RoHS Compliant PCB AssemblyUltra Electronics CEMS

By: John Dean
The advent of the RoHS legislation which is due to come into effect from 1st July 2006 has caused a lot of electronics manufacturing companies and electronic component suppliers to review their product and service offerings. One such company is Ultra Electronics CEMS, the Dorset based electronic manufacturing services provider. Ultra CEMS manufactures products on behalf of their clients and has customers who are currently exempt from the current legislation as well as clients who are directly affected by the RoHS legislation. John Dean, Sales Manager at Ultra CEMS states, “We are working with all of our clients at present to aid the transition to RoHS compliant components and products. We are advising even those companies who are currently exempt from the new legislation to review their component engineering strategy now as we believe these companies will be affected sooner rather than later as component manufacturers gradually transition their whole product range to RoHS compliant product in order to reduce their costs.It is our belief that certain packages will shortly only be available in a RoHS compliant form so it would be better to manage the change now rather have if enforced later.

Even if component manufacturers continue to support non-RoHS compliant parts for the DefenceHealth Fitness Articles, Aerospace sectors etc it is highly likely that the unit prices of these components will increase to reflect the lower volumes required. This is clearly something that will need to be considered in product costing/design reviews. We are already producing a number of RoHS compliant PCB assemblies for clients and in some instances have been carrying out lead free PCB assembly since July 2004." In PCB Assemblies it is not uncommon to have in excess of 100 different components per product to review. If we assume each client has a portfolio of over 10 uniquely different products then we can be talking about in excess of 1000 part numbers which have to be reviewed. This can be a daunting task and should therefore be undertaken sooner rather than later. The process involves offering component engineering support to clients and literally going through all of their parts lists making recommendations and finding direct RoHS compliant alternatives as well as advising on topics such as backward compatibility.If you are not already considering the RoHS legislation and how it will affect your business then its time to start now before the new legislation comes into effect.

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