Remember that feeling you get every year or two when your neighbor across the way comes down the street, noisily announcing that he has purchased yet another new car? You tell yourself that you are quite satisfied with your five-year-old auto that has a couple of minor problems. Yet, even though you try to suppress it, a nagging feeling starts to take over. That is the somewhat natural urge to keep up with the Jones’. At least it only comes once a year or so.
In the competitive industry of PCBA and electronics product development for the automotive industry, you do not have the luxury of ignoring the new—especially when it comes to regulations and standards. Although it can seem at times as if there are a large number of rules and guidelines that require compliance, many of them only apply to targeted components, systems or processes. Additionally, there are several design and manufacturing industry standards that you should know and understand. One of these is the IPC-A-610 Automotive Addendum.
Why Is the IPC-A-610 Automotive Addendum Important?
Just as is the case for other critical industries, such as medical devices and aerospace applications, the top priority when building PCBAs for the automotive industry is safety. And for electronics and circuit boards that are utilized within automotive systems, the manufacturing process of the board build can help ensure the necessary level of safety. Basic board manufacturing requirements are defined in IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001 and associated standards. However, for the harsh environment of automotive systems, additional requirements are necessary, which is the purpose of the automotive addenda to these documents.
Traditionally, IPC has released industry-specific requirements as separate publications, and they could be implemented as such. This is not the case for the 2020 release, IPC-J-STD-001GA/A-610GA: Automotive Addendum to IPC J-STD-001G Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, and IPC-A-610G Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies. The table below shows how the two sections of the addendum complement one another.
5 Common Mistakes for High-Speed Board Builds
IPC-J-STD-001/IPC-A-610 AUTOMOTIVE ADDENDUM
|Purpose||To ensure the reliability of electronic assemblies deployed in the harsh environment of automotive systems.||To ensure the reliability of electronic assemblies deployed in the harsh environment of automotive systems.|
|Contents||Defines the acceptance criteria for soldering materials and processes, rework, component attachment, processes and board protection.||Provides visual guidelines that illustrate acceptable and unacceptable assemblies. Includes requirements for cleanliness, contamination, handling and packaging.|
As indicated above, jointly the automotive addendum provides manufacturers with requirements—for instance, manufacturers will notice new solder thickness requirements—and visual examples that can be used for inspection and validation of their assembly processes. Additionally, testing regimens are also provided, as meeting these requirements is mandatory for automotive PCB assemblies in most cases.
How Can I Be Sure That My PCBA Development Complies With the Automotive Addendum?
The automotive addendum lays out detailed acceptance criteria, as well as visual examples and tests to ensure the criteria is met. However, as the designer, you influence the board build process and the reliability of your PCBAs once they are in the field. By following the guidelines below, you can aid your CM in complying with the automotive addendum standard.
Ensuring IPC-J-STD-001/IPC-A-610 Automotive Addendum Compliance
- Use automotive grade components, where required.
- Choose board materials to facilitate manufacturing and satisfy the demands of the environment in which they will operate.
- Only work with J-STD-001/IPC-A-610 certified CMs experienced in complying with both standards.
- Acquire and follow your CM’s DFM and DFA rules and guidelines.
- Design to give your CM the most flexibility with PCB tolerances.
By understanding the importance of the J-STD-001/IPC-A-610 Automotive Addendum and following the suggestions listed above, you will be able to provide invaluable support to your CM for your automotive PCB assemblies.
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Tempo Automation is the industry leader for manufacturing high-quality prototype and low-volume PCBAs the fastest. Additionally, we are experienced in building boards to the standards demanded by the automotive and other critical industries.
And to help you get started on the best path, we furnish information for your DFM checks and enable you to easily view and download DRC files. If you’re an Altium Designer or Cadence Allegro user, you can simply add these files to your PCB design software. For Mentor Pads or other design packages, we furnish DRC information in other CAD formats and Excel.
If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you want more information on the IPC-A-610 Automotive Addendum and what it means for your automotive PCBA development, contact us.