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10 The PCB Magazine • November 2014 likely target certifications which could be ad- dressed with this effort: • ISO 9001 (Quality) • ISO 14001 (Environmental) • ISO/TS 16949 (Automotive) • ISO 13485 (Medical) • AS 9100 (Aerospace) • ANSI/ASQ Q9001 • ANSI/ASQ Q9003 • DSCC (Defense Supply Center Columbus)/ DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) • NADCAP (list specifications and/or audit type) • UL • ITAR (Registered #) • OHS18001 (Occupational Health & Safety) • IRIS (International Railway Industry System) • MIL PRF 55110 I'm sure there are more we could add to this list and some that shouldn't be on it. In any case, you get where I'm going with this. It Will Take a While I figure we can make a10- year plan to address the con- solidation of all these differ- ent efforts. If we start off with a more comprehensive and complete audit with ongoing product and site reviews than what the current agencies do themselves, it might be an easy call for them to sign on. We should be so much bet- ter (and cheaper, for them), which will "pressurize" them (I love that word) to join up. We just need to go slow at first, proving IPC's capabilities to do this properly, one step at a time. The IPC board would have to commit serious resources to this effort and think long-term. There will be a payback for the IPC, but it may take a couple years of invest- ment to ensure this is done properly. A half- assed effort will just add another layer of audits to the industry, which won't do anyone any good. Theoretically and technically, it doesn't seem to be something outside the capability of IPC. They know the industry inside and out. Politically, we may find some roadblocks, as all these certification groups fight to protect their turf. That's why we need to go slow and me- thodically, based on a long-term plan designed by the stakeholders. Making this Painless In thinking this through a bit, I believe one of the best ideas is to make this IPC au- dit and seal of approval a no-brainer for com- panies, sort of like the Malcolm Baldrige Na- tional Quality Award. Most companies that go down this path get more out than they put in, meaning this: The improvements they make as a result far outweigh the cost. That's the way this should be. The assessment should provide objective feedback, at some level, to those be- ing audited. A CEO should welcome the audits each year, which should point out problems and possible solutions, provide benchmarking data and a corrective action schedule. It shouldn't be punitive, but rather, constructive. They should know that if they stumble, IPC will work to help them come into compliance. It certainly has to be IPC's goal to get as many members into compliance as possible. And since compa- nies have to be members to be audited and OEMs have to be members to get access to the audit company's information, IPC membership grows as well. Different Levels At first, I thought that it might be nice to have two or three different levels: bronze, silver and gold. Then, I reconsid- ered. What is needed is one compre- hensive audit allowing all companies who pass to build any type of product. It should be so good that in order to sell PCBs to any serious OEM, you need IPC's seal of approval. This does a couple things. It ensures that IPC-certified member companies are recognized worldwide IPC SEAL OF APPROvAL continues The IPC board would have to commit serious resources to this effort and think long-term. There will be a payback for the IPC, but it may take a couple years of investment to ensure this is done properly. " "

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