IPC Prepares Industry for RoHS Compliance


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BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — In a dash to comply with the July 1, 2006, RoHS Directives deadline, IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries, in conjunction with ERA Technology Ltd. and eco3, offers a few tools to ease the transition, such as a materials declaration management document, RoHS audit forms, and a CD that walks through the RoHS Directives.

The IPC-1752 Materials Declaration Management document outlines a supply chain materials declaration format and process that provides a straightforward approach to collecting, tracking, and disclosing product material content information. The standard establishes electronic data formats and provides standardized forms for exchanging materials declaration information, while reportedly improving efficiency and reducing costs. Suppliers and their customers also can use IPC-1752 to exchange data with a choice of three reporting levels, which are organized into six reporting classes:

Class 1 — RoHS reporting at a homogeneous level in yes/no format. Class 2 — Same as Class 1, with the addition of manufacturing information. Class 3 — RoHS reporting at a homogeneous level in yes/no format, Joint Industry Guide (JIG) levels A and B at the homogeneous material level, and other substances at the part level. Class 4 — Same as Class 3, with the addition of manufacturing information. Class 5 — RoHS reporting at a homogeneous level in yes/no format, JIG levels A and B at the homogeneous material level, and other substances at the homogeneous level. Class 6 — Same as Class 5, with the addition of manufacturing information.

The document is available for free download at www.ipc.org/IPC-175x.

ERA Technology Ltd., a U.K.-based research and consulting firm, developed its RoHS Directive Supplier Audit Form Package, which helps companies collect information from suppliers prior to an audit. It also helps suppliers provide the information required, as well as asks questions that test how well suppliers understand the requirements, based on the ERA's knowledge of practical requirements needed for RoHS compliance, having worked with legislators, enforcement authorities, and the industry worldwide. The form package covers:

RoHS Directive requirements and the audited company's policy. Evidence of compliance — materials declarations. Component suppliers. Higher risk components, parts, and materials supplied or used in products. How the audited company assesses its own suppliers. Analysis of selected parts.

The E3 Survival Toolkit CD from eco3, a U.K.-based environmental consultancy firm, provides resources and solutions for RoHS compliance. Interactive assessment and diagnosis tools look at a company's compliance status through questions related to product lines, markets, sales levels, supply chain management, and materials used. Answers generate a compliance assessment report summarizing suggested actions. The CD includes the latest available data, and will be updated once final U.K. regulations are announced.

More information about RoHS is available in Industry Voices Call for U.S. RoHS, Highlights from Implementing Lead-free: A Hands-on Workshop, and Quarterly Forum Critiques OEM Strategies.

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