With its new release of Interactive 6.5, RiverOne Inc. of Irvine, Calif. has entered the RoHS compliance market. The supply chain software company now provides tools to help OEMs, electronic manufacturing service (EMS) providers and component suppliers manage their material composition declarations. While RiverOne supports the IPC-1752 standard, the company can also accommodate compliance information in any format.
RiverOne is presently managing compliance information for a number of OEMs and EMS companies. “We have OEMs and EMS customers, and we are in discussions with distributors and component manufacturers,” says Peter West, VP of marketing at RiverOne. “We will have every type of customer in the electronics supply chain. Compliance is not a matter of how one company complies, but rather how the supply chain complies.”
West sees the compliance challenge stretching well beyond the July 1, 2006 RoHS deadline. He believes that environmental compliance has become a permanent part of the electronics industry. “Ultimately, companies have to recognize that environmental compliance has to become a way of life,” says West. “Your ability to manage compliance information will have to become part of your supplier management strategy.” He notes that compliance issues are migrating into supplier agreements between OEMs and their suppliers. “If you build a product for Nokia, you have to put your compliance strategy into your supplier agreement,” says West. “It needs to be engrained in your business process.”
According to West, most OEMs and their component suppliers are still managing their compliance information manually. “Most companies are still in the first generation of compliance,” says West. “They’re using Excel spreadsheets. They’re requesting and delivering compliance information manually and it’s very inconsistent.” West believes companies will become more sophisticated in compliance management as they begin to realize more environmental initiatives are following RoHS. “Right behind RoHS comes WEEE and China’s RoHS and REACH [the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals law],” says West.