The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, a European project intended to decrease the environmental impact on electronic or electrical products in the waste stream and improve the recyclability of waste. Its initiative is to create electronic and electrical products which are sold in Europe to free from hazardous substances as of July 1, 2006. This means all firms that manufacture, import or rebrand electronic equipment destined for Europe must ensure their products comply with RoHS guidelines.

Some manufacturers may find complying with SMT Terminal Block costly and complex, nevertheless it may ultimately help them inside the long run since there certain US states are passing their own ROHS regulations such as SB20 and SB40 in California.

The Waste and Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, the catalyst behind RoHS, requires those that produce electronic equipment to consider on the responsibility of recycling or recovering their products.

Overview of the RoHS Directive as well as its Requirements: Sometimes wrongly identified as the movement for “lead-free” electronic production, the RoHS command targets six substances. Lead, a crucial issue, and five other substances protected by the directive. Others include Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, Mercury, PBBs and PBDEs.

Banned/Restricted Substance Use/Where Found in Electronics

• Yellow pigments, phosphorescent coatings, paints, cadmium batteries, plastic additives, especially PVC and LEDs/detectors/devices.

• Lamps, lighting/bulbs (scanners, displays, projectors), pigments, Mercury Switches, paints and polyurethane materials (high gloss windows)

• Alloys, Hexavalent Chromium Metal finishes for deterioration protection- Chasses fastener- aluminum conversion coatings

• Flame retardants including cables, housings, plastics, connectors and paints, (PBBs) Polybrominated Byphenyls

• (PBDE) Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers

• PVC cables- UV/heat stabilizers, chasses, washers, metal parts- Lead solder and interconnect paints, pigments, batteries, discrete components, sealing glasses, CRT glass, and piezoelectric devices

Who Must Comply and What Products Can It Cover? Feed Through Terminal Block regulations add a wide class of items, including toys, sports, leisure, medical equipment, monitoring and control instruments, electrical/electronic instruments and IT/Telecom and consumer equipment.

Producers may want to make changes to product design stipulations and command different production processes for that subassemblies and components they use within their products. The burden to comply lies using the producers, so they must direct the actions of PCB fabrication, materials, assembly, component as well as other supplies to make certain everything contributes properly to end-product compliance.

Product Exceptions. Production exceptions include industrial tools, medical equipment and replacement parts. Producers can supply “original equipment” or non-conforming replacement parts to correct a product or service sold into the market before the RoHS took effect. However, they cannot use non-conforming replacement parts to repair conforming parts.

Typical Producer Compliance Sequence. Producers must revisit all existing product designs and specifications and go ahead and take necessary steps to bring the merchandise into compliance. Meanwhile, you may prepare specifications for brand new products early in the merchandise development stage to ensure they conform to RoHS. This method may take weeks or months of work.

The Impact on PCB’s. Even though lead stands among the six substances restricted, this is a main concern in Printed Circuit Board assembly. To conform to RoHS, PCBs need to make the transition to lead-free solders materials. Other materials used in PCBs will require replacement to comply with RoHS.

For many years the electronic industries have tried tin/lead solder to sign up for the ingredients for the printed circuit boards. The board fabricators also have used tin/lead solders as a surface finish to guard the copper from corrosion. The 63/37 tin lead ratio of solder fit well in the assembly thermal parameters and the physical limitations from the base materials. RoHS requirements have changed the principles! With the new directive, tin lead solders usually are not allowed and thus major changes are essential inside the printed circuit board fabrication and assembly arenas to adapt for this. Companies have addressed these concerns in a manner that is good for the assembler and the end user from the printed circuit boards that we manufacture. Our lead free boards are made with laminate who have a greater Td (decomposition temperature) to withstand the improved temperature and dwell times required during assembly. The plating finishes we can offer eqrfdn also Plug In Terminal Block compatible. Typically the most commonly used lead free material is Isola IS410 and the lead-free finishes like immersion gold, immersion silver, immersion white tin or Lead free HASL (using SN100CL lead free solder from Florida CirTech).

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