Quality and reliability at the forefront

IECQ provides independent verification of compliance with International Standards

By Claire Marchand

IECQ (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) has been thriving in the past 12 months. The launch in 2013 of new programmes for the automotive industry and counterfeit avoidance have enriched its portfolio and broadened its scope. Together with the complete restructuring of the Schemes and a new website, they have brought new dynamics to the System. Not resting on its laurels, IECQ is actively working on new developments.

LED-based solutions are now found in urban lighting
LED-based solutions are now found in urban lighting

The LED initiative

The popularity of LED-based lighting solutions keeps growing. Their success is largely due to the fact that LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and use the light emission properties of specific semiconductor materials. Initially expensive to produce, improved technologies and economies of scale have contributed to drastically reduce their prices. Their low-power consumption, long life and reduced cost of maintenance and replacement render them extremely attractive.

Demand for LED technology increases in parallel with the need to ensure that electronic components, parts and assemblies that make up LED lighting solutions are of the highest quality and reliability. IECQ set up a special WG (Working Group) to find out how the IECQ AC (Approved Component) Scheme could be used to test and assess electronic components and assemblies used in the production of LED lamps and drivers. And at its annual meeting in London, in April 2014, IECQ agreed on a procedure that allows the manufacturing supply chain for LED components to be covered by the IECQ AC Scheme. Collaboration with IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) was evoked since other aspects of LED lamp testing and assessment, such as safety and performance, are dealt with by the IECEE CB Scheme.

According to IECQ Chairman Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano, collaboration between the IEC CA Systems and Schemes is expected to develop further, as industry seeks complete solutions to its compliance needs.

New website

Since 2010, IECQ has gone through a major overhaul of the System. The first stages dealt, among others, with the reorganization of the Schemes, a complete review of all IECQ documentation, the alignment of the Basic Rules with the other IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems and the establishment of the IECQ On-Line Certificate system as the only repository of the original Certificates.

The last stage was completed in January 2014 with the launch of the new IECQ website, a powerful tool that allows all levels of users to find the information they seek. Its enhanced speed, ease of access to information and documentation and intuitive structure make finding what you are looking for much easier than before. The homepage provides quick access to the most popular features, including the latest news items, most frequently used tools and forthcoming events.

Changes at the helm

New Chairman

Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano took over the role of IECQ Chairman on 1 January 2014. She succeeded David W. Smith who ended his 10 years (three three-year terms + one extra year) as Chairman of the IECQ Management Committee on 31 December 2013.

Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano has been the Deputy Director for Certification at LCIE France Bureau Veritas since March 2013. She joined LCIE France in April 2005 and was responsible for the following markets: transportation, aeronautics and defence. She has a Masters in Engineering from ENSEEIHT, the University for Electronical Engineering, Electronics, Computer Science, Hydraulics and Telecommunications in Paris, France and a Masters in Management of Technology and Innovation from the University Dauphine, Paris, France.

New IECQ Vice Chairman

In 2013, IECQ also appointed a new Vice Chairman in the person of Dr Young-Kwon Chang of Korea, who took up office on 1 January 2014.

Chang has been Vice President and Director General of the Planning and Coordination Division of the Korea Testing Laboratory since January 2008. He started with the Korea Testing Laboratory in 1999 and has worked in a number of senior and managerial positions including Manager for the Industrial Facility Safety Analysis Team, and Director of the Reliability Evaluation Team. He has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea.

Tribute to Dave Smith

The IEC CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) meeting that took place in New Delhi, India, during the IEC General Meeting paid tribute to outgoing Chairman Dave Smith. Since 2004, the year Smith began his tenure, IECQ has developed its activities tremendously to become a truly global certification system recognized by the electronic component industry. As Chairman of the Management Committee, Smith represented IECQ at many events, conferences, and trade shows. He also has regular contact with IECQ members, customers and suppliers. He was instrumental in establishing the IECQ CAG (Chairman’s Advisory Group) which was the predecessor of the IECQ Executive Group of which he will remain a member.

Reaching out

IECQ has been well represented at several major events in the past 12 months.

Workshop and test lab visit in Russia

In May 2014, for example, the Russian NC (National Committee) of the IEC invited the IEC and IECQ to present the System to the Russian industry during a workshop held at the Federal Agency for Technical Regulating and Metrology in Moscow. The discussions that ensued were fruitful. The idea of establishing a Russian IECQ training body was raised and the NC committed to provide technical experts for IEC TC (Technical Committee) 107: Process Management for avionics, and for all IECQ Working Groups, included the newly-formed WGT in charge of training. IECQ Secretariat Business Manager Steve Allan was also invited to visit Electronstandard, the Russian Scientific Research Institute, and former IECQ CB, located in St Petersburg.

Avionics Industry Dialogue

The event, held in April 2014 in conjunction with the 2014 IECQ annual meetings, brought together experts from BoeingAirbusGE AviationAero Engine Controls (part of the Rolls Royce Group) as well as several Certification Bodies.

IECQ also participated in the following industry events:

About IECQ and its Schemes

IECQ (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) is a worldwide approval and certification system that covers the supply, assembly, associated materials and processes of a large variety of electronic components that are used in millions of devices and systems. The IECQ Certification System provides manufacturers with independent verification that IEC International Standards and other specifications were met by suppliers who hold an IECQ certification. The avionics and increasingly other industries depend on the IECQ Electronic Component Management Plan to assess suppliers and safely manage their components’ supply chain also to avoid counterfeit merchandise. IECQ also allows manufacturers to more easily comply with increasingly strict hazardous substances regulations.

IECQ operates industry specific Certification Schemes:

For more information: www.iecq.org

LED-based solutions are now found in urban lighting LED-based solutions are now found in urban lighting
IECQ Secretariat Business Manager Steve Allan visited Electronstandard, the Russian Scientific Research institute in St Petersburg IECQ Secretariat Business Manager Steve Allan visited Electronstandard, the Russian Scientific Research Institute in St Petersburg
Marie-Elisabeth d'Ornano is the IECQ Chairman Marie-Elisabeth d'Ornano is the IECQ Chairman