Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Electronics Manufacturers Challenged by RoHS - Intercept Technology Packaging Offers Solution

Packaging has solved many of society’s problems (think foods and medicine); for storage and shipping, the Intercept ™Technology packaging products are a solution for packaging electronics, so they can operate for their whole life as designed. After all, defects, and especially field defects, can damage a company’s reputation, increase product returns, increase field services, decrease its bottom line earnings, and damage its stock ratings. Electronics companies can look to Intercept from Liberty Packaging Co. for an advantage.

A “Green” revolution is afoot affecting the electronics industry: the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) instituted the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation effective July 1, 2006. RoHS banned the use of six substances, with lead being the most relevant to the electronics field. Military, transportation, sensors, and large machine tools have received exemptions from RoHS, but the rest of the electronic companies must now comply if they wish to do business in Europe. Other countries and states are beginning to embrace RoHS or similar legislation. With the presence of lead, the disposal of these electronic parts is alleged to be not ideal for protecting earth’s environment.

The tin/lead alloy (historically reliable) had been used primarily during the 20th Century for soldering components and circuit cards. All lead-free solder alloys have some sort of a disadvantage when compared to the old reliable mix. Some have higher melt temperatures, causing problems in the application process; some create a weaker bond or do not cover as well; most are more susceptible to corrosion. Tin, by itself, has a problem called “Whisker Growth” where the metal actually grows metal whiskers that can cross over circuits and cause shorts.

The main reason I have interest in this issue is that my company, Liberty Packaging Co., features the Intercept Technology products (previous link shows our German counterpart site) - packaging that adds to product longevity, reduces defects, is healthier for workers than some alternatives, eliminates the need for vacuum sealing, and reduces labor costs. My thinking is that, if there is a better way, let's use it. Many manufacturers find that Intercept is a better way. http://www.libertypackaging.com/ for more information.