Frost and Sullivan notes that RoHS legislation has had a big impact on the surface mount technology (SMT) equipment markets because of the process changes needed for lead-free manufacturing. RoHS has prompted a significant increase in the demand for certain types of SMT equipment, particularly screen printers, soldering equipment and cleaning equipment. Since RoHS has forced companies to change their methods of designing and manufacturing, they also have to modify existing machinery. Those modifications have required the purchase of new SMT equipment.
While Europe’s RoHS – and related legislation in Asia and North America – has sparked a run on SMT equipment, analysts expect this will be a short-term boost. Once the industry has fully adapted to lead-free production, demand for SMT equipment will settle down to normal levels.