Update: This article was updated to reflect that Alvin Boutte is now the Point of Contact for questions regarding Workmanship Standards.
The NASA Workmanship Standards Program coordinated an administrative change to NASA-STD-8739.6A, Implementation Requirements for NASA Workmanship Standards. The primary reason for the change is to formally adopt IPC/WHMA-A-620B-S, Space Applications Electronic Hardware Addendum to IPC/WHMA-A-620B as an equivalent, alternative standard to NASA-STD-8739.4, Workmanship Standard for Crimping, Interconnecting Cables, Harnesses, and Wiring.
The program has been identifying and evaluating gaps between the two documents for several years and has successfully worked with the industry writing committee to resolve all outstanding gaps, with the exception of one issue: 14 interconnect types that will be considered non-standard for applicable hardware (see NASA-STD-8739.6A, paragraph 1.2 for applicability statements). As evidence becomes available demonstrating the reliability of these additional interconnect types for certain mission types, they will be removed from the exceptions list.
Because IPC/WHMA-A-620B-S will be a recognized alternate equivalent standard rather than a mandatory replacement standard, NASA-STD-8739.4 will not be cancelled. The Workmanship Standards Program expects that the NASA supply chain will increasingly use IPC/WHMA-A-620B-S in place of NASA-STD-8739.4, resulting in the eventual retirement of the NASA standard. This approach provides time and flexibility to both NASA, which will need to adjust procurement language to allow for the new standard, and to the supply chain, which will need to align operator and inspector training and manufacturing procedures with the new standard.
Similar to the 2011 adoption of J-STD-001DS, the update will include language regarding inspections performed on hardware built to one standard (e.g., the NASA standard) and inspected by persons trained to the other standard (e.g., IPC). Like with J-STD-001FS, “home grown” training programs will be valid for uses of IPC/WHMA-A-620B-S, though NASA will retain the right to review and approve these training courses upon request.
Other minor corrections and clarifications will be included in this update as well, including defining the term “NASA Safety and Mission Assurance Sponsored Training Center” in order to clarify oversight accountability for trainers working within NASA centers who train outside of their organization (i.e., their own company or subcontractors).
Questions can be directed to Workmanship Standards Program Manager Alvin Boutte.