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There are many reasons—from a personal, professional, or a business perspective—to get involved in IPC standards development activities. Based on your level of involvement, your experiences can touch on one, two, or all three of these areas.
From a business perspective, involvement in IPC standards is incredibly important. Usage of IPC’s globally accepted standards creates a level playing field in the electronics supply chain. The playing field, however, is only as level as the participants who are involved in the development of a standard.
By actively participating on an IPC committee, subcommittee or task group, your company has a say in the content and requirements that go into an IPC standard. For instance, if a task group is moving forward with a change to a standard that could impact your business, you have the ability—working through the task group—to influence direction for that proposed change to ensure when the standard is published and out to market for use, your company will be able to continue to meet requirements of the standard.
Professionally, many of our task group members will tell you some of the best free education they can get is from participation on an IPC task group. By participating on these groups, you have a seat at the table with others from your industry with a direct interest in a topic that also specifically interests you. During the development of the standard, you will be an active participant along with other industry subject matter experts as you work together on an area of technology with idea exchange about the latest advancements within that area of technology.
Additionally, when the standard is published, you will bring to your company your direct knowledge of the whys and hows that went into the development of the standard, including reasoning for requirements. This will set you apart from those who did not participate and will need to best interpret the standard on their own.
On a personal level, you will greatly expand your business and personal networks. You will meet and get to know people from across the globe who all share a common interest in building electronics better. Any IPC staff liaisons will attest to how satisfying it is to go from a first meeting of a standards group, where almost everyone is a stranger, to looking back on that meeting years later to see how strongly connected all those people are.
How to Get Involved
Because IPC has an established network of standards task groups and a set, consistent process for how all our groups work, getting involved in IPC standards activities is very easy.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the May 2021 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.