Wiring Harness Manufacturers Association
Written by Rick Bromm
Produced by Brian Mooney
The Wiring Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA) was established in 1993. WHMA is the only organization exclusively serving manufacturers of wiring harnesses, electronic cable assemblies, and cord sets, along with their suppliers and distributors.
WHMA members have banded together as a not-for-profit association in the spirit of volunteerism and mutual benefit to provide the only industry forum through which member companies can aggressively solve both their specific problems and also address pressing industry issues.
The WHMA is dedicated to providing our members the technical support, access to leading edge technology, benchmarking and the ability to network with the leaders of the wire processing equipment, services and manufacturing.
The WHMA connects members to resources that make them industry leaders. The organization is currently comprised with over 200 manufacturing companies and 45 suppliers to the industry.
Back in 2002, WHMA and IPC, an Association Connecting Electronics Industries, created a partnership to develop and market the A-620 Standard for the industry. This 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, or soldered interconnections and the related assembly activities associated with cable and harness assemblies. Any method that produces an assembly conforming to the acceptability requirements described in this standard may be used.
IPC/WHMA-A-620 describes acceptability criteria for crimped, mechanically secured and soldered interconnection and the corresponding lacing/restraining criteria associated with cable and harness assemblies.
Revision B of the standard was published in October 2012. . These criteria are supported by a hard copy book and a DVD with 682 full-color illustrations.
Revision B, was developed during a six-year process by members from user and supplier companies, represents a consensus among industry leaders. The IPC Wire Harness Acceptability Task Group of the Product Assurance Committee and the Wire Harness Manufacturers' Association Industry Technical Guidelines Committee prepared this standard.
An industry developed and approved program that includes training, certification and instructional materials based on the IPC/WHMA-A-620B is available to WHMA companies. Thousands of individuals have been trained to be IPC/WHMA-A-620 Certified IPC Trainers (CIT). A comprehensive and technically accurate program, IPC/WHMA-A-620 Training and Certification provides Certified IPC Trainers with high quality materials and detailed instructional plans that have been used for training Certified IPC Application Specialists (CIS) at all levels, including buyers, sales teams and management. More than 20,000 A-620 Application Specialists have been trained.
Certification demonstrates commitment to customer requirements and greatly facilitates certification to ISO Certification or other quality assurance initiatives. By having earned this portable credential, members receive immediate recognition, legitimacy and value throughout the electronics industry.
The IPC/WHMA-A-620 training and certification program has two tiers of instruction. Certified IPC Trainer candidates are sent by their parent companies to receive intensive training and are then certified to provide Application Specialist training.
- Certified IPC Trainers will participate in a week-long program that has 29 instructional hours. An optional eight hour hands-on course is available.
- Application Specialist training is modular and training/certification can be limited to the topics specific to an individual’s work requirements.
In addition to receiving a 50% discount on all A-620 Standard training materials, members of WHMA receive a full portfolio of member benefits.
One of the most beneficial member benefits is the knowledge exchange of best practices through peer networking at the annual WHMA conference and online throughout the year on our robust list serv. The three day conference is held every February, bringing together industry leaders together to discuss market trends and new technologies.
Members are always looking for new sources of business. To facilitate this need, the WHMA lists on its website an online directory by market segments that is promoted to OEM’s and other potential new customers.
WHMA also invites members to participate in the annual Benchmark Survey to help them better manage their company and maximize profits by comparing their performance metrics against others in the industry.
To learn more about WHMA you can go to www.WHMA.org or contact Jim Manke, Executive Director at 763.235.6482 / [email protected] or Rick Bromm, Chairman of the Board at (800) 783-2589 / [email protected].