Connect with WHMA By Christine Siebert

With the cable and harness industry continuing to grow, Customers are not just looking for basic material/component suppliers, they are searching for “Solution Providers“.

As a “Solutions Provider”, they are looking for, and increasingly demanding, expertise on:

  • Wire and Cable
  • Connectors
  • Assembly
  • HLA – high level assemblies
  • Project management

And most importantly, Certification on Industry Standards.

There are many different standards that manufacturers should have certifications that are most applicable to their industries and their products. Not all certifications are necessary, and you should evaluate these certifications with your projects and equipment needs in mind. I will review three certifications that each manufacturer should pay attention to with one that is a necessity for the Cable and Wire Harness Assembly industry.

ISO – International Organization for Standardization

ISO creates documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. Seeing an ISO accreditation on a cable assembly manufacturer’s website shows that the manufacturer is a credible organization that is committed to creating safe products of high quality.  There are also many types of ISO certifications, so it is valuable to familiarize yourself with any specific accreditation’s for your industry.

UL – Underwriters Laboratories

UL help people achieve by empowering trust.  Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in UL so they can make smarter decisions. UL ratings help consumers determine in what types of conditions the product is meant to perform. This is also the case for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies. UL focuses on ensuring the quality and safety of the end product. UL offers certification of the manufacturing process to make sure a manufacturer is able to produce safe products that meet standards.

IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard

This is the one standard that is essential for the Cable and Wire Harness Assembly Manufacturer. The IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard Revision C remains the only industry-consensus standard for Requirements and Acceptance of Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies.

The IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard prescribes practices and requirements for the manufacture of cable, wire and harness assemblies. The standard describes materials, methods, tests and acceptability criteria for producing crimped, mechanically secured and soldered interconnections, and the related assembly activities (corresponding lacing/restraining criteria) associated with cable and harness assemblies. Any method that produces an assembly conforming to the acceptability requirements described in this standard may be used.

The IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard sets expectations between WHMA members and their customers for what is considered acceptable quality workmanship for cables and harnesses.

There are many uses of the IPC/WHMA-A-620 workmanship standard:

  • Workmanship standard for operators – standardization of visual criteria for acceptable process quality
  • Quality management systems – ISO and regulatory requirements
  • Achieve operational excellence – quality and productivity: used to monitor internal quality PPM goal; and, used to identify continuous improvement opportunities
  • As a marketing tool

So, to summarize, the TRUE value of the IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard is:

  • Internationally accepted workmanship standard – the materials are now published in 12 languages
  • It’s “world class training and certification” is recognized by ISO and customer audits
  • Employee involvement and pride in workmanship
  • Creates a common language between OEMs and wire harness manufacturers
  • Customer satisfaction – confidence in supplier quality and quality systems
  • Compliance to ISO and regulatory requirements – ability to prove process and personnel effectiveness
  • Being certified to an industry standard boosts credibility

If you have any questions on how to become certified on the IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standard, please visit our website, or email us at for more information. And the next time your customer is looking to choose a Wire Harness and Cable Manufacturer, use these tips to show them that you are their “Solution Provider”.

*Article can be found in WCTI January/February 2020 edition Page 119 click here