When the ROHS WEEE directive first came into force, some mechanical designers were delighted to find their products were exempt from the ruling. However, the expiry dates for many of these exemptions has expired, and many more are due to expire in 2011. This is not the way it was originally going to be.
Companies with well organised enterprise data management systems, using compatible part obsolescence management tools, will be aware of this. They will have amended their system designs to use alternative components, or found component engineering companies able to fashion RoHS compliant versions of components made obsolete by the RoHS ruling. However, a lot of others will be in the dark; they may not even realise their exempt products had an expiry date.
In July 2006 the EU commissioned a study into the application of the RoHS directive to products in Categories 8 and 9. At the time, the final report stated products would remain exempt until 2012 or 2018 depending on specific criteria. However, the goalposts have not so much been moved as shifted to another playing field since then. Many exempt products were re-evaluated and as a result their exemption dates expired earlier this year. Many more are due to expire in 2011, and there are few if any products with an expiry date of 2018.
We at Enventure Technologies will be the first to admit that that RoHS compliance is a confusing and complex area. This is why we specialise in environmental compliance management solutions for engineering companies such as yours. We offer a range of high value engineering services including obsolescence management, BOM management, component engineering and data cleansing solutions.