Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an independent American safety science organisation that is involved in all aspects of product safety and is particularly active in the American and Canadian markets. Flammability is a very important safety criterion for printed circuit boards. The flammability of a printed circuit board is determined by the materials used, the production process and the construction. Certification can be obtained in two ways: 1) by using UL certified materials and a UL certified production process or 2) by certifying the product. The second method is much more expensive and takes much longer than the first method.
Printed circuit boards are usually UL94 V0 qualified.
Many different parties are involved when manufacturing electronics. The IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) was founded to ensure that all the different parties can communicate unambiguously and agree on the specifications. The IPC organisation was founded in 1957 in the USA as an institute for printed circuit boards. Now the IPC is a worldwide organisation with offices in the USA, Europe (Sweden), China and Russia, and a venture organisation in India.
Q.P.I. is an IPC Member.
The IPC has defined a large number of standards dealing with the construction and processing of printed circuit boards. Overview of the structure.
Applicable IPC standards::
ISO TS16949 is the worldwide standard for quality assurance in the automotive industry.
Increasingly automotive manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers are dependent upon the suppliers of materials, parts and services. Quality and timely delivery have a big influence on the end product. The quality standard ISO TS16949 was set-up to prevent risks such as failing parts (during driving) and delayed delivery. The standard is managed with the aid of ISO by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). The ISO 9001 quality standard forms the basis of the ISO TS 16949 standard.
Q.P.I. can also supply products in accordance with the MIL standards. MIL standards give a very detailed description of the product properties and the traceability.
MIL-P-55110 Performance Specification Printed Wiring Board, Rigid
MIL-P-50884 Military Specification Printed Wiring Board, Flexible or Rigid-Flex