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In a previous Tech Talk, I pointed out that “green” and “environmentally friendly” are illdefined terms. In general, these terms refer to manufacturing that involves the replacement of toxic substances with less toxic materials, the elimination of materials or processing steps, less consumption of chemicals (i.e., more efficient or higher yield processing), reduction of water use, reduction of energy use, less space requirement (i.e., smaller equipment footprint), recycling, and on-site recovery of materials. The following list highlights critical regulations that impact electronic manufacturing. A. An overview of regulations that impact materials and processes used in the fabrication of electronic devices.
RoHS: The RoHS Directive stands for “the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.” This directive bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. Manufacturers need to understand the requirements of RoHS to ensure that their products, and their components, comply.
WEEE: Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). This regulation addresses the disposal and recycling of electronic equipment.
REACH: Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18. December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine.
Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Regardless of the potential distraction of the international football match between England and Wales in the World Cup competition, an enthusiastic crowd of PCB fans gathered in Meriden UK for the Institute of Circuit Technology Christmas Seminar, an eagerly-awaited networking opportunity that included a face-to-face industry welcome event and an outstanding technical programme. Guest speakers highlighted new technology in selective solder nozzles, flexible circuits, industry cooperation, and a greener future by recycling PCBs.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Stefan Stefanescu is head of business development for Atotech’s industrial digital transformation solutions. Here, he discusses how the Digital Factory Suite (DFS) fits into a PCB fabricator’s workflow. The new software connects to the onsite production equipment and continuously collects process and equipment data. But it’s more than that, Stefan says. It’s a way to help customers increase productivity and take steps toward developing a smart factory.
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Torsten Reckert and the team at all4-PCB have a uniquely broad view of what’s happening in the industry. When we asked Reckert about the hottest areas for return on investment, his answers were insightful and sometimes surprising. Readers will note that this conversation includes multiple references to Alex Stepinski and his approach to developing paradigm-shifting processes at GreenSource Fabrication LLC. Reckert worked closely with Stepinski during his time at GreenSource, and just as Reckert is an expert on the current market, Stepiniski is a thought leader on how to optimize processes, making his mention in a return-on-investment conversation particularly valuable.