Frequently Asked Questions: IPC Standards

What is an IPC Standard?
An IPC standard is a set of rules, criteria, guidelines and characteristics for procedures, products, and processes.  Standards allow manufacturers, customers, and suppliers to understand one another better.  Standards allow manufacturers greater efficiencies when they set up their processes to meet industry standards, allowing them to offer their customers lower costs.  IPC has published standards for many steps of the printed circuit manufacturing and assembly process, building from a foundation of solid design up to final acceptance. For more information about specific standards, please visit www.IPC.org/onlinestore and download the IPC Standards Tree

Why are standards required?
Standards are required to assure uniformity and consistency throughout all facets of product development: design, supply, and manufacture. Compliance to standards results in universal product acceptance.

Who develops IPC standards?
A technical committee comprised of volunteers who are experts in the subject matter of interest develops IPC standards. - These members represent a broad cross section reflecting the various elements of the supply chain: designers, suppliers, and manufacturers. - Each of these committees have their own subcommittee. - The committee and subcommittee list can be found here.

What is the review cycle on existing standards?
Standards are on a three-year cycle.

Why do we charge for standards?
IPC spends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to support IPC’s volunteers in the standards and publications development process.  There are many rounds of drafts sent out for evaluation and the committees spend hundreds of hours in review and development.  IPC’s staff attends and participates in committee activities, typesets and circulates document drafts, and follows all necessary procedures to qualify for ANSI approval.

IPC’s membership dues have been kept low to allow as many companies as possible to participate.  Therefore, the standards and publications revenue is necessary to complement dues revenue

Why does IPC increase its pricing on standards?
Just as there are rising costs in the economy, IPC sees rising costs for its standards. - There are costs associated with the process of producing any standard. There are costs to maintaining and delivering standards to the industry. IPC continues to deliver new standards to the market and funds are generated from sales of IPC standards. IPC continually reviews pricing for standards and strives to minimize price increases.

Why do IPC standards cost so much?
A standard takes thousands of hours of work by many people. - IPC manages the process of bringing a standard to the industry with the input of volunteers, and this takes funding. IPC continues to deliver new standards to the market and funds are generated from sales of IPC standards. IPC continually reviews pricing for standards and strives to minimize price increases.

How do I find information on IPC documents under development?
IPC provides a Status Report, that shows the status of IPC documents under development.  To ensure due process, all IPC specifications are circulated among IPC member companies for their review. If you would like to obtain a copy of a particular draft, please contact the IPC technical staff at Answers@IPC.org. - Once published, the documents are available from our Online Store.

What are IPC’s most common standards?
All IPC standards are equally important.  Please browse the IPC Online Store for different documents and pricing. 

What is a red line document?  
A redline document is a document that shows all tracked changes that were captured during the revision process. - With a redline version, you can quickly spot changed sections and tell specifically what has been changed from the previous edition, saving time and confusion.

Why would I need a red line document?
The redline document helps users see significant changes from a previous revision.

What is a document amendment?
Amendments are documents that show revisions to the main document. - Amendments are only published within the life cycle of the main document.

What is a document addendum?
An addendum is a document that points out revised specifications to a standard. - An addendum cannot stand on its own as a standard and requires the base document, when addressing specific topics for a specific industry.

What is a Free Member or O-Rep document?
A free member or O-Rep document is shorthand for “Official Representative Document”, is a newly released document available to members only per request within the first 90 days of the document release. – Amendments, addendums and translations do not qualify as O-Rep documents. 

Who can get a single user download of a document of newly developed standards?
IPC members may request a free single user download of a document with digital rights management of each new standard by visiting www.IPC.org/free-member-docs within 90 days of the release. - The file is enabled to print one copy of the standard. - Please note that you will receive the file from an e-mail from IHS.com. - The file must be opened within 10 business days and will LOCK to the computer of the person who OPENS the file. - The free member document is available to the first come person from a member site. - IPC only provides the free member downloadable documents in English, no foreign language, amendments, addendums, incorporations, or space documents are part of this program.

I accidently deleted the Free Member Download link/email and cannot access it now. - Can you resend the link to the document?  
Please contact the IPC Member Support team to request a new link by sending your request to membertechrequests@IPC.org.  A representative will research your inquiry and respond appropriately. - Please note that the link to the free copy of the downloadable document is emailed to you by the IHS company.  The file must be opened within 10 business days and will LOCK to the computer of the person who OPENS the file.

I requested a Free Member Download document but have not received it. - Why?
The free member document is available to the first requesting person from a member site.  An email will be sent to the requestor after the order has been placed online. - Please check you SPAM folder and make sure your company is not blocking emails from IPC or IHS. – IHS has 10 days from the date of the order to send the download link.  If you have not received your download link within 10 days, email IPC at membertechrequests@IPC.org.

Which standards/documents have related training and certification programs?
Currently the following standards have related training and certification programs:

  • IPC-A-610
  • J-STD-001
  • IPC-A-620
  • IPC-7711/21
  • IPC-A600
  • IPC-6012
  • CID
  • CID+

Can I request an IPC publication catalog?
Yes.  The IPC Publication Catalog is available for download in English on IPC online. You can  request a catalog to be mailed to you.

Where can I find a list of all the standards that came out in last 30 days?
To download a free copy of the standards, please visit the Free Member Docs page on the IPC site. - Here is the link for the free member docs.  You must be an IPC member to access this page.

Do the standards document I am purchasing have an ECCN number or Schedule B number?
Our products fall under the EAR99 (NLR) designation and are ITAR exempt. We do not, therefore, have an ECCN #. Our Schedule B # is 4911.10.0050 for the standards documents.

Are IPC standards documents already export rated?
Our products fall under the EAR99 (NLR) designation and are ITAR exempt. We do not, therefore, have an ECCN #. Our Schedule B # is 4911.10.0050 for the standards documents.

What is the export rating for standards documents?
Our products fall under the EAR99 (NLR) designation and are ITAR exempt. We do not, therefore, have an ECCN #. Our Schedule B # is 4911.10.0050 for the standards documents.

Does IPC offer any documents that deal with nickel plated terminals?
IPC has standards that address soldering to plated terminals, however at this time, we do not have standards about the actual plating process to get the terminals plated with nickel. - For additional information please contact IPC Technical team via email MemberTechRequest@IPC.org.

Why can’t I see the downloadable document that I purchased?
Please contact the IPC Member Support team via email orderIPC@IPC.org or by phone +1 847-597-2862 and we will be glad to research your inquiry.

Which documents are necessary to obtain a complete hard copy of IPC-J-STD-001F and A-610F? 
IPC now offers a new format to J-STD-001F and A-610F, in addition to IPC-J-STD-001F, A-610F, A-610FAM(D)1(amendment 1 only) and 001FAM1(D)1(amendment 1 only). IPC is providing a new format based on requests from members. This new format incorporates Amendment 1 with revision F of the documents to make a single document. – The full document part numbers with amendment 1 included are J-STD-001F-WAM1 and A-610F-WAM1. This is just a new format, not a new document or a new revision.   

Do training kits have the new amendments incorporated into the standard?
The training kits are only sold with the document without the amendment. If you are training with the amendment, you can either buy the amendment download or the book with the amendment included, separate from the kit.

Why does IPC develops new formats for standards?
IPC provides new standards based on requests and feedback from the industry and members. 

Is the J-STD-001F-WAM1 or the A-610F-WAM1 being offered as a free download for IPC members?
A free downloadable document is not available for amendments or revisions.   

What is IPC’s Technology Roadmap?
The IPC International Technology Roadmap product provides vision and direction for product and process development and the services required to satisfy current and future needs of companies that design, build, buy, or specify electronic equipment and materials. It is an essential resource for executives, technologists, and strategic planners, who will get unique access to the knowledge and data of an international team of subject matter experts. - If you want to know where your company needs to be in the years ahead, and how to get there, add the IPC Technology Roadmap to your marketing, business and technology libraries.