The IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard is the only industry-recognized method for setting expectations of what is acceptable when defining workmanship and quality in the manufacturing of discrete wire leads, cable and wire harnesses, and related assemblies. The IPC (Institute for Printed Circuits) sets requirements, which WHMA (Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association) members and their customers must abide by. WHMA is the trade association which predominantly represents the wire and cable harness manufacturing industry, which includes manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers. The organization is dedicated to providing its members with the technical support, access to leading-edge technology, benchmarking and the ability to network with the leaders in wire processing equipment, services, and manufacturing. For more information on WHMA can be found on their website at www.whma.org.
What does the IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard explain?
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard explains the materials, methods, testing and correct criteria for fabrication of all assembly activities. These activities range from cable & wire preparation, wire stripping, discrete wire termination, soldering, molding, potting, mechanical interconnections, labeling, and testing. It is required that each product is assigned and belong to a particular class within the standard. These sections are then broken up into three parts. Class 1 has been designated for all General Products. This may include wires and harnesses used in everyday consumer appliances such as refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. Class 2 has been “dedicated” to Dedicated Services. This may include televisions, cellular devices, home computing, and gaming systems. These products are found under Class 2 because they require extended life for continued performance. The last class is Class 3, which has been created solely to include high performance and harsh environments. The products in this category may include military, aerospace and medical devices. These products tend to be critical-use equipment where demand is high for constant performance.
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard sets expectations and offers a detailed program which covers all bases of wiring and cable components. By providing consistency and transparency between both vendor and customer, all parties recognize what is considered acceptable quality and workmanship for cables and harnesses.