Want some solid pointers for meeting global RoHS environmental rules? Our sister publication, EDN, ran the article, “Beyond RoHS: The greening of global markets,” that includes a useful sidebar outline seven tips for meeting green initiatives. Here’s a shorthand version of the list:
Don’t leave it all to your contract manufacturer. Brand owners are responsible for complying with RoHS, not the EMS providers.
Even if you’re exempt, you may still have supply problems. Many suppliers are discontinuing their leaded production.
Don’t assume backwards compatibility The lead-free part may match functionality, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is compatible with your otherwise leaded system.
Parts availability in a multi-year challenge. The July 1 RoHS deadline isn’t the end of the challenge. Experts estimate it will take four to five years for the supply chain to stabilize.
The RoHS directive covers more than electronics. You should also pay attention to the mechanical assembly and parts such as cadmium-plated screws.
Learn the differences in regional environmental laws. China’s RoHS differs from the European RoHS regulations, especially in the area of packaging and labeling.
Ensure that your get the part numbers right. Not all suppliers changed their part numbers for RoHS compliance, so you have to assign your own numbers or keep close watch of which lot numbers or dates indicated leaded versus non-leaded.