We inspect all boards to IPC-A-600 Class 2 This is the standard used for most PCBs, and is the standard most often specified by our customers. The IPC, or Institute for Printed Circuit Boards, is “a global trade association representing all facets of the industry including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly.”
The IPC-A-600 standard “describes the preferred, acceptable and non-conforming conditions that are either externally or internally observable on printed boards”. It divides PCBs into 3 product classes.
Class 2 includes “products where continued performance and extended life is required, and for which uninterrupted service is desired but not critical.” Class 3 (where uninterrupted service is critical) is used for aerospace, defence and medical applications. For more information visit the IPC website.
Customers, especially those supplying the US market, may also specify UL marking. In this case, we further inspect to UL796. The Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) is “an independent global safety science company …. dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways, facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.”
For PCBs, the most important criterion highlighted by UL marking is flammability. All our FR4 material meets UL 94 V0 plastics flammability test. For more information please see our page What about UL.