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December 2015 • The PCB Magazine 77 it was very well received. The audience mem- bers were circuit board fabricators and OEMs who obviously have a strong interest in that industry. Goldman: It's important that the OEMs are really interested in the program, because that gets the board shops more interested in qualifying. Cherry: That's absolutely correct. Goldman: Again, just because they have the spec on-site, they may be using it, but certifying is one step further. It's like a guarantee. Not just saying so, but the action behind it. Cherry: The IPC-6012/A-600 program is much different than the others. For example, the J-STD-001/A-610 program is more of an in- spection-based program, where your IPC- 6012/A-600 has several IPC test methods in- volved. Since IPC doesn't have a test lab, I had to partner with two other companies to get this program off the ground. The companies I partnered with were Conductor Analysis Tech- nology, otherwise known as CAT Inc., based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Robison Lab- oratories based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The three of us are going to work together to kick the program off. As you alluded to earlier, at IPC I'll be doing the early audits, keeping the audit portion of the program in check, and then we'll be build- ing some test coupons. These test coupons come from IPC 2221 Appendix A, we're using the AB/R and the D coupon to start with. Our focus is on rigid boards Class II and Class III. Once again, these can run in parallel; while the board shop is fabricating the test coupons, I can be doing the audit or vice-versa—it doesn't matter. Goldman: Your audits are on-site, obviously. At the same time they've got to build these coupons and have them tested as part of the audit? That's very impressive. Cherry: Like I said, we plan to kick this program off very soon. Speaking to the IPC-6012/A-600 Committee was invaluable because I got very good feedback right away and I challenged the committee members to give us some help on future roadmaps. This is just the introductory phase. We want to add rigid-flex, flex circuits, and there are other IPC standards we want to bring into this program. But instead of IPC set- ting the direction, I want the committee mem- bers to take ownership of this program and give us feedback and we'll use that to steer the pro- gram for future revisions. Goldman: I'm guessing a lot of companies in the U.S. and North America are very familiar with the standards and have been using them and living to them for a long time. Cherry: That's correct. Goldman: Outside of this country, say in Asia, they haven't been working with them nearly as long and perhaps don't give them the credence and weight that they might deserve. I presume eventu- ally you're going to delve more into that part of the world. Cherry: We'll keep the program in the U.S. for a few months, once again, to build up a database. As we get more test coupons' submissions com- pleted, they're all going into a database where we'll set up a subscription for the OEMs to view all this test data from these various board shops. But because we have IPC China and we already have auditors there that are IPC employees, I would then go over to China and start training them on this program. Probably shadow those auditors at a couple of audits like I did with pri- or programs. Then, like I said, they'll go off and start doing them on their own. Goldman: Are these audits very expensive? How does that work? Cherry: The pricing is really a variety of pricing, and it's all based on how many hours you're go- ing to be on-site, also the type of testing that we're doing. The testing for IPC-6012 we're us- ing Table 4-3, and there's roughly 30 different tests that you're doing there. Goldman: That's significant. THE VALUE OF IPC'S VALIDATION SERVICES FeATure inTerview

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