To help combat the growing threat of intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries® recently launched a certification program that allows printed board manufacturers to demonstrate a commitment and ability to protect customers’ intellectual property and comply with industry best practices.
“The protection of intellectual property is very important to our industry, but until now wasn’t uniformly defined,” said Michael Moisan, vice president of global technology, TTM Technologies. “IPC’s new Intellectual Property Protection Certification Program is designed to help improve facilities’ programs and ultimately get them certified to a universally recognized standard.”
Based on IPC-1071, Best Practices for Intellectual Property Protection in Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing, the certification program is designed for commercial, industrial, military and other high reliability markets, and was developed with input from OEMs, assembly companies and PCB manufacturers. The certification process includes a facility audit based on a 130-question assessment examining the areas of physical facility security, IT security and compliance with regulations such as ITAR and EAR. The audit questionnaire covers specific categories correlated to the main categories in the IPC-1071 standard, including corporate policy, employee training, supply chain and vendor management, emergency procedures, destruction of scrap materials and more.
Participating organizations proceed through the certification process at their own pace and choose from three levels of audit, depending on needs:
Level 1, Basic Intellectual Property Protection, best suited for facilities that manufacture high-volume consumer goods.
Level 2, High Intellectual Property Protection, best suited for facilities that manufacture high-value goods.
Level 3, Advanced Level for Military, Government and Commercial Intellectual Property Protection, for military and other high-security systems.
For more information on IPC’s intellectual property certification program, visit www.ipc.org/ip-certification or contact Susan Filz, IPC director of industry programs, at SusanFilz@ipc.org or +1 847-597-2884.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,300 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 $2.17 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.