IPC certification for RoHS lead free electronics assembly process capability program now available
May 05, 2006
IPC has launched the certification for RoHS lead free electronics assembly process capability program in North America and Europe.
"The IPC certification audit program has a long name but a simple goal and that is to audit an electronics assembly facility - whether it's an OEM or EMS company -- to determine if the company's facility is capable of producing product to meet the lead free requirements of the RoHS directive," John Kania, IPC director of assembly industry programs, explained. "The audit is not designed to -- and cannot ensure -- a facility will produce RoHS lead free compliant products," Kania commented.
The certification audit program is a rigorous series of steps culminating in a two-day audit of the site's assembly operations. "Whether you are a large OEM or a small EMS company, the audit certification program allows you to benchmark your processes and to judge your capabilities to meet the drive to RoHS lead free assembly," Kania said.
Two EMS facilities in the U.S. have been certified following beta testing of the program. Solectron Corporation's Charlotte, North Carolina facility was the first beta test and the first Tier 1 EMS facility to receive certification. Leo Lambert, vice president and technical director of EPTAC Corporation, Manchester, N.H., conducted the audit of Solectron's Charlotte facility.
Raven Industries of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, successfully completed the second beta test on May 1, 2006. "While we have been through numerous audits, IPC's audit process provided the highest level of objective feedback to validate and improve upon our existing RoHS lead free assembly process capabilities," said Brad Matthies, quality assurance manager, Raven Industries. Constantino Gonzalez, president of ACME Incorporated, Rapid City, S.D., conducted the audit of Raven Industries.
The certification audit program has been in development for seven months. Two content experts initially developed a draft of the program and an IPC blue ribbon committee composed of EMS companies, OEMs and industry suppliers then evaluated and approved the structure and content of the program.
To explain the IPC RoHS Lead Free Electronics Assembly Process Capability Certification Program to the industry, IPC will hold a free web cast on May 31, 2006. The web cast will provide an insiders' view of what it takes to achieve certification of a company's RoHS lead free assembly process. Speakers will include Jenny Porter of Solectron Charlotte, the first beta site to successfully complete the program.
The agenda includes:
-- General Overview
-- Program Auditor's Notes of How to Prepare
-- First Hand Account of the Certification Experience
Since its initial announcement, the program has generated much industry interest. A major EMS company in Europe is beginning the certification process now.
For more information on the IPC Certification for Lead Free Electronics Assembly Process Capability Program, contact John Kania, IPC, director of assembly industry programs, at 847-597-2806 or e-mail LFCert@ipc.org. You may download the program brochure, free sample audit checklist and web cast registration information at www.ipc.org/LFCert.