Last updated: September 2017
Until the development of the IPC/WHMA A-620 standard, a universally recognized workmanship standard did not exist within the wire harness industry. This lack of standardization has often led to conflicting views about what is “acceptable quality” and created gaps of understanding between wire harness manufacturers and OEMs.
Today the IPC WHMA A-620 Revision C certification remains the leading international workmanship standard in the industry. This standard prescribes best practices and requirements – from methods to tests to acceptability criteria – for the manufacture of cable and wire harness assemblies.
As a wire harness manufacturer that has successfully adopted the A-620 standard, ALTEX Wire and Cable often witnesses, firsthand, how the workmanship standard facilitates a better partnership between OEMs and manufacturers. The standard is changing the landscape of the $122 billion wire harness industry and creating mutually beneficial improvements for both OEMs and manufacturers. The A-620 standard:
1. Creates a common language between OEMs and wire harness manufacturers
Companies in 42 different countries are currently A-620 certified, with training materials published in twelve languages. Such a universal standard facilitates communication between OEMs and manufacturers and makes it easier to work together even when a project has unique build specifications. With an increasing number of OEMs referencing the A-620 standard on their drawings, companies whose workforces are not trained to the standard will have a difficult time working with these OEMs.
2. Improves compliance and quality
A-620 is recognized as world-class training and certification by ISO and customer auditors and ensures compliance to important regulatory requirements. The certification standardizes operations and helps manufacturers achieve operational excellence in quality and productivity. It’s also used to identify opportunities for continuous improvement and enables manufacturers to employ proven processes and maximize personnel effectiveness.
3. Increases customer satisfaction
Today’s OEMs are looking for more than just material or component suppliers – they are looking for solutions providers with expertise on everything from wire and cable, connectors and assembly to high level assemblies, project management and regulatory standards. An A-620 certified manufacturer will have knowledgeable, highly trained professionals better equipped to provide such value-added services, thereby ensuring OEMs get more of what they need from their manufacturing partner.
4. Validates wire harness manufacturers
An A-620 certification validates the legitimacy of wire harness manufacturers. It demonstrates a commitment to meeting customer requirements and facilitates certification in other quality assurance initiatives. It is a powerful tool that highlights a manufacturer’s capabilities, quality management systems and dedication to promoting a true partnership with customers.
5. Invests in industry professionals
A-620 certification shows a willingness to invest in your employees and helps combat the current skills gap issues within the manufacturing industry. A-620 standard training educates employees in every aspect of wire processing – from wire cutting and stripping to testing finished harnesses. It gives the production team a definitive answer as to what is a good part and what is not through both written and visual examples. Providing A-620 training to employees is an investment in a company’s most valuable resource.
At ALTEX, training our team on the A-620 standard is one more way we invest in our quality management systems, our knowledgeable employees and our proven processes, all of which allow us to continue to exceed customer expectations. Find our more about the A-620 workmanship standard or learn about our other quality certifications.