Did you comply with the July 1 RoHS deadline?

By Control Engineering Staff June 30, 2006

If you make or integrate electronics-based equipment or components and haven’t heard by now that the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) European Directive deadline is tomorrow, July 1, 2006, you may have been living under a rock. The directive (in case you do have a slate-covered ceiling) requires elimination of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and the polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) flame retardants in certain electrical and electronic equipment put on sale in Europe. It is, however, mostly oriented to household applications, according to Schneider Electric, which includes the Square D, Telemecanique, and Merlin Gerin brands.

Some exemptions have been granted because, to date, no substitute materials are available, such as for lead used in glass for cathode ray tubes, the Schneider Electric says; EU is expected to modify the exemption list to adapt to scientific and technical progress.

Many companies have notified Control Engineering about RoHS compliance; check suppliers’ Websites for more information. The RoHS area of the Schneider Electric Website explains that RoHS defines “electrical and electronic equipment” (EEE) as finished products (with a function directly operational to the end-user, with its own enclosure, and, where applicable, connections intended for the end-user), dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields to work properly, and equipment for the generation, transfer, and measurement of such currents and fields, designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000 V ac and 1,500 V dc.

For related Control Engineering coverage, search RoHS atop www.controleng.com .

–Edited by Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering editor in chief