer or air conditioning. Class 3 PCBs are more stringent intolerances than class 1 and 2 PCBs. They are highly reliable products used in the military or medical for high performance, for example.

The default requirement for IPC-6012 is Class 2. Here are some specifications for IPC-6012:

  • Conductor Width And Distance
  • Structural Integrity
  • Visually
  • Solderability
  • Dimensional
  • Cleaning
  • Conductor Surfaces

IPC-A-600 Or IPC-6012?

When PCB designers get manufactured rigid boards, the IPC-6012 is the specification they need. Designers use IPC-6012 to define the requirements for the desired rigid boards. The document also defines the requirements manufacturers must meet when producing three classes of typical performance sheets:

  1. Class 1
  2. Class 2
  3. Class 3

However, when manufacturers inspect boards during their journey to their assembly facilities, they use the IPC-A-600 for future inspection specifications.

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