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Launch of the IECQ Avionics Users Forum

By Claire Marchand

In 2018, IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, held its annual meetings in October, in conjunction with the 82nd IEC General Meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea. One of the highlights of the week-long events was the official launch of the IECQ Avionics Users Forum (AUF), a discussion platform that aims to bring together professionals working in the avionics field as well as in counterfeit avoidance.

airplane wash lighting Lighting also plays an major part in avionics (Photo: Collins Aerospace)

Long-time involvement

IECQ has run the IECQ aerospace, defense and high performance (ADHP) component management scheme (IECQ ADHP) and the IECQ counterfeit avoidance programme (IECQ AP-CAP) for several years. In 2018, as a complement to the schemes, the IECQ Management Committee (MC) established a discussion forum for the avionics community. The Avionics Users Forum is an additional service offering of the IECQ that provides several technical forums dedicated to specific issues pertaining to the avionics industry sector, a result of the cooperation between IECQ and STACK International.

The decision to set up the AUF was made at the IECQ MC meeting in May 2017, in preparation for the transfer of technical committee activities from non-profit subscription-based STACK International, with which IECQ had been cooperating for many years. STACK International, a consortium of defense and aerospace peers “committed to sharing experience, market intelligence, emerging initiatives and best practices to optimize supply chain excellence and mitigate risk”, terminated its operations in December 2017.

Interactive tool

The objective of the forum is to discuss relevant industry standards and their audit programmes, with the aim of providing technical assistance, technical benchmarking activities, information on new technical issues and greater clarity to the user community. It also provides comments and advice back into the relevant standards committees, in particular IEC Technical Committee (TC) 107: Process management for avionics, and the IECQ ADHP component management scheme.

Valuable support

AUF does not publish any standards or audit schemes but provides the framework for information exchange between members and may make recommendations and offer standardized wording to other committees.

Members are typically avionics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their subcontractors although regulators and air-framers can attend select technical forums pending AUF approval.

Forum membership is international and participation from all geographical areas of the globe is actively encouraged to provide a balanced membership.

As stated above, AUF oversees and manages a series of topic-specific technical forums (TFs) on:

  • TF 1: Audit programmes
  • TF 2: Harmonization standards
  • TF 4: Electronic Component Management Plan (ECMP) and Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) assemblies, including uprating
  • TF 5: Lead-free/REACH
  • TF 6: Anti-counterfeit/obsolescence management
  • TF 8: Microcircuits, diodes, transistors, passive and semiconductor wear-out
  • TF 9: LED lighting
  • TF 11: Atmospheric single-event effect (SEE) radiation
  • TF 12: Mechanical parts

TF 2, the harmonization forum, may have additional discussions on standards strategy and consider appropriate common wording for other external committees outside IECQ.

If you are interested, visit iecqhub.org and register to participate in the different technical forums.

About IECQ

IECQ is a worldwide approval and certification system that covers the supply, assembly, associated materials and processes of a large variety of electrotechnical products that are used in millions of devices and systems. The IECQ System provides manufacturers with independent verification that component specifications – relevant IEC International Standards and other manufacturing specifications – are met by suppliers who hold an IECQ certification.

IECQ operates industry-specific certification schemes:

  • IECQ approved process (IECQ AP)
        IECQ counterfeit avoidance programme (IECQ AP-CAP)
  • IECQ approved component (IECQ AC)
        IECQ automotive qualification programme (IECQ AC-AQP)
        IECQ scheme for LED lighting
        IECQ Technology Certification (IECQ AC-TC)
  • IECQ aerospace, defense and high performance (ADHP) component management scheme (IECQ ADHP)
  • IECQ hazardous substances process management (IECQ HSPM)
  • IECQ independent testing laboratory IECQ ITL)

The System provides a single process of qualifying certification bodies (CBs) capable of issuing IECQ certificates as well as a single set of standard operating rules and procedures that must be adopted by all TLs and CBs.

IECQ certificates issued by all IECQ-qualified CBs are publicly available in one location only, the official IECQ website.

Gallery
touchscreen cockpit The touchscreen cockpit of the future (Photo: techrepublic.com)
airplane wash lighting Lighting also plays an major part in avionics (Photo: Collins Aerospace)
Black Hawk helicopter The defense market is an important sector in avionics