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10 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2015 feature no consensus is readily arrived at, the commit- tee undergoes its own testing in what is com- monly referred to as a round-robin (RR) study. In a RR investigation, an agreed upon test vehi- cle (TV) is designed and manufactured. TVs are then sent around to the different suppliers who deposit the agreed upon thicknesses to be inves- tigated. The TVs are collected and the deposit thicknesses are verified and documented. The TVs are then coded. The TVs are sent around again to the different testing sites that test for the desired attribute like soldering, contacting and wire bonding capabilities of different finish thicknesses. The data is then collected, sorted out and documented. At this point, a new at- tempt at consensus is made and upon arrival, the thickness specification is set. A draft is prepared after consensus is com- plete. The draft is then posted for peer review. Any IPC member can review the document and suggest technical or editorial changes. All com- ments are then reviewed and all issues resolved IPC specifications are reference documents to be called out by designers and OEMs. Design- ers may take exception with one or more items in the specification to ensure that the product meets the requirements of its intended use. The acronym AAUBUS (as agreed upon between user and supplier) is part of any specification. Specifications are consensus documents. They are agreed upon by a panel of interested industry participants composed of suppliers, manufactur- ers, assembly houses (CMs) and end users. The IPC Plating Sub-committee 4-14 is no exception. When there is consensus, the committee documents it in a specification. In cases where by George Milad uyeMuRA Co-ChAiR, iPC PlATiNG suB-CoMMiTTee 4-14 IPC Plating Sub-committee 4-14: Surface Finish Specifications Looking Below the Surface This article was previously published in the February 2015 edition of The PCB Magazine.