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IPC Class 3 Design Guide

The Sierra Circuits IPC Class 3 Design Guide helps you design high-reliability PCBs for electronics that won’t fail.

8 Chapters
8 Chapters

Which class of board to choose? IPC class 2 or IPC class 3 standard? Does it really make any difference? Are manufacturers solely responsible for the board quality? Do designers play any role in it? If you have all these questions on your mind then this design guide will help you clear up that ambiguity.

This design guide helps you design and build PCBs for precision and reliability:

  • IPC guidelines for manufacturing defects
  • IPC standards for assembly processes
  • Common differences between the classes
  • IPC documents to set the level of acceptance criteria


Designing IPC Class 3 PCBs for precision and reliability


When we talk about IPC classes, we are speaking about the level of inspection that defines the manufactured board’s precision and reliability. The three classes are categorized based on the criticality of the application, the tolerances to the harsh environment, and so on. In short, the three classes determine the quality of the board. With IPC class 3 being the highest in quality and class 1 being the lowest. The other important thing that we would like to state here is that we cannot solely explain  IPC class 3 without also understanding the other two classes. Hence, in this design guide, we mention class 1 and class 2 for your better understanding.

Sierra Circuits offers internal quality review systems that guarantee zero-defect boards. We also provide engineering support to verify if your design is IPC class 3/A or mil-spec compliant.


Also inside this IPC Class 3 PCB Design Guide:


  • IPC standards for the assembly process
  • How to design and build annular rings
  • PCB failure: Analysis & testing
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Sierra Circuits PCB Certifications & Registrations

Sierra Circuits holds IPC-6012, IPC-6013, IPC-6015, IPC-6018, and IPC-A-600 PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits is ISO 9001:2015 certified for Military and Aerospace PCBs
Sierra Circuits is ISO 13485:2016 certified for Medical Device PCBs
Sierra Circuits is ITAR Registered
Sierra Circuits holds MIL-PRF-55110 & MIL-PRF-31032 PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits is certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Sierra Circuits is REACH Compliant for PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits is RoHS Compliant for PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits holds PCB certifications for Flex, Rigid-Flex, and Rigid PCBs by the Underwriters Laboratory

Sierra Circuits is the most trusted partner for IPC class 3 PCB manufacturing

Trusted by Innovators Since 1986

Sierra Circuits has been trusted by innovators as a go to resource for best in class circuit boards since 1986.

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About Sierra Circuits

Since 1986, Sierra Circuits has faithfully served more than 20,000 PCB designers and engineers with PCB design, manufacturing and assembly and High-Density Interconnect technology.

Sierra Circuits handles all aspects of PCB production. From PCB layout and design, to assembly and manufacturing—we provide our customers with unprecedented quality, reliability, and a single point of support.

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