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IPC620 Industry quality standard

Although customer specifications take the highest priority when creating cable harnesses of a certain quality, in North America if no such specifications are found the quality standards of a Cable Harness are standardized by the IPC's publication IPC/WHMA-A-620 for minimal requirements for cable harnesses. This publication is reviewed frequently to ensure that the standards published remain of an acceptable standard in light of potential changes to the industry or technology that may occur. The IPC/WHMA-A-620 publication has standards for a wide range of elements within a cable harness, including but not limited to electrostatic discharge protection, conduit, installation and repairs, crimping, pull-test requirements, and other operations that are critical to the production and function of cable harnesses. The standards mandated by the IPC differ based on a product's classification under one of three defined product classes. These classes are:

  • Class 1: General Electronic Products, for objects where the functionality of the final product is the major requirement. This can include objects such as toys and other items that do not serve a critical purpose.

  • Class 2: Dedicated Service Electronic Products, where consistent and extended performance is needed, but uninterrupted service is not vital. The failure of this product would not result in significant failures or danger.

  • Class 3: High Performance Electronic Products, for products that require continued and consistent performance and where periods of inoperativeness cannot be tolerated. The environment in which these cable harnesses are used may be "uncommonly harsh." This category encompasses devices involved in life support systems or that are used in military.

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