Electronic Manufacturers Environment Compliance Moving Forward

Dec. 14, 2006
Only half rate their efforts as getting top marks.

At the TFI Electronics Manufacturing Outsourcing and Supply Chain Forum held recently in Calif., 70 participants representing OEMs, CMs, component distributors, software providers and investment analysts explored environmental compliance.

A study looked at how OEMs and EMS suppliers have made the transition to RoHS compliance. As reported on emsnow.com, 127 companies were asked to grade themselves on how they feel they have done in their compliance efforts.

The results were as follows:
A - 14%
B - 37%
C - 32%
D - 10%
F - 6%

Gauging compliance requires many levels of information, and the research showed that 50% of companies simply ask component suppliers for a CofC (Certificate of Compliance) and 50% are not auditing their suppliers at all.

Looking ahead, companies will need to comply with China's RoHS which takes effect in March 2007. The forum noted that China's RoHS deals with products that are meant for the Chinese market only. Initially, China's RoHS deals with the same six substances as EU's RoHS but there is leeway to add more substances since the Phase Two deadline has not been established.

Here are the forum participants' take on the differences between the EU regulation and the Chinese version:

  • The scope is different.
  • The requirements are different.
  • Labels, marks and disclosure are required.
  • The concept of "Put on the market" is different.
  • The penalties are different.
  • The responsibilities dictated by the law are different.
  • Material testing down to the homogeneous materials in every single part used to build a product may be required.
  • Companies will need to design labels, issue change orders and assess inventory in order to comply.

For the full report on the forum including information on supply chain maturity, visit http://www.emsnow.com/npps/story.cfm?ID=23700

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