With the RoHS deadline less than nine months away, component suppliers and OEMs are running into difficulties with material content declaration. So far, no standard has emerged for communicating critical data on the content of lead-free components. In many cases, salespeople are simply sending out emails that list the materials contained in components.
The IPC-1752 standard for delivering the material content of components has not yet been adopted. The less-robust spreadsheet standard for listing component content offered by the National Electronic Distributors Association is not getting wide use either.
Suppliers are getting inundated by OEM customers who request data in a wide variety of formats. In response, many suppliers are choosing a format of their own and using it for all customers. Thus, OEMs are receiving compliance data in a wide range of conflicting formats.
To make communication even murkier, some component manufacturers are reluctant to reveal the full content of their products, claiming it gives away too many trade secrets. So instead of sending a list of the component’s materials, they’re simply sending statements saying the product is compliant with RoHS. OEMs are nervous about relying on certification statements alone as the ready themselves to face scrutiny by EU government bodies.