There’s no surprise in the news that non-compliant parts are experiencing shortages and price hikes. As component suppliers discontinue their leaded components in favor of their RoHS-compliant versions, those companies that are exempt from RoHS compliance – defense, aerospace, medical devices – find that leaded parts are in shorter supply and more expensive.
But there may be more to the story. News on the street says that many manufacturers in non-exempt industries are still busy building products with leaded parts. Apparently they have been slow to convert to RoHS compliant products, so the demand for non-compliant parts has been stronger than anticipated.
An article this week in Electronic Weekly, UK-based sister publication of Design News, notes that there is evidence in Europe of continuing demand for leaded components. Some insiders suggest that companies are still producing and distributing non-compliant products into Europe because many European Union countries have been slow to begin their policing for products that are not RoHS compliant. With companies still producing non-compliant products, the need for non-compliant parts is greater than expected and prices are thus rising.