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Electronics Production | December 13, 2004

Are companies on target for RoHS deadlines?

According to the 2nd EU Lead-free Soldering Technology Roadmap previously published by Soldertec Global, assembly companies hoping to match average market progress should have at least half of their products lead-free by the end of this year.
Leading companies will be expected to have achieved 100% lead-free production by the end of 2004.

Kay Nimmo, Research Director at Soldertec Global, commented, "Everyone should now be aware that the final deadline for the replacement of lead, and other hazardous materials, in electronic products according to the RoHS Directive is 1 July 2006.

However, it is important for people to realise that in order to plan for that final deadline both suppliers and assemblers need to be well on the way towards lead-free production now. One of the main aims of the EU Lead-free Roadmap was to give a clear indication of a timescale for the transition away from the use of lead allowing electronic manufacturers to compare their performance with others."

Suppliers and assemblers should also be considering the other actions that need to be put in place in order to be able to demonstrate that they have taken the required steps to comply with the national legislation. For example, steps should be taken to set up materials declaration systems with suppliers, plan to keep records for 4 or more years, perform analysis of materials supplied to check for compliance with the RoHS limits on banned substances, make use of standard materials marking systems such as the one promoted by JEDEC.

Industry data collected by a survey of the EU electronics industry in 2003 was used to compile the EU Lead-free Soldering Technology Roadmap.

Soldertec Global is the only organisation in Europe which has established regional guidance recommending timescales for European components manufacturers and electronic assemblers to develop products that will comply with imminent European legislation.

Kay Nimmo added "Soldertec Global can assist with the transition to lead-free production by offering a variety of key services to both SME's and larger companies through a range of tailor-made packages." Soldertec Global offers the following services: reliability testing for re-qualification of lead-free assemblies, microscopy and failure analysis, x-ray inspection service, RoHS analysis, mechanical testing and solderability assessment.

The European Lead-free Network (ELFNET) co-ordinated by Soldertec Global is
currently carrying out a new industry survey to gauge the level of progress towards lead-free in each individual country.

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