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TR Fastenings Advises Manufacturers to Prepare for RoHS 2
With the European Commission formally adopting an extension to the Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, many more electronic devices will be impacted by the strict new regulations on the use of heavy metals and dangerous chemicals. EU Member States now have 18 months to introduce the revised directive ‘RoHS 2’ into their national law. This will lead to a phase out list of banned substances over the next 8 years. Owing to the time necessary to design and manufacture new electronic devices, TR Fastenings (www.trfastenings.com) is advising manufacturers to prepare for RoHS 2 now.
The original RoHS regulation was introduced in 2003, setting the global electronics sector high targets for a gradual phase out of hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl (PBD).
A key revision to the legislation is the wider scope of products that it now affects. The original RoHS legislation applied to products whereby the primary function was electronic. RoHS 2 now states that products with any ‘intended’ electronic function need to comply, thus affecting a wide range of manufacturers outside the electronics sector.
Jenni Morland, European Business Manager at TR Fastenings said; “The scope of RoHS 2 may take some manufacturers outside the recognised electronics sector by surprise. This sector is aware of its need to comply with RoHS 2 and has been waiting for the publication of the new revision. However, manufacturers within other market sectors may be unaware of the regulation and the design and manufacture changes that it requires. An example would be furniture manufacturers with motorised reclining chairs in their product range who will now need to comply with RoHS 2.”
Another important change to the legislation requires all products falling under the RoHS 2 requirements to have a CE marking indicating that the product complies with the rules. To achieve this the supply chain is now required to risk-assess the process behind the product.
“At TR Fastenings the products supplied are compliant with the original RoHS, therefore giving our customers the confidence that their products comply with the legislation. However we need to do more, and have initiated a process of actively partnering with our suppliers and customers to ensure we are able to supply products that meet the requirements of RoHS 2 in the timescales set for introduction of the legislation. The key to this is to provide our customers with a detailed risk assessment that reassures them that our products meet the standard,” says Jenni Morland.
One of the main reasons for the introduction of RoHS 2 regulation is that recent surveys have uncovered that approximately 20% of products affected by the original regulations are still not RoHS compliant. As a result, RoHS 2 heralds a harder stance, with the EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik stating that it will be unacceptable for manufacturers not to comply with the new regulation. It is therefore vital for manufacturers to prepare now and to review their products to ensure they are compliant.