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Electronics Production | July 04, 2005

Avnet releases preliminary results from second RoHS study

Data indicate significant progress among electronic component manufacturers in addressing part numbering issue.
Global electronic component distributor Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of Avnet Inc., announced a second round of research on the status of the electronic industry's preparedness for complying with environmental legislation, such as Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS).

Preliminary interpretation of the results of the new study by Technology Forecasters Inc. and Avnet Electronics Marketing shows that contract manufacturers, electronic component manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers are making progress toward compliance, as compared to the results of the first such study conducted in late 2004. Companies have exactly one year from today to be in compliance with the European Union's RoHS legislation.

The 2004 study indicated 52 percent of respondent companies planned to assign new lead-free part numbers to the component products. First data from the current study show 71 percent plan to indicate lead-free products by new part numbers. 'That's one of the metrics we were hoping would improve, but it still isn't quite where we want it,' commented Jim Smith, vice president of logistics for Avnet Electronics Marketing. 'We are still concerned that suppliers are underestimating the supply chain implications of this issue.'

Almost 58 percent of respondents say they plan to designate compliance by providing information on their packaging as well, up from 37 percent in the 2004 survey.

Further preliminary data analysis indicates that most supplier respondents still do not foresee price increases as a result of RoHS, and they also do not expect supply chain disruptions due to inventory excess or a shortfall of affected parts. 'We hope the suppliers are right about that; however, with hundreds of thousands of parts changing as a result of these requirements, we are not ready to declare victory just yet. There is still a huge amount of work for the industry to do,' Smith added.

The early study results also show most manufacturers have no plans for handling excess components containing lead. Only about 29 percent indicate plans for leaded product inventory, while 31 percent report no plans.

The entire study will be made available mid-July.

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