The European Power Supply Manufacturers Association (EPSMA) has issued an open letter today stating that it is "very concerned" about the draft IPC9592, "Performance Parameters for Power Conversion Devices." This nearly 100-page document standardizes the performance parameters for power conversion devices for computer and telecommunications equipment (although it is "not limited to" these devices). "A guideline is useful but the document should look different," the EPSMA letter continued, "The draft has the content of a guideline, but the language of a standard."
The IPC is the "Association Connecting Electronics Industries" with an objective of "Serving the Printed Circuit Board, and Electronics Assembly Industries, Their Customers and Suppliers." The EPSMA "offers its expertise to produce a new document, leading to feasible and economically viable requirements." According to the EPSMA open letter, there are several specific areas in the current draft that are of concern, including the following items:
"Manufacturers have established quality systems, approved by certified agencies. Changes to meet the IPC 9592 draft are therefore impractical. The document leaves no room for alternative ways of securing quality.
"The document is too broad, attempting to address too many types of products and applications in a single document.
"It should leverage existing standards e.g. JEDEC, IEC, IEEE, ISO etc. instead of having many redundant or conflicting details within the document.
"Required documentation is excessive and makes it impossible to protect suppliers’ confidential information.
"Extensive testing as specified increases cost and time to market, approaching that of High-Rel/Mil requirements."
"The purpose of the IPC 9592 is to put forth a minimum set of acceptable requirements for power supply specifications. The IPC subcommittee members all agree that FMEA is a very important process to develop a design that meets requirements for function, quality, and reliability as early in the process as possible. I am not in total agreement that FMEA will cost a lot of money. There are several of the OEMs represented on the subcommittee that already require FMEA on power supply designs," according to a representative of the IPC Power Conversion Subcommittee.
"This document has been launched to the market without any input at all, from what it seems, from the power supply community," according to an executive active in the European power supply industry. "The document seems to dictate how both products and processes ’shall’ be specified and documented. The few companies involved in the process also seem to be hand picked," he concluded. Furthermore, according to the same individual, "The fact is that following these rules, the manufacturers’ intellectual properties are jeopardized. And the 9592 document will lead to significant increase cost of power conversion products and should not be viewed as anything else but a threat to the whole power conversion industry."