IPC seeks component supplier input on box build standard

Bannockburn, Ill. — An IPC standards committee is seeking input from component suppliers to help develop a box build standard. When the IPC 7-31j task group meets at the IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition in Schaumburg, Ill., September 21, IPC — Association Connecting Electronics is requesting greater input from component suppliers.

Over the past year, OEMs, including Honeywell Aerospace and Rockwell Collins, that specify cabinetry have been meeting to lay the groundwork for the IPC-A-630, Requirements and Acceptance for Enclosures standard. Now, the electronics industry group is seeking greater industry participation to cover the complete design and supply chain.

“Participation from all parties involved with the design, manufacture and end use of a product is especially important in areas that involve many components and particularly in a diverse area that currently has no standardization,” stated Dave Torp, vice president of standards and technology at IPC. “Enclosures that hold boards, card cages, connectors and other electronic components are such an area. No standard currently addresses the complex marketplace that includes everything from paints and coatings to plastic and metal skins to screws that must be set to a certain torque level.”

Although the task group’s initial goal is to focus on high-end boxes, the group envisions that the concepts will be endorsed throughout many fields in the future. “We hope the guideline will migrate from the military and high-end systems to consumer electronics like MP3 players, electronic gaming systems and PCs,” stated Kris Roberson, IPC Manager of Assembly Technology.

IPC says that starting with a fairly small market segment will simplify development and adoption of an area that involves a variety of terms and technical parameters. “When multiple OEMs provide several EMS companies with documentation that uses an array of terms, the potential for problems quickly exceeds acceptable levels,” said IPC.

“It’s clear that customers want to use this document. Now we want to get the manufacturers of boxes, molders and sheet metal people involved. Their terminology is different, so it’s important for them to provide their input to ensure the document will work well for them too,” Roberson added.

The IPC 7-31j task group meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, in conjunction with IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center. If you are interested in participating on the task group, please register for “standards development committee meetings,” at

A draft of the first document is expected to go out for public comment next summer.