Electronic components make them, smart
The measuring and monitoring is no longer restricted to the industrial world. Whether at work, at home, traveling, at the gym, sleeping, our days and nights revolve around the multitude of smart electronic devices that help us monitor and measure our professional and personal achievements, our health, our physical and intellectual performances.
None of that would be possible without electronic components. They are at the heart of the smart world we live in, mostly hidden from view but essential to the smooth functioning of any device, piece of equipment or system. The automotive sector and transportation in general, healthcare, entertainment, to name a few, have all benefitted from the numerous and rapid technological advances of the electronics industry.
We don’t see them but we trust them implicitly. Most of us don’t even know what they are, what they look like. The only thing that we are sure of is that they are reliable, that we can depend on them to provide us with the information they help gather, whether it is our heartbeat, our electricity consumption or the speed of a factory production line.
IECQ at the heart of it all
One organization, IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, plays a major role in ensuring that all electronic components are of the highest quality. Electronic component manufacturers and suppliers, electronic equipment manufacturers and, ultimately, consumers, can be confident that products tested and certified by IECQ are genuine and can be trusted.
IECQ is sparing no effort to promote its services throughout the world. 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.
Alexander Zazhigalkin, Vice-President of the Russian NC opened the session with a presentation on the "Role of standardization in the issues of production quality management”. Then the major part of the workshop was devoted to IEC and IECQ. After a brief introduction on the IEC and its standardization and CA (Conformity Assessment) activities, Steve Allan, Business Manager , IECQ Secretariat, spent time explaining how "IECQ empowers Industry with supply chain compliance tools".
The whole scope
The topics covered included: IECQ AP (Approved Process), IECQ AC (Approved Component), IECQ Avionics, IECQ HSPM (Hazardous Substances Process Management) and two more recent IECQ programmes: IECQ AC-AQP (Automotive Qualification Programme) and IECQ AP-CAP (Counterfeit Avoidance Programme). Allan also briefly introduced the IECQ LED initiative, noting global concerns with the reliability of LEDs and how IECQ’s Approved Component Scheme provides a vital role in managing the component supply chain.
Around 70 participants – among them certifiers, industry representatives and university students – attended the workshop and expressed a keen interest in the System and what its Schemes offer. In particular, they were pleased to learn that, under the IECQ AC and AP Schemes and in the absence of relevant IEC International Standards, they could use industry or nationally-accepted specifications and standards in the absence of an IEC International Standard.
Further discussions with the Russian NC were extremely 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.
Renewed collaboration in the pipeline
Moreover, the Russian CB (Certification Body) expressed the wish to reenter the IECQ System and, together with the NC, plans to attend the next IECQ annual meetings, to be held in Singapore in 2015.
Back to back with the workshop, IECQ was taken on a tour of Electronstandard, the Russian Scientific Research Institute, and former IECQ CB, located in St Petersburg. High-level technical discussions centered on resuming participation in IECQ. Allan gave a step-by-step explanation of how this can be achieved, listing the acceptance requirements and what needs to be done, for example internal procedures.
The actual tour of the facilities showed Allan that the technical capabilities of the testing lab were state-of-the-art and outstanding. Of particular interest was the Programme for Counterfeit Avoidance set up by Electronstandard. This led to the decision to have one of their experts participate in the work of IECQ WG06: Counterfeit Avoidance Programme.
The outcome of the workshop and the visit to Electronstandard was extremely positive for all with both organization keen to have more sector-specific training and workshops, especially in the avionics and automotive fields, and to participate in IEC CA joint seminars and IECQ annual meetings.
For more information on IECQ: www.iecq.org