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"Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) Implementation Challenges" -- Thomas Ellison, Finisar and
"RoHS: Long-Term Perspective and Legal and Trade Challenges" -- John Burke, Senior Manager - Operations, Optichron

Presentation Slides: "RoHS: Long-Term Perspective and Legal and Trade Challenges" (600 kB PDF) and "Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) Implementation Challenges" (800 kB PDF)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

  • Seated dinner served at 6:30 ($25 if reserved before March 5; $30 after & at door; vegetarian available)

  • Presentation (no cost) at 7:30.

    Ramada Inn

  • 1217 Wildwood Ave (Fwy 101 frontage road, between Lawrence Expressway and Great America Parkway), Sunnyvale, (800) 888-3899 -- see map.


  • For dinner and/or meeting: by email to Janis Karklins
  • Please reserve for "presentation-only", even if not attending the dinner.

    "RoHS Implementation Challenges"
        Implementation of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) presents special challenges for small and medium sized companies. Limited staff and dependence on outsourced services creates cost burdens for smaller OEMs.     The first major challenge is conversion of existing product Bills of Materials. Conversion is usually much more involved than just re-specifying RoHS compliant parts on the AVL. For some components, it may be difficult to eliminate the offending RoHS element (Cd, Pb, etc.) and still have the product function successfully. Major corporations have been active in proposing and receiving special exemptions from the TAC committee but further additions seem less likely without substantial data.     A second major challenge is the "due diligence" process of collecting, compiling and evaluating supplier certificates of compliance and materials declarations for the multiple suppliers of hundreds of components. New database systems must be added, populated and sustained. Since most "due diligence" protocols advocate random component testing, arrangements must be made to screen and chemically test sample lots from most suppliers. Testing at the assembly level for extremely low levels of the six RoHS elements at the homogenous constituent layer level is problematic for many tiny electronic components. In some cases, it may take 5-10 components to make up the minimum quantity required for chemical testing. Yet, Pb is exempt in some layers while forbidden in other layers of the same component.     A third major challenge is assessing the reliability impact of conversion to RoHS. Thankfully, national and international consortia have addressed many of the major technical issues but each company must still address the impact of tin whisker mitigation strategies, SAC alloy fatigue behavior and higher reflow temperatures on their specific products. In most cases, converted products must be completely re-qualified to assess the impact of these changes on reliability.

    "RoHS: Long-Term Perspective and Legal and Trade Challenges"
        The much-heralded WEEE deadlines arrived - and passed -- with no fanfares, just another date on the calendar, and the July 1 2006 RoHS deadline will be just the same. The difference though, as we all know, is that these dates transitioned any manufacturer shipping products into Europe from the crystal clear waters of margin-based commerce into the murkier waters of environmental compliance.
        This talk looks back on the RoHS legislation, looks at what is good about it (the environmental protection) and what is bad about it (the way it has been implemented). It considers how such legislation can be handled by the industry going forwards, particularly in view of the next impending round of legislation which will be directly impacting the product design in terms of its ease of recycling.
        The talk also considers how manufacturers need to address the "worth" of compliance data from their vendors, the route by which it arrived, and the guarantees which came with it. This part of the talk will take the form of a series of "what if" scenarios should a company be challenged on its product compliance, and hopefully will throw some light onto the correct way to approach data collection and audit procedures.

    Speaker Biography:
    Thomas Ellison has worked in electronics manufacturing for the last 17 years. His experience includes research and development work in vapor phase soldering and nitrogen inerting of reflow ovens while at Air Products and Chemicals, ASIC design management and process engineering management of a high volume surface mount assembly facility for Trimble Navigation, and SMT and fiber optic transceiver engineering for Finisar Corporation. More recently Tom has been the lead technical engineer for Finisar's RoHS compliance efforts. He provided technical leadership for Finisar's conversion to lead-free soldering processes and is currently working on component issues, materials declarations and data management aspects of RoHS compliance. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Missouri - Rolla and an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Iowa State University.

    John Burke founded the UK based Surface Mounted and Related Technologies (SMART) Group in 1984, and has worked in the area of advanced manufacturing for many years. He has taught at various universities on technology, including university of Dundee, University of Hull, University of Limerick and University of Cambridge. John worked on the generation of IPC 1752 as a part of the 2-18 committees, and dealt with reporting standards for hazardous materials. For many years he has been involved in the drive towards environmentally sound electronics assemblies, and has been heavily involved in trying to aid engineers caught up in the drive towards RoHS and JIG compliance. John is currently employed by Optichron Inc., a fabless semiconductor vendor based out of Fremont, as the Senior Operations Manager.

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