Improving Battery Standards

In an earlier post, Lionel mentioned an organization called IPC, and asked me to share some details about the group, my role in it, and to discuss the upcoming tech summit, which happens next month in San Jose. I talked about this recently with eWEEK, but wanted to share more perspective.

The IPC is a trade organization that has evolved since its inception in 1957. They started out as the “Institute for Printed Circuits”, became the Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits, and when nobody could remember their name, they just became the IPC. Over the past several decades the IPC focused on bringing users, suppliers, equipment manufactures, and raw material manufacturers together to create standards for printed wiring boards and then printed wiring board assemblies. Almost all military specifications were folded into the IPC standards, they established a process to be ANSI recognized, and are now a global standards entity. IPC has over 100 active standards and 100 volunteer committees, subcommittees and working groups devoted to standards development. Based on their track record of bringing standards to industry, I reached out to their VP of Industry programs, Tony Hilvers, and inquired about their desire to open up to other commodities. The folks at IPC were excited about venturing into “unknown” waters and away we went!

My role as the Chairman of the OEM Management Steering Council is to seek participation from companies who have a vested interest in commodity standardization, bring subject matter expertise, and are committed to changing the industry. I work through the IPC to set up meetings, agendas, scope standards, measure execution, and look for the next opportunity. It’s a great environment and I’ve met some really good folks. Currently sitting on the Council are Apple (Gary Roberts), Cisco (Paul Bennett), HP (Glen Griffiths), IBM (Joe Lisowski), Lenovo (Nancy Bolinger), Lucent (Neil Witkowski), and Motorola (Greg Schneider).

The upcoming summit will bring together users of lithium-ion batteries (Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Polycom are confirmed to date) to develop and deploy manufacturing standards which will be used by suppliers of lithium-ion cells. We are emulating the existing environment for PCB (Printed Circuit Boards) and PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assemblies) which has proven to be extremely successful. We will scope this document, commit resources, and set the timeline. Our primary goal is insuring a safe and reliable cell delivered each and every time to our customers. We’ll communicate progress or key developments periodically on this blog and elsewhere.

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