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Publication Date: 05/1/2010
Archive >  May 2010 Issue >  Front Page News > 

IPC Updates Lead-Free Labeling
Bannockburn, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries — has released the "A" revision of IPC J-STD-609, Marking and Labeling of Components, PCBs and PCBAs to Identify Lead (Pb), Lead-Free (Pb-Free) and Other Attributes. This standard presents a marking and labeling system that aids in electronics assembly, rework, repair and recycling, and now provides additional codes for the more precise specification of certain lead-free solders.

Since the original release of J-STD-609 in July 2007, many new solder alloys have entered the market as lead-free technology matures. Companies like HP were witnessing how different component suppliers using the same (new) BGA ball alloy were selecting two different "e-codes" to mark their components. To address the confusion in categorizing the new alloys, Dr. Gregory Henshall, environmental program manager for HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Division, took an active role on the combined working group of IPC and JEDEC to pursue the "A" revision of J-STD-609. "Confusion adds time and cost to the manufacture of printed circuit assemblies and also increases the chance for errors in material usage," says Henshall. "The revisions made to the standard resolve this confusion, and include examples for many common alloys." J-STD-609A provides explicit guidance on the marking and labeling of components and printed circuit boards using the wide range of solder alloys now available in the market. Specifically, the standard enables clear identification of: assemblies with lead-containing or lead-free solder; components that have lead-containing or lead-free second level interconnect terminal finishes and materials; base materials used in PCB construction, including halogen-free resin; surface finishes; and conformal coatings. In addition, the standard prescribes the maximum component temperature that should not be exceeded during assembly or rework processing.

Contact: IPC, 3000 Lakeside Drive, Suite 309S, Bannockburn, IL 60015 847-615-7100 E-mail: or 703-522-0225 Web:  \par

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