Product change notices (PCNs) are a necessary but complicated reality of the supply chain. Component manufacturers change things all the time, but because components are sold directly to customers, through distributors or on the open market, it is nearly impossible to disseminate notices in a consistent manner. Entire websites have been dedicated to keeping the supply chain up to date on PCNs.
The Electronics Components Industry Organization, a trade group that represents component makers and distributors, has released a position paper on PCNs. The ECIA has found that a JEDEC standard used for solid-state suppliers can also apply to all electronic components.
The ECIA, in a release, recently shared its position on PCNs:
JEDEC, the Solid State Technology Association's standard, establishes procedures for notifying customers of changes to solid state product and associated processes (JESD46D Customer Notification of Product/Process Changes by Solid-State Suppliers). Although this standard is written for solid-state suppliers, nothing in the standard prevents it from being used for all electronic components. In fact, a committee is revising the standard so it will include all electronic components. ECIA has a committee that recommended changes to this standard and will be part of that committee as changes are made.
Conclusion: While the JEDEC standard is being revised, the ECIA committee recommends using JESD46D as the standard for all electronic component Product Change Notifications. In addition to the current standard, some of the changes recommended by the ECIA committee are listed in this document and should be considered for PCNs.
JEDEC defines change as: An alteration to the product or process, which may be a major change or a minor change. Manufacturing & process location changes can also be covered by this standard.
And customers as any organization that:
1) Has purchased the product from the supplier within the past two (2) years and has a contract or purchase agreement with Process Change Notice (PCN) requirements, or
2) Has requested (and the supplier has agreed to provide) PCN information, or
3) Is an approved supplier agent.
An end customer is the final customer of product (i.e. channel distributor supply chain).
JEDEC’s classification of changes are:
The proposed change should be classified as either major or minor and noted on the PCN.
The following changes require supplier to provide product change notice: (April 2015)
- Change in form, fit or function
- Change in manufacturing location
- Change to manufacturing process
- Change to product performance specification, or product reliability
- Change of product design (including mechanical specification or tolerance change)
- Change to electrical circuit
- Change to production released tooling
- Change to test equipment, test process, or test specification
- Change to optical design
- Change to materials used to manufacture product
- Change to cosmetic requirements
- Change in subcontractor or supplier
- Any other change that could potentially impact the quality, performance, or reliability of the product
- Product discontinuance (end of life) (Per JESD48C) Refer to Annex A of JESD46D for additional examples of major changes by commodity.
The ECIA recommends the following revision to the minimum content listed in JESD46D for items b) and m). b) Where reasonable, complete list of individual affected supplier part number(s). For narrative purposes (cover letter, PCN description, etc.), affected product lines including specific package types or product family can be listed. m) Supplier contact information, such as but not limited to: name, address, telephone, email, and fax number of supplier contact.
The ECIA lists additional examples of major and minor changes not listed in JESD46D (April 2015):
Changes to Annex A of the Standard
Annex A: Examples of changes that may be considered major requiring customer notification
- Changes to Annex A of the Standard
- Annex A: Examples of changes that may be considered major requiring customer notification
- Applicable for all commodities:
- Mechanical specification, dimensions, tolerance, geometrics, surface finish and materials
- Manufacturing site
- Outgoing QA sampling plan
- Changes in process control plan
- Outgoing reliability plan
- Material and material source
- Physical requirements (i.e. solderability, hardness)
- Structural integrity (i.e. thermal stress, plating thickness)
- Electrical requirements (i.e. continuity, insulation resistance)
- Environmental (i.e. thermal shock, cleanliness, outgassing)
- Subcontractor changes
- Surface finish/coating
- Extension of tooling life
- Tool (mold) or die modifications
- Annealing or any other stress relief process
- Supplier name change
- Compliance to applicable agencies/standards
- Change in RoHS status and/or change in exemptions claimed
- Manufacturing part number convention
- Any design change affecting schematic, physical layout of BOM
- Part number or revision number
- Die revision
- Data sheet parameters
Examples of MINOR changes
- Addition of part numbers (i.e. dash numbers)
- Notes for clarification or informational purposes
- Typographical errors
- Drafting errors
A committee is currently revising the JEDEC standard so it will include all electronic components. While the JEDEC standard is being revised, the ECIA committee recommends using JESD46D as the standard for all electronic component PCNs.