Standards Development, Advocacy and Member Service Keys to Growth
IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries® ended the year 2011 with 3,215 members, the greatest number of members ever achieved in the organization’s history. Members are companies from every level of the electronics supply chain: printed board manufacturers, electronics manufacturing services companies, original equipment manufacturers and industry suppliers. Geographically, two-thirds of members are located in North America, while others are spread evenly between Europe and Asia.
IPC membership in each geographic area is up from 2007, when the global economic crisis started. Neal Bender, IPC’s director of membership, attributes the gain in membership to the nonprofit association’s focus on member service. “We’ve been able to build membership in each region by serving the specific needs of those members,” says Bender. “For all of our industry segments, we’re doing more in terms of programs and services to meet member needs, so it’s been a win-win for all sectors. Every employee of a member facility can access IPC member services. It’s these hundreds of thousands of employees that use the programs and services for their companies’ benefit.”
Tony Hilvers, IPC’s vice president of industry programs, points to IPC’s extensive work on environment, health and safety initiatives over the past few years as one example of IPC doing more. “From fighting rosin and bromine restrictions internationally to working on U.S. securities and exchange conflict metals rules and export controls, IPC is working closely with our members to determine the best ways to address their challenges and to partner with them in getting real results.”
IPC Vice President of Standards and Technology Dave Torp says that the organization’s focus on critical standards remains in place. “IPC’s goals are to meet industry’s needs not only in new areas that are emerging, such as printed electronics, but also on IPC’s core competencies within the electronics industries. Technology continues to push the envelope of best practices and IPC standards need to be continuously updated to keep pace with the dynamics of the electronics industry. Keeping the world’s best engineers and technologists engaged and energized is a vital part of IPC’s future.” To support that effort, IPC has made major investments into a formal online standards development system to enable faster revision activity and more global participation.
A recent communications study conducted by a third-party consultant showed that 94 percent of IPC members surveyed agreed that IPC offers the most comprehensive and reliable information for electronics industry professionals. In addition, IPC was selected as the top industry resource for technical information to help individuals do their jobs.
Bender concludes, “It is gratifying to sign a company up for membership and to know that we are going to help them achieve their business and technology goals. I have worked with the very smallest companies on single-site membership and with the largest industry companies on corporate-wide memberships. We will work with any company who wants to contribute to enhancing and strengthening our industry.”
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,100 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2.02 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing, China.