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Updated IPC Document addresses testing of unpopulated PCBs.

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December 8, 2008 - Developed by the IPC Electrical Continuity Testing Task Group, IPC-9252A, Requirements for Electrical Testing of Unpopulated Printed Boards, Revision A, defines levels of appropriate testing and assists in selection of test analyzer, test parameters, test data, and fixturing required. Revision A also provides expanded coverage of adjacency concepts for isolating testing as well as new requirements for resistive and indirect continuity and isolating testing.

Newly Released IPC-9252A Specifies Requirements for Electrical Testing of Unpopulated Printed Boards

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IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries
3000 Lakeside Drive
Bannockburn, IL, 60015

Press release date: December 5, 2008

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, December 5, 2008 - IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announces the release of IPC-9252A, Requirements for Electrical Testing of Unpopulated Printed Boards. Developed by the IPC Electrical Continuity Testing Task Group under the leadership of Michael Hill, quality control manager for Colonial Circuits Inc., Revision A is a complete rewrite of the original standard published in February 2001. The new document defines levels of appropriate testing and assists in the selection of the test analyzer, test parameters, test data and fixturing required to perform electrical testing on unpopulated printed boards and innerlayers.

"This new document defines things much more clearly so this standard can be used as a requirements document," explained Michael Green, production design engineer for Lockheed Martin, whose comment sheet sparked the revision. "The previous version of the standard was a guideline on how to test boards compared to what is a requirement for what you should test them to. Revision A tells how to do the tests and requirements for the test. Electrical test equipment has gotten more sophisticated so we needed the document to meet these 21st century requirements."

Revision A provides expanded coverage of adjacency concepts for isolating testing as well as new requirements for resistive and indirect continuity and isolating testing. Other parameter tests used to screen for conditions are also discussed. The document also addresses common misconceptions regarding flying probe testing.

A major portion of the standard is devoted to adjacency definitions, including adjacency distance, horizontal adjacency distance and vertical layer adjacency. These definitions are important because they vary with every machine. Green points out that when you buy a board you need to know you're getting the same standard no matter who you buy it from. To round out the standard, one of the last sections provides test program verification, electrical test certification, and traceability.

Representatives from the printed board, fabrication and test industries, as well as personnel from OEMs and the Department of Defense cooperated to update the new specification. "This specification, which is invoked by a broad range of industry, military, and proprietary specifications, has been extensively revised to address recognized shortcomings within the original document, including new coverage for many commonly employed test methods, off-system fault verification, and minimum requirements for electrical test certification," said Clifford Maddox, engineering specialist, Material and Processes for The Boeing Company, who played an integral role on the Task Group.

IPC member companies may request a free copy of IPC-9252A within 90 days of its publication by sending an e-mail to Following the introduction period, members may purchase a copy for $31. Nonmembers may purchase the new standard for $62. For more information on IPC-9252A, visit the IPC online bookstore at or contact John Perry at

About IPC
IPC ( is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,700 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.5 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Shanghai, China.

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