SMTA International Conference Proceedings

IPC-1782 Standard for Traceability of Critical Items Based on Risk

Authors: Cameron E. Shearon, Jr
Company: AT&T
Date Published: 9/17/2017   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Traceability has grown from being a specialized need for certain safety critical segments of the industry to now being a recognized value-add tool for the industry as a whole that can be utilized for manual to automated processes End to End throughout the supply chain. Despite relatively inexpensive off the shelf solutions being easily built into the Assembly Equipment, the perception of traceability data collection persists as being a burden that provides value only when the most rare and disastrous of events take place. Disparate standards have evolved in the industry, mainly dictated by large OEM companies in the market create confusion, as a multitude of requirements and definitions proliferate. This approach is very expensive, manual, resource intensive, and can lead to irreconcilable conflicts in needs and put unnecessary burdens on design, test, manufacturing, and ultimately costs & delays throughout today’s Global Supply Chain.

To address this issue, an IPC task group with members representing the SMT supply chain came together to develop a traceability standard for industry: IPC-1782, Standard for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Traceability of Electronic Products.

The intent of the IPC-1782 project is to bring the whole principle of traceability up to date and enable business to move faster, increase yields, reduce design cycles, increase flexibility, increase revenue, increase productivity, and decrease costs as a result of increased trust. Historically, the traditional approach of a standard has been to be very prescriptive, require continual active management, and be very focused on addressing specific anecdotal problems rather than taking a systematic approach that is flexible, requires much less active management, reduce risk, become a planning tool, reduce costs by enabling proactive End-To- End product management. IPC-1782 was designed to address the traditional problems with Standards while enabling organizations (e.g.; suppliers, OEMs, ODMs, CMs, retailers, and regulatory bodies) to move at the speed of business.

Traceability, as defined in this standard will represent the most effective quality tool available, becoming an intrinsic part of best practice operations, easily implementable, with a low barrier for implementation, with the encouragement of automated data collection from existing manufacturing systems which works well with Industry 4.0, integrating quality, reliability, product safety, predictive (routine, preventative, and corrective) maintenance, throughput, manufacturing, engineering and supply-chain data, reducing cost of ownership as well as ensuring timeliness and accuracy all the way from a finished product back through to the initial materials and granular attributes about the processes along the way.

The goal of this standard is to create a single expandable and extendable data structure that can be adopted for all levels of traceability and enable easily exchanged information, as appropriate, across many industries. This approach can easily be expanded to other environments as needed. The scope includes support for the most demanding instances for detail and integrity such as those required by critical safety systems, all the way through to situations where only basic traceability, such as for simple consumer products, are required. A key driver for the adoption of the standard is the ability to find a relevant and achievable level of traceability that exactly meets the requirement following risk assessment of the business. Many mechanisms have been developed to calculate risk. However, risk assessment fundamentally involves the combination of the probability of an event occurring and the impact of that event if it hypothetically occurred. Regardless of the complexity of the mechanism to determine risk, this combination is at their respective foundation.

By easily and reasonably addressing traceability in a very modern and flexible way, an organization is fundamentally addressing the variability, uncertainty, Quality, Product Safety, and Reliability concerns that impact the brand loyalty of an organization, the trust of their customers, and the trust of the appropriate regulatory organizations, as well as, the excessive and unnecessary expensive use of resources to manage problems that occur naturally. The wealth of data accessible from traceability for analysis (e.g.; Big Data, etc.) can easily and quickly yield information that can raise expectations of very significant quality and performance improvements, as well as providing the necessary protection against the costs of issues in the market and providing very timely information to regulatory bodies along with consumers/customers as appropriate. This information can also be used to quickly raise yields, drive product innovation that resonates with consumers, and help drive development tests & design requirements that are meaningful to the Marketplace.

Key Words: 

Component Traceability, Counterfeit Components, Quality, Reliability, Recall, and Product Safety

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