Ben Franklin: “Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”. If Franklin were alive today, he would have many items to add to that statement. In the electronics industry – and its supply chains – a contemporary item he would include is product environmental compliance.
Since the European Union (EU) passed the Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives in 2003, the world has begun to pay more and more attention to product environmental compliance. Eco-Compliance legislation impacting the electronics Industry and its supply chains has grown exponentially. Jurisdictions implementing legislation that impacts the electronics industry include: China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Venezuela, Canada and United States of America. Many are similar to the European Union’s legislation; but none are using it verbatim.
In addition to RoHS and WEEE legislations, the EU instituted an updated regulation regarding chemicals, mixtures, and articles. Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals Regulation (REACH) began affecting the electronics industry a few years ago, and has now become the basis for many compliance activities.
With the destabilization of the economy, many companies are looking for ways to increase profits and performance within their particular industry. The electronics industry is no exception. Many electronics companies are working towards improved quality and reliability at the same rate as improving the performance of the products they manufacture.
Two of the more important publications in the area of Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Measurement Uncertainty (MU) are LAB 34 and CISPR 16-4-2. EMC and Measurement Uncertainty are receiving more attention as other CISPR Product Family Standards begin to adopt MU. LAB 34 is “The Expression of Uncertainty in EMC Testing” and is published by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). CISPR 16-4-2 is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is titled “Specification for Radio Disturbance and Immunity Measuring Apparatus and Methods – Part 4-2: Uncertainties, Statistics, and Limit Modeling – Uncertainty in EMC Measurements.” This article compares and contrasts the two MU documents.
The ESD Association and JEDEC Collaborate on Standards Development for Harmonized Electrostatic Discharge Test Methods
In September 2006, a small group of ESD control and design stakeholders assembled in a small conference room at the LaPaloma Resort in Tucson, AZ to discuss how the ESD Association (ESDA) and the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (JEDEC) might harmonize some of their key device (component level) standards documents. Some of the stakeholders involved in those initial discussions (and similar meetings over the next six months) were integrated circuit manufacturers, integrated circuit test manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, integrated circuit test service providers, and representatives from the ESDA and JEDEC. This first meeting was somewhat extraordinary as these industry stakeholders were able to bring JEDEC and the ESDA to the same table to start working on the harmonization efforts after other previous attempts failed. The key individual sponsoring this meeting was Kay Adams, the ESDA President in 2006-2007.
Since the implementation of the “New Approach” and the CE Marking in the European Union, the requirements for device labeling have evolved, been reviewed, variously implemented and not uniformly enforced. A closer look at post-market compliance is an evolving trend across many economies. Discussions in the European Union, North America and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) continue to focus on post-market surveillance and enforcement. One area of scrutiny, particularly in Europe is device labeling.
Do you supply products into Europe? If you supply products that come within the scope of the EMC Directive 2004/108/EC, the application of harmonized standards provides the simplest means of demonstrating conformity with the protection requirements (emission and immunity) of the Directive.
This article will provide you with essential information on the selection and use of the appropriate standards for your product.