Due to the COVID19 pandemic, lockdown orders have transformed the way in which professionals receive solder training and certification. If you’re not an ‘essential’ business, you either can’t allow any employees into your facility (remote working) or not allow visitors inside company buildings. That’s why training and certification providers have to find new ways to tackle the unique demands of these new realities. Hence, the methods of achieving recertification or training have completely changed in the past few months.
How the IPC (Institute of Printed Circuits) is Treating the Pandemic
Throughout 2020, the IPC (Institute of Printed Circuits) surveyed members on the challenges related to coronavirus. 84% of original electronics manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers reported major concerns about how the pandemic will impact their business operations, with 65% of them accepting shipment delays as part and parcel of operations from now on.
The IPC’s attitude towards in-person training has also changed. The institute maintains that all OEMs and soldering professionals must abide by local and state rules while holding skills-based hand solder training sessions. But, it’s clear that despite the challenges, the importance of achieving certification hasn’t dwindled at all in the eyes of the industry leaders, especially when it comes to achieving certification or recertification for important standards like the IPC-A-610.
The Importance of Receiving IPC-A-610 Certification
The IPC-A-610 standard, also known as the “Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies,” is one of the most important standards for members of the electronic assembly industry to follow. Without a clear understanding of these standards, it’s impossible for industry professionals to discern what’s visually acceptable or not when it comes to electronic assemblies.
Any company that has to meet the ISO-9000 quality management system or any other type of quality assurance initiative will benefit from employing workers who are masters of the IPC-A-610 standard. As far as soldering or electronic assembly professionals are considered, receiving comprehensive training, education, and certification on the IPC-A-610 standard gives them immediate legitimacy in the global electronics industry and makes them more employable.’
What Happens After You Become an IPC-A-610 Specialist?
A Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) will conduct these certification and training programs. After receiving the training, industry professionals can become Certified Standards Experts (CSEs). A CSE is someone with an in-depth understanding of a particular IPC standard, the IPC-A-610 standard in this case. A CSE isn’t required or allowed to train students or lead IPC classes.
The education and training they receive only help them improve their individual “judgment” skills. At assembly facilities, they’re able to distinguish between what’s considered “acceptable” or “unacceptable” when it comes to electronic assemblies as per the IPC-A-610 guidelines.
Receiving this certification also equips individuals with the reasons they need to either accept or reject electronic assemblies based on the long list of acceptability requirements mentioned in the IPC-A-610 standard.
Other benefits soldering professionals receive upon satisfactory completion of this training include –
Accurately understand the intent behind every guideline mentioned in the IPC-A-610 standard.
Understand important IPC terminologies and their definitions.
Accept or reject assemblies during production.
Pass written exams (open and closed book exams) with ease.
Reference the IPC-A-610 standards to fellow professionals; it’s easier to communicate with professionals from other facilities, industries, or even countries since the IPC-A-610 standard is followed globally.
Understand what makes Class 1, 2, and 3 products different from one another.
Once students satisfactorily pass all written exams with 80% or more marks, they can receive the much-coveted Certified Standards Expert (CSE) certification that does wonders for their career prospects.
Online Training – Saving the Day
Early into the lockdowns, many industry professionals were concerned about recertification and receiving training in this new era. Several electronics assembly professionals have had to temporarily give up their certification/recertification plans. However, online training is saving the day for these professionals.
Industry professionals who are wondering where to get IPC 610 certification online have plenty of options as numerous IPC-certified trainers have started holding online training programs, especially for the classes that rely more on lectures and less on first-hand demonstrations.
So, training for standards like the IPC-A-620, IPC-A-600, and of course, the IPC-A-610 is now easily possible thanks to online learning. Some places of business and assembly facilities are still open. Licensed trainers can visit these centers, abide by the safety and distancing regulations, and conduct these classes.
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However, the trainers prefer to only provide face-to-face classes for skills-based training programs. For instance, it’s impossible to learn cable assembly or wire harnessing on the internet. They’re conducting lecture-centric certification training on the internet.
The Progress Made by Online Trainers
Less than a month into the U.S. shutdowns, 94% of the executives of major OEM companies in the country expressed serious concern about supply shortages, increased shipping costs, and most importantly, shortages of trained and certified workers. Since then, online certification programs have erased these doubts and helped professionals involved in the electronics manufacturing industry receive timely training and recertifications.