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The services offered by IPC Validation Services include comprehensive technical consulting, SGA standard gap analysis, the qualified products list (QPL), and the qualified manufacturers list (QML). Currently, QML is reported to be the most frequently used IPC validation service aimed at offering validation service at product and business levels. The QML audit process not only normalizes manufacturing process, reduces quality problems, and lowers audition-related costs, but it also develops talent within the enterprise to ensure that standards are implemented accurately. In this article, I discuss QML validation with a Taiwanese company that has successfully gone through the process.
Headquartered in Taipei, ASKEY Technology (Jiangsu) Co. Ltd. was founded in 2001 as a subsidiary of ASUS. It is specialized in manufacturing and development of advanced electronic network communication products covering broadband network communication products, xDSL, cable modem, VoIP, set-top box, PDT, as well as promising products, such as GPON, GPS, vehicle-mounted products, intelligent BUS stations, and other advanced, integrated products. ASKEY initiated an IPC QML validation process in 2014 and successfully passed the initial audit of Class 2 in June 2015. Now included in the IPC trusted sources list and ranked 12th worldwide and top three in mainland China (revenue), ASKEY plans to pass Class 3 validation in 2020.
The PCB007 China team paid a visit to the ASKEY plant in Wujiang, Jiangsu, to learn more about their QML process. In this interview with Qixian Zhang, vice GM of ASKEY’s Electronics Product Quality Assurance Department, he discusses what QML means to ASKEY and the electronics industry as a whole.
Edy Yu: Mr. Zhang, thank you for the chance to conduct this interview. Why did you choose to pursue the QML system?
Qixian Zhang: Thank you. The electronics manufacturing industry has always used IPC standards, though simply as manufacturing indicators in the past. There are too many IPC standards for us to systematically implement or even completely understand. The first time I heard about IPC QML, it was kind of a coincidence going back to an IPC meeting five years ago. Back then, we thought the IPC QML program was very good. For a company like us, which specializes in manufacturing and production, standards have significant value. In the past, when we communicated with a customer, we would bring along the standards and consider each line item, one by one. With an IPC QML manufacturer certification, our customers can recognize that we have implemented the series of IPC standards. Of course, there is also the endorsement of third party supervision through this process.
To read this entire interview, which appeared in the March 2020 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.