The first IPC standard that originated outside the U.S., IPC-7527, Requirements for Solder Paste Printing, is also the first standard ever developed that focuses on the application of one of the industry’s most basic infrastructure elements, solder paste. Recently released, IPC-7527 was the brainchild of Task Group Nordic (TGNordic), IPC’s volunteer standards development group in Scandinavia. The new standard will help companies assess and improve their solder paste printing processes, which could bring significant improvements in quality and reliability.
IPC-7527 covers the many aspects of solder paste application, from initial placement on the board through production and testing. To equipment operators, the new standard serves as a reference guide with more than 50 photos packed into the 15-page standard.
“It [IPC-7527] provides the operators with a standard that will help them make the right decisions when they face issues in production, and no professionals or specialists are present,” says Steven Juel Hansen, co-chair of the IPC Solder Paste Printing Task Group and production engineer at Vestas Control Systems A/S, based in Hammel, Denmark.
While there are standards that detail what a completed assembly should look like, IPC-7527 is the first one to provide requirements for what the printed solder paste should look like and how far off centers can be before they’re considered defects. It covers everything from basic squeegees to jet dispensers and needle dispensers to closed print heads. In addition, IPC-7527 provides information on automated paste inspection using either cameras or lasers.
As Kris Roberson, IPC manager of assembly technology, explains, the standard also does a nice job of bringing out common problems, like solder that has rooftops or saddle shapes instead of a nice brick form, and it suggests solutions so those issues can be fixed.
One of more than 20 IPC standards groups outside the U.S. — and this number is growing — TGNordic identified the need and created the draft standard, after which it took less than a year to move it to publication. Roberson credits TGNordic’s thorough job in the standard’s development for the quick turnaround, given the time needed for public comment and responses, as well as for getting the document ready to publish.
IPC-7527 (English) and IPC-7527-DK (Danish) are available for purchase by IPC members for $31. The standard industry price is $62. For more information or to purchase the standard, visit www.ipc.org/7527.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry 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.