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The first session of the CPCA Spring Forum 2016 was dedicated to UL Consumer Technology who took the opportunity to inform the audience around their exciting new services. The session comprised three presentations, with the first and third sessions in Chinese, by Irving Lee and Gallen Wu, whose themes were “Providing Services for a Safer World” and “UL One Stop Solution for PWB Performance Test Service,” respectively. The central presentation was delivered in English by UL Principal Engineer at Printed Circuit Technologies, Crystal Vanderpan.
The presentation began with an overview of UL services, where she showcased UL as the leading worldwide provider of PWB safety certification, also covering pre-certification services and performance and reliability testing to provide an overall testing capability. The presentation described global trends in end-use markets, drawing on data presented by Custer Consulting at the EIPC Winter Conference (Dresden, January 2016). It was noted that OEMs are increasingly drawn to novel, often unique, constructions and solutions in order to satisfy end use demands for increased performance; the question posed was “are these new constructions safe?” This was identified as the demand driver for PWB certification.
The demand for UL’s PWB recognition program was shown as being driven by the end-use hazards of fire, electric shock, personal injury and environmental concerns. The recognition program was seen as being used to characterise PWB’s physical, electrical, flammability and thermal behaviour and to provide guidance for end-use safety design leading to less testing during end-product evaluation.
Vanderpan went on to explain the work of the Standards Technical Panel (STP) which has more than 40 members drawn from all sectors of the industry including UL. The STP proposals currently going through were shown numbering more than 30 in the most active area of UL 746E covering rigid laminate materials and conformal coatings. Vanderpan closed her presentation by highlighting proposals for a new 150ºC RTI (relative thermal index) FR-15 ANSI grade driven by OEM power supply demand and new UL/ANSI sub-grades for CEM-3 products reflecting the changes to flame retardants and fillers of recent years.
The presentations proved to be as informative as they were popular, filling the auditorium with interested delegates who were privileged to be informed first hand of UL’s developments by an expertly qualified team.