With the release of the IPC-1752, the materials declaration management standard, companies in the electronic industry can begin to automate the processing of obtaining and managing their RoHS compliance data. IPC-1752 was developed by the standards body, the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC), using work originally started by other organizations such as the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI).
IPC accelerated the standards development process knowing the electronics industry would have to start gathering materials content during 2005. IPC released a draft from of the standard last spring and received nearly 1,400 requests for downloads, a record-breaker for a draft standard. Many companies started using the standard in draft form, risking the chance that the final version would not be compatible with the draft. “We made it clear that those who used the draft form would be subject to some changes, but the changes have not been onerous,” says Richard Kubin, VP of E2open and chair of the IPC declaration Process Management subcommittee. Kubin, along with his team members, received an industry award for developing the standard in record time.
Kubin notes that most companies have waited for the official release of IPC-1752 before automating their materials declaration process. “Once the final version of the standard is released, people will begin to invest in automation,” says Kubin. “In most cases, companies have yet to do extensive automation for materials content.”
Some of the largest contract manufacturers and OEMs in the electronic industry have indicated they intend to adopt IPC-1752, including Celestica, Cisco Systems, Delphi Corp., Freescale Semiconductor, Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments and Tyco Electronics among many others. Sunny Cheng, VP of SPARC operations at Sun Microsystems, notes, “We have been tracking the development of IPC-1752 from its beginnings as an iNEMI project. Sun Microsystems intends to adopt IPC-1752 as a key requirement for our suppliers as they document and communicate their compliance for the elimination of specific materials of concern.”
As part of supporting the automation of materials content data, IPC-1752 worked with RosettaNet to make IPC-1752 compatible with a RosettaNet partner interface process (pip). “The reason we wanted to be consistent with RosettaNet is it allows full automation,” says Kubin. “Using the RosettaNet pip, the transactions are entirely system-to-system and tie the compliance information with the inventory for procurement.”
E2open has also adopted the IPC-1752 standard. E2open has connectivity to 12,000 companies in the electronics industry, and as those companies adopt IPC-1752, it will be easy to obtain materials content information through E2open e-hubs. E2open chose to standardize on IPC-1752 to make materials content management simpler. “Suppliers are reporting that the number of requests they are receiving from their customers is growing exponentially,” says Kubin. “These requests are in as many different forms as there are customers. Without some sort of industry-standard format and the ability to automate the exchange of data, this issue is going to cost industry significantly more time and money than necessary, neither of which can be afforded with the RoHS deadline looming.”