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PCB-Nov2014

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8 The PCB Magazine • November 2014 by Ray Rasmussen i-ConneCt007 What if we could get the military, aerospace, medical, automotive, and a few other industry groups to agree to accept one site audit and one certification? In other words, one audit, once a year, which covers everything. Already underway, IPC has ventured into the area of PCB fabricator and EMS provider audits based on IPC-1071 for fabricators and IPC J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 for PCBA. Called IPC Validation Services, this effort is being driv- en by IPC's OEM members who want to replace for individual site audits with a single IPC audit as the standard for vendor acceptance. What Does Compliance Cost? Randy Cherry is leading this effort at IPC. It's a good first step but it doesn't go far enough IMHO (my kids taught me that). We have an opportunity to remove a huge source of pain and suffering for many companies on both sides of the transaction. These site audits are time-consuming and expensive. After query- ing, I found one medium-sized EMS company's costs of compliance, including audits, translat- ed to about 0.5% of sales. I'm sure that with some economies of scale, that number would decrease, but it's still a significant number for most companies and another non-value-added expense to doing business. EMS industry wide, that starts to add up. At about $500 billion in sales, the EMS industry's cost of compliance is approximately $1–3 billion annually. If the same number holds for PCB fabs, then we're looking at another $100–300 million. The in- dustry spends a ton of money on this! Get this down to a single audit and the OEM wins, EMS/ PCB fabs win, and if IPC does the job, they win as well. Seems like a no-brainer. Here's a list of the way i see it C o l u m n IPC Seal of Approval

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