Standards Committees: Moving Faster, Working Better


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Standards committee work is where much of the heavy lifting takes place for industry standards. To the inexperienced eye, the committee process can also seem as perplexing as it is crucial. In this conversation, Teresa Rowe, IPC’s senior director of assembly and standards technology, highlights what to expect from standards committee sessions at IPC APEX EXPO 2023. New committees, revisions, leadership, awards, and thoughtful pauses to celebrate achieving milestones are all part of the IPC APEX EXPO standards committee experience.

Nolan Johnson: Teresa, looking ahead to IPC APEX EXPO 2023’s committee work, what is meaningful and compelling for attendees?

Teresa Rowe: From a standards development perspective, we have new projects. First, we have a new project on magnification, as well as projects for Factory of the Future. We have a lot of leading-edge technologies, and we have some celebrations for the completion of some of our documents, IPC/WHMA-A-620E being one of them. We're continuing our work to release more things that industry is anxiously awaiting in 2023. It's an opportunity for us to see each other face to face and, as I like to say it, “families” getting together and having reunions.

Johnson: Is there a sense that committee work is accelerating?

Rowe: Yes. There is a demand from industry for standards to be on the top of their game and it's a well-known fact that it takes a long time for some things to get into the documents. We must look at test data; sometimes we set up tests ourselves or with the groups and work through what that means for industry. But at the end of the day, industry’s expectation is that we provide them with the standards requirements that are accepted by that same industry, so that they can build for their customers.

Johnson: Let’s walk through some of the committee work you just highlighted, such as magnification.

Rowe: We've had a standard for a very long time. It's very old; IPC-OI-645, which is referenced in one of our very popular documents. We realized that it needs to be updated. The standards group has taken an action item to start looking at the older standards in our library and to either reaffirm, revise, or withdraw them and make them obsolete. Because of the conversation with that group, they realized they also needed a guidance document that helped industry to use magnification. Things are getting smaller, and people can't see them, so there's a whole new effort with that. In addition, factory of the future has two new magnification projects for AOI and AOX and we're planning to bring those on board.

Johnson: That’s a nice segue to the factory of the future. What's happening there this year?

Rowe: We're just getting our committees formed, and sometimes the most difficult part is to get a project off the ground. We're looking for anyone who might be interested in working on these projects, those who want to dedicate their time to help themselves, their company, and industry to reach consensus on what's needed.

To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the December 2022 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

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