printed boards designed to IPC and IPC . Changes Changes made to this revision of the IPC are indicated throughout by. IPCB. Qualification and. Performance Specification for Flexible Printed Boards. Developed by the Flexible Circuits Performance Specifications. IPC B. January Qualification and Performance Specification for Flexible Printed Boards. Historical Version.

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We search for industry news, so you don’t need to. Also, see attached article I wrote for Circuitree covering ipx subject. Class 1 has the lower requirements and Class 3 with the toughest requirements.

I think it is important to note the major difference in the four Classes is in the degree of inspection and what level of acceptance that one inspects too.

The fabricator generally tries to make the best product that they can.

The implementation of the Classes is done mostly by ipx product to the Class that is specified. For example let’s take the requirement for voids in copper.

A copper void is where the copper plating in the barrel of the hole is missing exposing the dielectric material of the drilled hole. The goal of the fabricator is to produce product with no voids.

If there are voids what the fabricator would do is inspect and then scrap the boards that have voids based on the Class that is specified. What I find is that the Class most often is level of inspection rather than a planned goal of the fabricator.


On occasion the fabricator will plan to produce the printed board to a given Class opc but mostly it is the same processes that produce the four different classes and inspection is used to sort to the specified class.

IPC Testing

The Classes are, for the most part, a sorting for requirements based on inspection and measurement. The first difference between the two classes ipf products is based upon the definition itself. Class 2 products are defined as products where continued performance and extended life is required, and for which uninterrupted service is desired but not critical.

Whereas, Class 3 products demand continued high performance and equipment downtime cannot be tolerated such as life support systems and other critical systems e.

The IPC-CHB handbook provides list of IPC performance specifications that provide information on how materials are evaluated on electronic assemblies and define how materials must perform especially for Class 3, high performance electronics. Although, there are many other differences, these are the ones that would primarily impact the performance requirements of Class 3 product.

This is a big answer and there are many parts pic the answer.

IPC Testing and Certification | NTS

Let me start by stating there are two issues to address, the product and the process and both are necessary for building a class 3 product and recommended for a class 2 product. For a product to be built to any class level it has to be designed to that class level from the board fabrication material selection to the final assembly. Additionally it has to be built in a facility that has the proper environment, quality management system, and continuous improvement plan in place along with the traceability of the materials throughout the process.


From an assembly perspective, the materials all have to be qualified and documented, process documentation has to be in place and the people need to ipd proficient in their jobs as defined by J-STD Secondly the visual requirements as defined in IPC-A only address a few issues for the differences between class 2 and class 3, such as PTH hole fill, smt component placement, heel fillet etc.

As an anecdotal example, the product has to be designed from the ground up, you cannot put Pirelli Tires on a Volkswagon and expect it to be a Ferrari, it won’t work.

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