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IPC- 620 Specialist Support for Quality Compliance


El-Com Systems Corp is a wholly owned subsidiary of El-Com Systems Solutions, a company based in California. The Puerto Rico subsidiary has operated in Caguas, a town in the south-east of Puerto Rico, since 2015. The company is dedicated to manufacture complex electromechanical sub-systems and assemblies for the defense and aerospace global industry. The Caguas location employs 65 people including operational and administrative personnel.  

The Challenge

El-Com Systems Corp was required to improve the quality of its assemblies in accordance with the IPC/WHMA-A-620 - a quality standard that describes the requirements and acceptance for cable/wire harness assemblies. If the cable assembly production employees were not trained under this standard customers would cancel their orders (with a penalty charge). The total impact of this lost business was estimated to be over $2.5 million dollars.

The challenge was not only to introduce the IPC-620 trainings - in Spanish - in Puerto Rico but to also to support the California operation with the same trainings while simultaneously providing for an accelerated growth strategy and hiring additional employees for new production lines at both sites. Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension, Inc., (PRiMEX), part of the MEP National Network™ agreed to support this new opportunity. 

Having PRiMEX as an integral member in support of the IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard requirements, has made a huge difference in El-Com! This is one of the most important workmanship standards for our cable and harness assembly process. Thanks to the immediate response of PRiMEX (custom design, personalized training, coaching), the development of our production and support employees has been continuously strengthened, allowing us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations, and successfully achieving our grow on customers, employees, and sales - retaining jobs.

— Fernando Cardín , Plant Manager

MEP's Role

PRiMEX made a quick assessment (gap analysis) of El-Com’s cable assembly workers to plan for the ICP-620 apprentice requirements. PRiMEX also reviewed the customers quality requirements for military cable assemblies, quality data gathered from previous shipments, open orders and expected new customer contracts.

A Spanish/English customized training was designed to include 40 hours of classroom training, 32 hours on the job (OJT) lab and a proctoring session with IPC and WHMA (manufacturer’s association). PRiMEX's quick intervention, its customized design to introduce the IPC-620 specialist training, the integration of the workshop as a requisite for all cable assembly workers, and its selection as liaison with IPC-620 WHMA allowed to achieve the five month certification of the over 45 cable assemblers. All customers were satisfied with the company’s response and no orders were cancelled. PRiMEX’s support throughout the process provided the knowledge and capabilities for IPC-620 specialist certification.

Created April 2, 2022