The US-based Institute of Printed Circuits or IPC is a trade association that has been standardizing the assembly and manufacture of electronic equipment across the world for over sixty years. Since IPC’s yearly standards are accepted globally, IPC training and certification are integral parts of any soldering professional who wants to work for electronics manufacturing companies. To understand the importance of receiving IPC-Certification training, we must first understand this committee’s core principles of standardization. IPC standards are meant to –
- Encourage soldering professionals, project supervisors, training managers, etc., to create feedback systems for consistent performance improvement.
- Concentrate on end product performances.
- Simplify the technical language that soldering professionals need to use.
- Decrease the time products take to hit the market by ensuring all soldering professionals follow the same principles at their workplaces.
- Nurture a strong relationship between soldering Design for Manufacturability (DFM) and soldering Design for the Environment (DFE). Soldering professionals are required to be up to date with certain manufacturing and environmental-friendliness factors (both change every year).
IPC standards are NOT intended to –
- Share information that can’t be backed by data.
- Direct soldering professionals on how they should create or produce items at work.
- Increase cycle times
- Make the soldering profession exclusionary or esoteric.
- Increase the time it takes for products to hit the market
- Slow down the pace of innovation.
These are the guiding principles of IPC’s standardization efforts, which are fundamentally designed to serve consumer interest. These standards aim to eliminate confusion between manufacturers, soldering professionals, and the average purchasers by enabling interchangeability and the development of better-quality products. As of 2019, there are 35,080 soldering professionals in the USA and 3,460 in Indiana. All of these professionals need to receive IPC accreditation to be deemed employable by manufacturing companies.
Why Become IPC-Accredited?
By receiving IPC accreditation and solder training in Indiana, soldering professionals can guarantee that they adhere to all appropriate electronic manufacturing information and rules. Of late, most employers are asking soldering professionals to share their IPC qualifications when hiring. An IPC-accredited soldering professional is so highly-rated in the industry because the certification illustrates –
- Soldering professionals’ designs meet IPC and industry standards.
- The skill level and knowledge are suitable for employment as they’re officially endorsed by the largest trade association for soldering professionals worldwide.
- The soldering professional is employable in the best electronic manufacturing companies as their experience and knowledge of commonly-recognized techniques are top-level.
- If there are any conflicts or confusion between what the manufacturing company is asking the soldering professional to do and what IPC standards require him/her to do, the professional will be able to make the correct decision.
- The soldering professional knows about specialized processes and advanced technologies currently being used in the industry. Soldering requirements in the manufacturing industry change from time to time, especially for specialized processes. This certification guarantees that the soldering professionals will perform their duties according to documented procedures.
- The soldering professional can detect defects or recognize nonconformances that are identified by the manufacturer. The soldering professional can then address these risks and nonconformances in a way that doesn’t hamper the functional capabilities, design life, or reliability of the products.
Who is this Certification For?
The IPC training courses specifically cater to soldering or PCB design professionals who are currently in the workforce or in the process of joining the workforce. These professionals can benefit a lot from the recognition that these certifications provide. Their skills and designs are essentially deemed acceptable as per international standards after they pass this training course. Anyone with experience or advanced knowledge about soldering and PCB design can apply for these certification programs. This qualification is also suitable for professionals undertaking broader operational functions like equipment development, electronics design, quality control experts, etc.
- These training programs equip soldering professionals with the skills they require to create better quality work.
- The need for rework or testing reduces once applicants obtain this certification.
- Their overall knowledge and skill level when it comes to complex design scenarios improves a lot.
- Soldering professionals can promote themselves to new clients or companies in a better way thanks to this certification.
Why Companies Champion this Training
Leading equipment and electronics manufacturing companies champion IPC training and certification as it enables them to draw from a talent pool full of professionals who are compliant as per industry-recognized standards. IPC training is the most efficient way of reassuring companies about a soldering professional’s skill and competence levels.
For companies, soldering professionals who receive IPC accreditation and training are –
- Skilled enough to assist their PCB design teams in generating better quality design work.
- Can get tasks right the first time.
- Doesn’t need laborious reworks or testing.
- Provides their design team the skills they need to deal with super-complex design ideas.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that as of 2016, only 4% of soldering professionals were women. So, as we advance, a key goal of IPC training is also to attract more female soldering professionals. The benefits of IPC training extend beyond mere accreditation – it enhances all soldering professionals’ skill levels with new industry knowledge and advanced soldering techniques.