IPC Certified Trainers – Scheduling?

Scheduling, I’m not sure if anyone really enjoys scheduling, but if you do maybe you should become an IPC Certified Trainer.  Scheduling is very much a part of the process because you are generally pulling together staff from several different departments and sometimes different locations.  In my world, the traveling trainer world, the scheduling can make of break the deal.  I try to be as flexible as possible but last minute request for classes generally is not possible.

If you are a trainer at a fixed location scheduling can still be a challenge but there are a few ways to make it work for your staff’s schedules.  Here are of a few of the ways I have found to make the training schedule more flexible.

  1. Divide the training into 2 groups, group A and group B.  The class may be comprised of several people from several different departments.  In group A you want a few people from each of the different groups and then the others in Group B.  The training will be group A the first 4 hours of whatever shift you choose to conduct your training in and group B will attend the second 4 hours of the same shift.  This technique increases the overall time to complete the training but allows some coverage in each department while others from that department  are in training.
  2. Designate a IPC training day or couple of days each month. Example: the third week of the month on Thursday and Friday the class is held.  This spreads out the time to complete the certification, but allows less impact on your production output. Employees become accustomed to this being the training days and you have less absentees.  IPC begins a certification with the day the mandatory modules are completed and allows all the optional modules to be completed at anytime after that.  The certifications are good for 2 years to the last day of the month that the mandatory module(s) were completed.  Optional modules do not affect the expiration date.
  3. If your group of trainees is spread over two back to back shifts using method 1 above but training the last 4 hours of shift one and the first 4 hours of shift two allows employees not to have to change shift times just to get IPC certification.

I hope these few ideas help and feel free to share your creative scheduling of IPC training.

ESD Control for carts and mobile Equipment

Did you know…

“Drag chains/cables have been known to be unreliable for grounding mobile equipment. Due to the variability that may be encountered with resistance measurements on mobile equipment, it is recommended that the mobile equipment be moved slightly and the test procedure be repeated.”

From ESDA documents TR20.20 and TR53  

Carts and Mobile equipment presents the ESD Control Coordinator with several challenges.

  • If the cart fails the test to ground < 10^9 ohms Rtg and can not be brought into compliance, product riding on the cart should be in enclosed ESD shielding containers and the control program documenting this.  Cart should be label to this fact as well.
  • Drag chains alone are known to be an unreliable connection
  • The connection measurement to ground will vary as the floor varies
  • Conductive casters help but the system still relies on the cleanliness of the floor and floor readings.

Think about it, your operators that wear footwear for gorunding are required to test a minimum of once a day, should the carts also be tested?

It is highly recommended that carts when stationary be hard connected to ground with a ground wire.  A great solution to this is the Desco “magsnap” coil cord as it is a magnetic attachment and will connect to metal carts without any additional hardware.  Then the banana plug end of the coil cord simply connects to an extra banana jack that is frequently found at work stations.

I will continue to share these little tid-bits of information as I encounter them or remember them from past ESD Audits/Surveys I have preformed for customers.  If you would like to schedule an ESD Audit / Survey send me a request and lets “check-out” how effective your ESD control program really is.

IPC releases a new document.

IPC New Release: IPC-4552A

Performance Specification for Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold (ENIG) Plating for Printed Boards


The IPC-4552A performance specification sets requirements for Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold (ENIG) deposit thicknesses for applications including soldering, wire bonding and as a contact finish. The IPC-4552A is intended for use bychemical suppliers, printed board manufacturers, electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and original equipment manufacturers (OEM). The IPC-4552A standard may be used to specify acceptance criteria to meet performance requirements in addition to those found in the IPC-6010-FAM Printed Board Performance Specifications. The ENIG deposit specified by using this document will meet the highest coating durability rating as specified in the J-STD-003 printed board solderability specification.


The IPC-4552A specification is based on three critical factors:

  1. The ENIG plating process is in control producing a normal distribution for nickel and gold deposit thickness.
  2. That the tool used to measure the deposit and therefore control the process is accurate and reproducible for the thickness range specified.
  3. That the ENIG plating process results in uniform deposit characteristics.


If any of these three critical factors are not met, then the deposit produced will not meet the performance criteria defined.


148 pages. Released August 2017.

Preview the table of contents .pdf file.

Hard copy:

Member Price: $80.00

Industry Price: $160.00