One of the fundamental problems facing the electronics industry as the RoHS deadline approaches, is a lack of coordination regarding information in the supply chain. Confusion over component information is particularly hazy in relation to material declarations. Some customers require information that is simply not available, while some suppliers offer details that appear to be useful but are actually misleading. A device description listing a certain material as being within the range of 0 to 0.23mg, for example, is not really helpful.
In order to satisfy customer demand for information, Arrow supplies RoHS information which has been collected from suppliers via direct electronic feeds wherever possible. If the information has been handled physically, this will be pointed out. In fact, most component manufacturers are now shipping the majority of their products in RoHS compliant form and are working towards clear roadmaps for the remaining parts. The position is more mixed with customers and in general the transition has been slower than expected while many customers still do not have a clear roadmap in place.
Perhaps the most important factor to impact the integrity of RoHS-related business is manufacturer part numbering practices. Where manufacturers have changed RoHS specifications without altering the part number, significant pressure will be placed on purchasing due to product identification problems. Buyers need to ensure that their supply chain partners have developed a robust process in order to guard against this.
Customers may also face problems relating to legislative exemptions. In some cases, manufacturing for an exempt application may raise false optimism, because leaded components will actually be in short supply.
Ultimately, there are two major pitfalls that must be avoided: big inventory write offs, or losing revenue because compliant parts are late into production. These risks can only be minimised through cooperation and openness between supply chain partners.