IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, 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 (AUF) 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.
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.
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 approval by the AUF.
Forum membership is international and participation from all geographical areas of the globe is actively encouraged to provide a balanced membership. Forums consist of:
IECQ Avionics Users Forum (IECQ AUF) General Discussion forum for all members
As stated above, AUF oversees and manages a series of topic-specific technical forums (TFs) on:
TF 2, the harmonization forum, may have additional discussions on standards strategy and consider appropriate common wording for other external committees outside IECQ.
IECQ (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) 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:
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.
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems. It brings together 171 countries; 86 are Members (National Committees) and 85 are Affiliates, developing countries that benefit from IEC work without the burden of membership.
Together they represent more than 99% of the world population and world electricity generation. More than 20 000 experts cooperate on the global IEC platform and many more in each member country.
They ensure that products work everywhere safely and efficiently with each other. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and during energy generation conform to them.
IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, smart grid & smart cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.
IEC TC 107: Process management for avionics, was set up in 2001 to develop process management International Standards on systems and equipment used in in the field of avionics and equipment for commercial, civil and defense aerospace applications requiring particularly high reliability level and long life duration.
The aerospace industry is increasingly dependent on ‘off the shelf’ electronic components, equipment, and systems designed and manufactured mainly for other industries, over which the aerospace industry has less control. TC 107 must develop standard processes to use and manage these components, equipment, and systems in aerospace applications, possibly in liaison with other industrial sectors also concerned.
The standards enable the avionics industries to comply with regulatory requirements and can also be used for conformity assessment. For example, IEC 62239-1, Process management for avionics - Management plan - Part 1: Preparation and maintenance of an electronic components management plan, is the reference for the IECQ ADHP scheme.