Just as component engineering companies had got their heads around the intricacies of RoHS and WEEE legislation, along came the REACH EU directive, the most complex of the European Union laws yet.
Much as there is a need for environmental compliance, mechanical design companies are feeling distinctly frazzled at this latest addition to their workload. But they’re in good company. REACH compliance affects everybody in the supply chain: Importers and distributors, who must ensure products from outside the EU comply with the new legislation; component manufacturers, who must recall non-compliant products and develop replacements; downstream users, who must ensure they use only REACH compliant products, and end-users, who must ensure OEMs are obeying the rules, and dispose of non-REACH compliant products correctly.
Obsolescence management has never been so important. Initially, the hazardous chemicals listed by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) as coming under the REACH directive numbered just 16. This was in June 2008. Currently, the figure stands at over 30,000 – and is rising as more data becomes available. The ECHA has estimated that the high cost of REACH compliance will have at least 2% of the listed chemicals driven off the market, leaving manufacturers to come up with environmentally compliant alternatives to the products incorporating them – or declare those products obsolete. As kinks start to appear in the supply chain, users will be seriously compromised.
The good news for electronic and mechanical design companies is that there is plenty of manufacturing support from distributors, component manufacturers – and us at Enventure Technologies. From obsolescence management tools to component engineering services, our high value engineering solutions will ensure you always REACH compliance.