FAQ

Frequently asked questions on (FAQ)  RoHS

 

RoHS regulations are designed to limit or eliminate substances that are dangerous to the environment and to people. Mercury, hexavalent chromium, lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants as they appear in electronic and electric parts and equipment create pollution and expose manufacturer employees and recyclers to health dangers.

What is RoHS?

RoHS (Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances) regulations limit or ban specific substances -- lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), mercury, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants – in new electronic and electric equipment.

What is RoHS compliance?

RoHS compliance means acting in full accordance with RoHS regulations and documenting your testing for RoHS controlled substances.

What is RoHS training?

RoHS training involves teaching yourself and your employees about RoHS regulations and correct testing for RoHS controlled substances. Ignorance is not considered a viable excuse for RoHS non-compliance, so it is important to learn about RoHS and to ensure that your company is fully RoHS compliant. Learn the RoHS compliant definition and seek out consultants or additional assistance if you are unsure of the RoHS compliance definition for your business or are uncertain about testing procedures.

Are RoHS regulations in effect now?

RoHS regulations went into effect in the Europe and the UK in 2006. They are currently in place, which means that all electric and electronic equipment being made today must meet RoHS directive rules.

Is my business affected by RoHS?

If you are involved in the sale, manufacture or export or import of electric or electronic equipment or parts, you are likely affected by RoHS regulations and you should familiarize yourself with RoHS.

Why were RoHS regulations created?

RoHS regulations are designed to limit or eliminate substances that are dangerous to the environment and to people. Mercury, hexavalent chromium, lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants as they appear in electronic and electric parts and equipment create pollution and expose manufacturer employees and recyclers to health dangers.

Are RoHS regulations in effect now?  

RoHS regulations went into effect in the Europe and the UK in 2006. They are currently in place, which means that all electric and electronic equipment being made today must meet RoHS directive rules.

How do I know whether my products are RoHS compliant?

In order to ensure that products are RoHS compliant, careful testing and documentation must be done in accordance with RoHS Directive regulations. Luckily, there are many resources that can help business ensure RoHS compliance. RoHS consultants help oversee compliance for businesses. These professionals ensure that all necessary parts and equipment are testing according to RoHS guidelines and that all testing is carefully documented. Another option is laboratory testing. Companies can send their products to laboratories offering RoHS testing. The labs will test the company’s products and in a few weeks return the results and needed documentation. Another option is the use of handheld XRF analyzers. These small devices instantly test for the presence of elements and substances controlled by the RoHS Directive and offer instant results as well as saved results for RoHS documentation. Many businesses use a number of solutions to ensure full RoHS compliance.

How serious is RoHS non-compliance?

The simple answer is “very.” Failing to make products RoHS compliant or refusing to comply with requests for documentation can result in fines that are £5000 or more. In some cases, businesses can be denied export of their products. Specific penalties vary from state to state, but non-compliance is always far more costly for a business than compliance.

What is WEEE?

WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is a directive that controls how electric and electronic equipment is handled and recycled. Most businesses that must ensure RoHS compliance must also ensure WEEE compliance as well.
 

What is legal impact of the RoHS Directive ?

Producers whose products are found to be non-compliant will be subject to fines and other severe penalties even to the point of being prohibited from doing business in the EU. Since the RoHS directive applies to "homogenous material" that is to say, materials of uniform composition throughout that cannot be manually broken down into smaller parts, OEM's must maintain a number of documents to verify compliance should their products come under the scrutiny of the governing authorities. A blanket statement may suffice for the consumer but the authorities will require substantiation which can come in many forms. There are two significant ways to show evidence of compliance. The most common and easiest to obtain is a supplier statement of compliance, however this must be provided on the part level and not merely as a generic statement for all materials supplied. In fact many OEM's will require statements for each item on the Bill of Materials (BOM) used to produce the components they purchase. However, if a component is suspect for any reason, OEM's will require analysis from product testing to certify its compliance; the second most common form of documentation. This may be done by the supplier or the OEM if the supplier is not willing. Suppliers who are not willing to provide compliant product or provide test data risk loosing their European market share.

What is Impact of the RoHS directive on product quality ?

Perhaps the most challenging of all the hurdles RoHS presents is the issue of quality. Some of the hazardous substances are in essential components and reworking them can compromise effectiveness. Some of the lead free soldering supplies for example require higher working temperatures taxing the circuit boards and may also have problems with lifting and whiskering making them more difficult to work with than their lead based counterparts. Not surprisingly, limiting fire retardant choices edges in on product safety requirements. While new alternatives are being developed, bridging the gap between the compliance deadline and new product availability is problematic.

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Dr. U. Rambabu,M.Phil.;Ph.D
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