Obsolescence Management and REACH Legislation

The REACH directive is an unwanted burden to companies already struggling under the weight of WEEE and ROHS compliance.

RoHS/WEEE legislation covers just six main chemicals – more than enough for the average CAD designer or DSP programming engineer. REACH covers thousands more, affecting hardware design companies who were previously RoHS-exempt, as well as those already struggling with the rules.

The most complex of the European Union’s environmental rulings to date, the REACH EU legislation has wide-ranging implications on electrical and mechanical design companies. It was established to control the production and use of chemical substances thought to be a risk to health, safety, and the environment. So far, comprehensive risk assessments and safety data have been published for 30,000 substances, with many more implicated in the next decade.

Obsolescence management was once a straightforward affair. System designers realized that as technology expanded, component engineering would have to follow suit. Generally, they could expect electronic components to be around for about three years before they were out-of-date. So, they happily absorbed each new PCN alert as it came along, relegating obsolete semiconductors to the bin and purchasing better drop-in replacements.

However, the new directives have compromised things to the point where firmware development companies despair of giving an effective service to their clients. With RoHS legislation exemptions now expiring, plus the growing REACH directive list, the industry has been hit by a flood of PCN alerts and end-of-life notifications from component suppliers – who are similarly concerned.

Thankfully, we at Enventure Technologies offer obsolescence management tools and environmental compliance solutions which are specially tailored for the needs of each customer.

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