RoHS Certification

The EU, RoHS directive 2002/95/EC restricts the use of lead and other potentially hazardous substances including cadmium, mercury and chromium VI, amongst others, in electrical and electronic products. RoHS limits these substances to 0.1% or 1,000ppm (except for cadmium, which is limited to 0.01% or 100ppm) by weight of homogenous material.

In order to obtain the certification, it is necessary to seek out a third party company that provides test reports of the material, material declarations directly from the supplier and what is known as a Declarations of Conformity. It is all about testing the material, making sure its housing, manufacturing and distributing is aligned with the set forward regulations of RoHS,

RoHS training involves teaching yourself and your employees about RoHS regulations and correct testing for RoHS controlled substances. Ignorance is not considered a viable excuse for RoHS non-compliance, so it is important to learn about RoHS and to ensure that your company is fully RoHS compliant. Learn the RoHS compliant definition and seek out consultants or additional assistance if you are unsure of the RoHS compliance definition for your business or are uncertain about testing procedures.

RoHS specifies maximum levels for the following six restricted materials:

Lead (Pb): < 1000 ppm

Mercury (Hg): < 100 ppm

Cadmium (Cd): < 100 ppm

Hexavalent Chromium: (Cr VI) < 1000 ppm

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE): < 1000 ppm

Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB): < 1000 ppm

Benefits of RoHS

Increase of communication across the supply chain serves as a platform for the implementation of REACH and other initiatives.

Tighter process control, overall reduced number of defects and increased production efficiency (contradicts information appearing elsewhere in the report)

Increased skill levels in the global workforce due to retraining and the knowledge transfer to Asia and less developed countries (assumes that globalization is driven by RoHS). In addition, "Japanese people and knowledge are seeking inspiration in Europe and the US" (the condescension toward Japan is hard to understand given the statistics on innovation contained within the report).

Less leaching in landfills because WEEE contains less hazardous material and increased incentives for recycling because lead-free solder contains silver and gold.

Pressure on other sectors (such as aerospace and IT industrial controls) and countries to move to cleaner processes and reduced use of hazardous materials (such as China RoHS and Korea RoHS).

Competitive advantage for EU manufacturers in markets where RoHS legislation is pending or contemplated.


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