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74 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 Specifications are reference documents to be called out by OEM board designers in specify- ing the attributes of a surface finish. Designers may take exception to one or more items in the specification to ensure that the product meets the requirements of its intended use. e term "AAUBUS" (As Agreed Upon Between User and Supplier) is part of any specification. Specifications are consensus documents. ey are agreed upon by a panel of interest- ed industry participants composed of end us- ers (OEMs), manufacturers, assemblers, and suppliers. If there is consensus, then the com- mittee documents it in a dra specification for peer review. In cases where no consensus is readily ar- rived at, the committee undergoes its own testing in what is commonly referred to as a "Round Robin" (RR) study. In a RR investiga- tion, an agreed-upon test vehicle (TV) is de- signed and manufactured. TVs are then sent around to the different suppliers who depos- it the agreed upon thicknesses to be investi- gated. e TVs are collected, and the deposit thicknesses are verified and documented. e TVs are then coded and sent around again to the different testing sites that test for the de- sired attributes like soldering, contacting, and wire bonding capabilities of the different fin- ish thicknesses. e data is then collected, sorted out, and documented. At this point, a new attempt at consensus is made and, when achieved, the thickness specification is set, and the specification is draed. e "Dra" is posted for "Peer Review." Any IPC member can review the document and The IPC Surface Finish Specifications— Plating Subcommittee 4-14 The Plating Forum by George Milad, UYEMURA

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