Cable Assembly Training: IPC/WHMA Launches Wire Harness Assembly Course for Operators, Sellers, and Purchasers

Obtaining adequate and skilled labor is among the challenges affecting cable assembly manufacturing today. In addition, with more and more job openings in the wire harness manufacturing industry, there’s an ever-increasing need to train more workers. Thanks to the cable assembly training program developed by the IPC, it’s now easier for manufacturers to obtain skilled laborers.

What is IPC/WHMA-A-620 Training and Certification?

The IPC/WHMA-A-620 refers to the quality standard representing the acceptance and requirements for wire harness assemblies. Its introduction resulted from a combined project between the Wire and Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA) and the global association connecting electronic industries, the IPC. After its inception and release in 2002, it has become the industry’s quality scale for wire and cable harness products.

The IPC/WHMA-A-620 is developed specifically for companies or individuals using, manufacturing, and installing wire harness assemblies. It covers training, certification, and supply of industrial materials. 

The IPC standard’s core purpose is to help qualified applicants to develop skills in determining whether or not a wire harness assembly is following the set industry standards. Upon completing the IPC-620 training, you’re expected to gain the following skills:

  • Ability to apply the IPC/WHMA-A-620 quality standards in identifying acceptable wire or cable harness products.
  • Interpreting and sharing the targets of the IPC/WHMA-A-620 standards
  • Proficiency in explaining definitions and terminologies related to cable harness manufacturing and quality standards. 

Areas IPC-A-620 Certification Covers

  • General, relevant documents, preparation, gauging wires and cable assemblies, and testing
  • Coaxial and biaxial cable assemblies
  • Soldered terminations, high-voltage uses
  • Harness/cable electrical shielding, cable/wire harness protective coverings
  • Connectorization, over-molding
  • Crimp terminations, insulation displacement connection
  • Marking/labeling, securing, complete assembly installation
  • Ultrasonic welding, splices

IPC-A-620 Training and Certification Levels

As far as experience in the electronics industry, you can attain certification as follows: Certified Standards Expert, Certified IPC Trainer, or Certified IPC Specialist. It’s important to determine the appropriate certification level you should have.  

CIS

If you’re looking to gain a consistent understanding of the criteria in standards, then the CIS certification program is best for you. This knowledge is especially beneficial for engineers, line operators, and quality engineers in the electronics industry.

For each certification program, you’ll require different credentials. The program tackles training, testing, and certifying the correct use of criteria in every class attained. During the program, an MIT or CIT grants certification.

The CIS training is modular, with the Technical Training Committee for each program determining the optional and mandatory course modules. Once you complete the mandatory modules, you can take on optional modules for further knowledge in various technological segments. 

Training for any supplement in IPC standards is revision-specific. To qualify to apply for certification in the supplement, you need certification for the same revision document.

The CES certificate includes endorsement blocks for every module of instruction. The online test system populates completion dates for each module. These establish when every certificate expires.

Cable Assembly Training: CSE

The Certified Standards Expert is a focus of attention for professionals who know and understand a set IPC standard or aggregate of standards. Depending on the organization, the CSE’s role varies but generally falls along the following matters: 

  • Acting as the organization’s expert on various subject matters involves supporting various sectors within an organization, interpreting various standards for the organization, and answering standard-related questions.
  • View organizational disputes as an observed issue and judge from such an angle.
  • Questions about standards always arise, and the organization, staff, and IPC industry experts often need a go-between.
  • Keeping the organization up to speed on industry standards and best practices.
  • Providing feedback to various standards committees regarding procedures the standards should include.
  • Cooperate with process engineers and designers to form new assembly processes.

The Certified Standards Expert (CSE) program has two levels:

  • Certified Standards Expert (CSE)
  • Senior Standards Expert (SCSE)
  • CIT

Cable Assembly Training: CITs often work in any of the following: 

  • Institutions that only train within their parent company 
  • Faculty staff of educational and training institutes, such as community colleges or technical schools, teaching various current and future workers 
  • Associates of a Licensed Training Center in which individuals haven’t met the requirements to become an MIT. 
  • Independent consultants who are working with several companies 
  • CID or CIS trainers for organizations requiring such training and following the policies and procedures set by the IPC.

A CIT has the authorization to offer and deliver CID or CIS training and certification exams to people who wish to obtain IPC certification. Anyone who completes the required program and passes the minimum skills requirement criteria set by each program’s technical training committee receives certification. 

If your CIT certification expires, you’re not authorized to conduct CID or CIS training, purchase CID or CIS training material, or grant CID or CIS certification until you get recertified.

MIT or IPC staff may overlook any ongoing CITs class instruction to ensure they uphold quality.

Certified IPC trainers can obtain an optional designation, the Master IPC trainer. The MIT certification is not independent. It requires a licensed training center seeking to include the Master IPC trainer designation to a CIT. Only CITs employed or contracted by an IPC-licensed training center on an ongoing basis get awarded the MIT designation.

Although a CSE and CIT should display an equal level of proficiency in understanding and utilizing a given IPC specification, there are some minor differences between the two programs. For example, a CSE is not a trainer and therefore is not required to train IPC-certified specialists to qualify for recertification. Also, unlike CITs, a CSE does not have to finish training to sit for the certification exam.

Who Should Pursue an IPC-A-620 Endorsement?

Quality assurance supervisors, assembly process engineers, training managers, and auxiliary personnel charged with the reliability and quality of cable assemblies are perfect candidates for the program.

Beneficial Factors of an IPC-A-620 Training and Certification 

Some of the benefits of an IPC A-620 training and certification include:

The A-620 training and certification enables good communication between OEMs and wire and cable harness manufacturers

Many wire harness manufacturers and OEMs around the globe use the A-630 IPC certification specifications. The program avails its material in over ten languages.

The A-620 IPC certificate is a universal standard, enabling effective communication between manufacturers and OEMs. This standard facilitates effective teamwork among team members, even in projects requiring unique build specifications.

Cable Assembly Training: It enhances the quality and promotes compliance.

It’s an amazing training and certification program structured by the ISO and various quality certifying organizations. That promotes standardization and helps wire and cable harness manufacturers grow in productivity and quality.

Cable Assembly Training: It increases customer trust and boosts customer satisfaction

In most cases, OEMs feel more at ease trusting manufacturers that are A-620-certified. The IPC certification’s assurance of knowledge and capability to offer improved service value-added services are among the main factors that guarantee manufacturers are more reliable and efficient.

It guarantees the validity of a wire and cable harness manufacturer

With the wire harness industry flooded with manufacturers today, not all of these manufacturers are as dedicated to meeting customer satisfaction as IPC-certified manufacturers. Their commitment, quality management techniques and knowledge help create lasting customer relationships.

Conclusion: 

Organizations should equip their staff and operators with the necessary certification to improve their cable assembly manufacturing efficiency. And you can easily get your company’s entire staff IPC-certified by having them undergo the program that includes training, certification, and informative material. The IPC/WHMA_A_620 is highly beneficial. It boosts communication, quality, compliance, and customer satisfaction.

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

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