Norway’s national network, ELFNET, reports that RoHS has caused few major problems for Norway’s electronics industry as of September 2006. A survey of electronic manufacturing service (EMS) companies found that more than 50 percent of the country’s electronics manufacturers have products outside the scope of RoHS, but those that need to comply have done so without significant hitches.
The EMS providers told ELFNET that finding compliant components was the most difficult part of meeting RoHS requirements. The manufacturers also noted that compliant parts came at a somewhat higher cost. The quality of those parts tended to be equal to non-compliant parts, but some of the components had problems with high temperatures in the manufacturing process. The EMS providers also noted higher prices for compliant laminates, solders and solder paste.
The EMS providers also experienced difficulties in establishing optimal lead-free manufacturing processes. Challenges included difficulties in maintaining a stable soldering process with high throughput and high quality. The difficulties resulted in hand soldering, rework and repair.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.