RoHS and Lead-Free

API EMS took a pro-active approach to support this initiative by implementing a strategy to help our customers cope with the many changes brought on by RoHS and similar global directives. You can rely on API EMS to help you comply through the manufacturing of lead free assemblies or converting your legacy designs to lead free ones.

A Brief Summary of RoHS & Lead Free

The European Parliament and its Council of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment issued a directive in 2003 banning new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two types of brominated flame retardant (PBB and PBDE) from being sold or used in the European Union (EU). This law took effect on July 1, 2006 and allows EU member states to refuse any products that contain these hazardous elements and/or possibly confiscate products that are shipped to them that do not comply with the RoHS standards. RoHS is simply an acronym for "Restriction of Hazardous Substances". The reason for this "ban" is to eliminate any more of these materials from entering the ecosystem, for example, via landfills.

Even if your company does not ship to the European market, this DOES NOT mean that you can ignore this issue. Several other countries and states here in America have either enacted or are in the process of enacting laws that will require goods sold within their borders to comply with standards similar to RoHS. In addition, many component manufacturers are discontinuing parts containing lead which can affect your designs regardless of where your parts are sold.

API EMS Can Help You Be RoHS Compliant

API EMS took a pro-active approach to this newly driven requirement. Beginning in 2004, we formulated strategies to most effectively handle the complexity of compliance and have since implemented a project plan to track our progress.

Our implementation plan included:

  • Teaming up with our bare board suppliers, solder paste manufacturers and our component distributors to qualify and approve specific lead free pastes; printed circuit board materials and processes
  • Invested in and installed both a new surface mount reflow oven and a new wave solder machine that will process and utilize only "RoHS" compliant materials
  • Conducted trial runs proving out our equipment and processes
  • Defined and implemented a new part numbering and part segregation system to quickly distinguish between a lead free component and a leaded one

API EMS has a proven track record and is ready to help you design and build a RoHS compliant circuit board assembly, or complete turnkey product. We will be happy to share with you what we have encountered and learned to date and are eager to apply our experience to assist you with this major transition.

For more information on API EMS's RoHS and Lead-Free capabilities, please call us toll free at 1-800-295-8000 and ask for Sales or submit a request here.