EU pondering directive to require recycling of electrical equipment
The design and manufacture of electrical and electronic products could change dramatically under a directive being pushed by the Commission of the European Union (EU). The directive is called "Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment." It would place significant responsibilities on producers or importers to take back, reuse, or recycle a broad range of electrical and electronic goods. Covered are information technology products, telecoms, medical equipment, lighting, monitoring and control instruments, automatic dispensing equipment, and toys and some other consumer goods. Auto electronics would be subject to a different, though similar, directive. Actions proposed include phasing out lead in solder, halogenated flame retardants, mercury, cadmium, some forms of chromium, and beryllium. The European Parliament is evaluating the final draft of the directive and is expected to proclaim the new standards early in 2000. National regulations generally follow such action. Enforcement of the provisions can be expected to start about 2004. For more information call Christoph Hecker at +49 69 66 030.
European, U.S. guidelines merged for aerospace quality management
The European aerospace standard for quality management, prEN9000-1, has merged with the American equivalent, AS 9000. A harmonization team, the International Aerospace Quality Group, met in Madrid this summer and produced a new aerospace document. The team made few changes to AS 9000 while attempting to retain the basics in prEN9000-1. The European Association of Aerospace Manufacturers will publish the combined document as EN 9100, and in the U.S., the Society of Automotive Engineers will publish it as AS 9100. However, EN 9100 and AS 9100 will be word-for-word the same. The groups also will license the document in other languages. Working Group 11 of Technical Committee 20 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is developing a quality system standard for aerospace industries around the globe. It will use the new document as a model. E-mail dale.k.Gordon@allison.com.
Wondering how changes to ISO 9000 will affect your quality program?
Businesses and other organizations are bombarding ISO officials with questions about the year 2000 revisions to ISO 9000 standards for quality management. That, even though ISO does not plan to publish the final documents until the fourth quarter of 2000. ISO has issued a batch of documents providing answers to the most common questions. "What will happen to ISO 9002 and ISO 9003?" is often asked, referring to two major parts of the 9000 series. Answer: they will become obsolete, as will the current 1994 version of ISO 9001. Another frequent query is "Will my organization have to rewrite all its documentation?" Answer: adjustments, yes, complete rewrite, no. Other documents detail each proposed change in the standards and provide a timetable of the revision process. ISO warns that some information given in those documents may be superseded as the draft standards are further altered. You can access all the reports through the website at http://www.iso.ch/9000e/9k14ke.asp.
Global design standards revised for high-pressure gas cylinders
ISO has published the first of a trilogy of standards covering the design of various groups of seamless steel gas cylinders. ISO 9809-1 applies to refillable cylinders quenched and tempered with mid-range tensile strength. John Walters, chairman of the group that drafted the standard, says the group applied the latest data on predicting stress in cylinders under pressure. The formula used in the resulting standard diverges considerably from the one that has been most commonly used. Walters expects similar differences next year with the publication of ISO 9809-2 for quenched and tempered steels of tensile strength greater than 9809-1 and 9809-3 for lower strength normalized steels. E-mail H. Larsson at email@example.com.
Fluid power systems among topics of newly published ISO standards
Fluid power systems got special attention in the recent crop of standards published by ISO. Covered are rotary shaft lip type seals and ports, and mechanisms of control valves and other components. Hose fittings and other connections for hydraulic fluid power and general use are also covered. Of interest to design engineers, too, are new international standards for fuel injection pumps and child restraints in autos; design guides for motorcycle tires and rims, and test codes for determining accuracy and repeatability of positioning numerically controlled axes in machine tools. ISO also adopted new standards for spinning machinery, balancing machines, and the electromagnetic compatibility of earth-moving machinery. You may buy copies of the standards from ISO national members or you may e-mail ISO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.