How do you keep customers happy with ROHS compliance?

Many customers are understandably worried when they hear that engineers are altering their customised hardware in accordance with ROHS compliance. Even if the hardware designs appear superficially unaltered, their components most definitely are not.

ROHS compliance affects every area of PCB design, including transistors, semiconductors, diodes, solders and programmable chips. To maintain an uninterrupted supply chain, ensure continued integrity of their system designs, and continue to offer customers good value, engineering companies must have a watertight environmental compliance management system. This includes:

  • Obsolescence management tools incorporating PCN alerts.
  • Bill of Materials (BOM) management tools.
  • Component cross referencing software for easy tracking of replacements for obsolete semiconductors.
  • Effective enterprise data management tools, to maintain open paths of communication between end users and suppliers.

One problem is the confusion and uncertainty over expiry dates for RoHS Category 8 and 9 products, which were given temporary exclusion from RoHS legislation. The original feasibility study suggested the exclusions remain in force until 2012 or 2018. However, this was never implemented by the EU, who in September 2010 substantially revised the list. Over half the exemptions now carry expiry dates of 2011 or earlier.

This is particularly worrying for engineers who specialise in FPGA and VHDL designs for medical equipment. They can’t simply switch obsolete semiconductors for RoHS compliant ones. The product has to go through a series of approval tests first. In the meantime, what does the medical staff do

Believe it or not, there are solutions to all these problems. We at Enventure Technologies offer full manufacturing support in all areas of RoHS/WEEE compliance, from component engineering services to enterprise data management.

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