According to a recent commentary in the Lead Free Magazine by Trevor Galbraith, editor-in-chief of Global SMT& Packaging Magazine, EMS companies and solder suppliers say “the number of their customers who are actually implementing lead-free is, at best, around 30 to 35 percent.”
In the Lead-Free Magazine guest commentary, Galbraith says “Enforcement, or lack of it, is the reason.” In the he goes on to say, “I managed to contact the head of the department that enforces RoHS in the UK [weights and measurements] and I quizzed him on how he was planning to enforce the directive. His initial response was ‘We have been instructed to adopt a softly-softly approach.’” When asked what that meant, Galbraith was told, “We are going to put a lot of information on our web site.”
Given the frenzied run-up to RoHS compliance, these comments are rather surprising. Galbraith even points to an industry rumor that “RoHS has been scrapped, or is about to be.”
China RoHS is the potential club might force the industry to adopt lead-free components and manufacturing. The Chinese government is planning to use labs that will actively inspect inbound products for RoHS compliance. If that doesn’t do the trick, California RoHS will likely push a higher percentage of the electronics industry into compliance.