Component suppliers are being pressured by European Union laws to switch to non-leaded parts. Now the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) is asking suppliers to keep providing leaded parts once they shift to green components.
iNEMI has released a set of recommendations for safeguarding the dependability of high-reliability products as the supply chain converts to lead-free components and materials. An INEMI task force is calling for “continued availability of tin/lead-compatible components for exempted products.”
It’s our understanding that the mil-spec components they describe will continue to be produced. They’re tailor-made for the military (exempt from RoHS rules), they are built to be highly reliable, and they are consequently more expensive than commercial components.
The crying we’re hearing from the industry is not about mil-spec parts. We’re hearing from companies that are worried that the less expensive commercial products will no longer be produced in leaded versions. Many suppliers intend to quit producing leaded versions of their high volume commercial components, which is understandable since the market will no longer be high volume. So the real complaint, as we understand it, is that companies will have to switch to more expensive components if they still want leaded versions.