Updates to the IPC-WHMA-A-620 Standard for Cable & Wire Harness Assembly

This is an excerpt from WHMA’s article announcing the new IPC-WHMA-A-620 standard. For more information or to read the full article, visit the WHMA website here.

Five years after their last revision, IPC and WHMA have just published revision C of their popular A-620 standard for cable and wire harness assembly.

The latest revision of the IPC-WHMA-A-620 standard for the acceptance of cable and wire harness assemblies was published in February.

Jointly developed by the Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association (WHMA) and the IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries, the standard debuted in 2002 and quickly became the most important process, materials and inspection document in the industry. Worldwide, more than 11,000 people are certified as either trainers of the standard or users of the standard (assemblers, testers and repair technicians).

The standard was revised for the first time in 2006 and again 2012. Now, revision C of the standard has just been released after 28 months of work. The standard was revised to include technical updates and make it easier to use.
“We looked at all the criteria,” says Teresa Rowe, director of assembly and standards technology at IPC. “If someone had issues with something in the standard, we reviewed the concern and added industry data [to back up our criteria.]”

As with previous updates, special emphasis was placed on the graphics to illustrate concepts in the standard.
“In many places, the criteria refer to a specific figure, so we spent a lot of time going over the figures, reviewing what users were looking for and what trainers were telling us,” says Rowe.
In some cases, IPC and WHMA sought to harmonize requirements in the A-620 standard with related criteria in other industry standards, such as J-STD-001 Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies and IPC-A-610 Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies. For example, the criteria for soldering gold cup terminals in J-STD-001 were adopted for A-620.

“Cable assemblies are different than electronic assemblies, but there is good information in those other standards that could be applied to A-620, particularly for those manufacturers that use all three documents,” says Rowe. “If you have to cross-train employees, it’s easier if the criteria are similar wherever it makes sense.”
Revision C of A-620 also includes entirely new sections covering safety wiring, safety cable, wire seals, grommets, and raceways. In addition, the section on jack posts was improved significantly.

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