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Updated Materials Declaration Standard IPC-1752A Addresses Revolving Door of Environmental Regulation Changes.

Apr 10, 2010

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, — Helping electronics manufacturing companies better manage the growing documentation required to ensure products comply with evolving environmental regulations, IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® has released IPC-1752A, Materials Declaration Management. The A revision of the standard provides an updated and expanded industry-wide reporting format for material declaration data exchange between companies in the electronic interconnect supply chain.

The IPC-1752A update broadens the scope to address compliance with additional substance restrictions including the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) Regulation and China’s RoHS-type regulation. Perhaps more importantly, the new standard is set up to more efficiently incorporate additional substance restrictions, promulgated through either existing or new regulations.

"When regulations such as REACH change, IPC can put the revisions on an updated list that goes directly into the standard," says Mark Frimann, a product stewardship manager at Texas Instruments and co-chairman of the IPC 2-18 subcommittee that oversees the standard.

One shift in the new standard is the focus on the definition of the data fields and structure through the XML (extensible markup language) schema. "In the past, we've provided both the schema and a software tool through Adobe Acrobat to enter data," adds Frimann. "As a standards subcommittee, we're getting out of the software business. To improve the capabilities of the standard with version 2.0, the subcommittee chose to focus efforts on the schema changes and open up any software development to third party software providers."

The committee has been working closely with third party software developers to ensure the development of implementation tools supporting the 1752A materials data exchange. In fact, one organization has already made a free download implementation tool available. For companies that do not need all the bells and whistles that usually come with commercial products, a basic and free open source product developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), called Scriba, is a Java-based tool that supports all the major features of IPC-1752A.

"Users can enter data, save files and print PDFs. They can also sign files and verify signatures," explained Eric Simmon, an electrical engineer in the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory at NIST and co-chairman of the IPC subcommittee responsible for oversight of the updated standard.

While Scriba doesn't handle database storage, users who need that function can buy commercial software or create their own database management system using XML schema. Frimann notes that the committee has worked with a handful of software companies that have or will soon have programs ready.

IPC-1752A has been modularized so it’s easier for companies to pick and choose the sections relevant to them. It also makes it easier for a broad range of engineers to understand and adapt the files. As long as XML guidelines are followed and output that meets the standard’s requirements for compatibility with other readers is created, companies can tailor documents to their requirements.

The first copies of IPC-1752A, Materials Declaration Management, will be available for purchase in the IPC Bookstore at IPC APEX EXPO, booth 2073 or for free download at http://www.ipc.org/175x.

Translations of the revised standard in multiple languages will be released in coming months. For more information on IPC-1752A, visit http://www.ipc.org/175x or contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy, at FernAbrams@ipc.org or +1 703-522-0225.

About IPC

IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,700 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 $1.7 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; and Shanghai and Shenzhen, China.

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