Only 69 percent of electronic industry contract manufacturers expect to be fully compliant with global environmental legislation taking effect July 2006 prescribed by the European Union's (EU's) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation, according a study by Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) and Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of distributor Avnet Inc. (Phoenix).
"This research shows that 42 percent of suppliers are not planning to change part numbers, which will create confusion as to which parts are compliant," said Greg Frazier, executive vice president of global supply chain services at Avnet Electronics Marketing, in a statement. "Because of this, the transition to lead-free will be an enormous undertaking with a significant impact on the supply chain, profoundly affecting distributors like Avnet, who in many cases, are the main point of contact to suppliers for our customers."
The study includes background on component suppliers' part numbering plans for products free of restricted substances, contract manufacturers and OEMs wants and needs, and recommendations about viable and cost-effective practices for tracking and managing compliant parts.
The EU's RoHS legislation will require the removal of a number of hazardous substances, including lead, from electronic components. Similar environmental initiatives are being mandated by other countries such as Japan.
Besides forcing component suppliers to redesign their parts to have lead-free finishes, the legislation is forcing pc board designers to ensure their assemblies withstand lead-free soldering processes.