A recent press release from research firm, Gartner Inc., suggests there may be shortages of components during the transition to lead-free inventory. The concern is with the non-compliant parts. As component suppliers produce more RoHS-compliant parts, they will discontinue the production of non-compliant parts. Problem is, those in the defense, aerospace and medical equipment industries depend on those non-compliant parts since they are exempt from the European Union’s RoHS laws.
But so far, we’re not hearing about significant parts shortages. Our conversations with distributors reveal that the rush to RoHS compliance has been more of a walk. Avnet notes that fewer than 50 percent of its orders call specifically for compliant inventory. As for non-compliant parts, we’re not hearing of shortages, extended lead times or spiking prices.
That could change as legislation in Asia and North America produce additional compliance deadlines. For now, however, the component industry seems to be balancing inventory in a manner that’s not disruptive to the market.