Question: I just wanted to ask a quick question. I’ve always believed that IPC-610 was an inspection of PCB assemblies and J-STD-001 was the actual operation of soldering. Is this correct?
Answer: This can be answered quickly with the response YES. You should keep in mind that J-STD-001 is the soldering specification and addresses both the process of building the product and the environment where the product is built. It addresses lighting, temperature, ESD, and more, and it discusses the stripping of wires and assembly to terminals, plated through hole soldering, surface mount soldering, inspection, conformal coating and inspection of the solder joint.
IPC-A-610 covers the inspection of the final product, which includes all of the above plus all the other issues related with final assembly, which are not covered in the soldering standard, such as connector, assembly, etc., and it has all the illustrations and pictures which defines the differences between the acceptability of tin/lead soldering joints and lead-free solder joint.