What’s New with the A-620-B Standard?
IPC/WHMA A-620-B is an excellent tool for everyone involved in the building of wire harnesses because it greatly simplifies best practices for the harness supplier. The WHMA’s Donnie Hill updates us on the latest revisions to the standard.
IPC/WHMA – A-620-B is the current wire harness standard developed jointly by IPC and the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association. This standard was originally published in January 2002 and revised in July 2006, then October 2012. It is the only wire harness standard developed and revised by industry-leading experts from wire harness manufacturers; OEMs from a vast array of industries such as aeronautical, defense, communication, and many others; and leading component and equipment suppliers in the harness industry.
The standard covers every aspect of acceptable and best practices for building wire harnesses and sets the standards in Class 1, 2, and 3, with each class requiring a higher level of acceptable practice. 620 is intentionally written in easily understandable language with a vast number of color photos for clarity. It is now published in many languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Polish, and Danish, with more in the process of being translated.
There is an active review committee, made up of Wire Harness Association members, IPC leaders, suppliers, and OEMs, that reviews comments for improvement and clarity of the standards. They meet three times a year and Rev C is scheduled for release in 2016. Changes will be based on more than 400 comments.
IPC/WHMA A-620-B is an excellent tool for everyone involved in the building of wire harnesses. For the OEM and its design engineers, it greatly simplifies its effort in describing the need for best practices to the harness supplier. They simply establish if they desire Class 1, 2, or 3 build standards on the drawing. This clearly sets what is and is not acceptable for the wire harness being built.
For the component and equipment supplier, the standard provides a clear understanding of what is required by the industry, as well as an opportunity to differentiate its products. The wire harness manufacturer has a document that clearly states the expectations the finished harness must meet. It is also an excellent training manual for teaching every designer and builder what the industry deems acceptable and not acceptable. 620 is truly an important document to help any organization move toward and identify itself as world-class.
The newest offering is a total plant certification* in 620. The certification is process-focused, ensuring that the plant’s operation and operators are capable and are performing to IPC/WHMA A-620-B standards. It is a three-year certification that means the facility is meeting the recognized world-class standards.
Author Donnie Hill is vice chairman of the Wire Harness Manufacturing Association and president of Precision Manufacuring Company.
Material such as the 620 manual can be purchased by calling the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association (Judy Hansen) at 1.763.235.6484 or clicking here. For additional information and materials, click here.
*To learn more about this plant certification, contact Randy Cherry at IPC at 1.847.597.2806 or email [email protected].