January 2009 RoHS Status Update:
Pathway has reviewed our RoHS status as of January 2009 and we are pleased to report that 99% or our current “in-production” products are now RoHS compliant. The only current production parts that are not currently compliant are a select number of 6 pin modular receptacles. When the non-compliant parts are used up, replacement inventory will be built in compliance with the RoHS directive.
We have not been able to confirm the status of relay cabinets, which are manufactured by a third party.
What Is ROHS?
The RoHS directive is often referred to as “Lead-Free” legislation. This is not an accurate nickname, because it extends to other pollutants as well. RoHS is an acronym for Reduction of Hazardous Substances. The proper name for ROHS is, Directive 2002/95/EC “The restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment”.
It applies to the following substances:
- Hexavalent Chromium
- PBB (polybrominated biphenyl)
- PDBE (polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants)
In order to comply with the EU RoHS legislation all of these substances must either be removed, or must be reduced to within maximum permitted concentrations, in any products containing electrical or electronic components that are placed on the market within the European Union as of July 1, 2006.
The EU Directive on RoHS is just part of an ever-increasing push for more environmentally sound manufacturing policies across the whole of industry. Launching around the same time in the European Union is the WEEE Directive (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which covers the recyclability of equipment. In Japan, the Consumer Appliance Law was introduced in 2001 and demanded the recycling of a number of domestic electrical items. It is likely that this will encompass computer equipment in 2006. Although there is little or no federal legislation similar to RoHS or WEEE in the United States currently, the state of California has announced legislation effectively mirroring the EU Directives.
Which Products Are Affected?
- Household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Consumer equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools (except large scale stationary industrial tools)
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment
- Automatic dispensers
There are some exemptions to the rules. Certain materials covered by the RoHS Directive are exempt in a number of cases, although this list is currently under review. This is likely to take some time to be ironed out and further exemptions / amendments will need to be supported with appropriate evidence and agreed at a Europe-wide level.
Pathway Connectivity is committed to protecting people and the environment and we are working on identifying any materials used in our processes that could pose a potential hazard to our employees, customers or the environment.
Pathway Connectivity has been following the advent of the European Union RoHS directives for a number of years and early in 2004 started working on a compliance strategy.
RoHS Compliance Roadmap at Pathway Connectivity
Our RoHS compliance review included the following steps and resolutions:
Determine if the Directive applies to our products
- It is evident that our products are covered by the Directive and that we do not qualify for any exemptions, at this time.
Determine if any of our products comply with RoHS
- It was determined that our products, at time of our initial review, did not comply
Identify which products we will offer as RoHS compliant
- See the attached list for the current status/plan for each of Pathway’s products
Source and procure compliant components where available and re-design products when compliant components are not available.
- Beginning in January 2005, all new Pathway products have been designed with RoHS compliance in mind.
- By January 1, 2006, Pathway had converted approx 95% of its inventory of components identified as requiring RoHS compliance. The balance is waiting for component manufacturers to make RoHS parts available.
- We have segregated our compliant inventory from the non-compliant to avoid mix-ups.
Update manufacturing procedures, where required
- Early in 2005 Pathway installed a state of the art surface mount assembly line, including a new reflow oven capable of performing lead-free soldering.
- Pathway has implemented new and improved procedures for thru-hole soldering.
- We have segregated our lead-free manufacturing from our leaded manufacturing to avoid contamination.
Training (assembly, soldering, inspection, etc.)
- All our production personnel have undergone RoHS training, and are familiar with the issues.
- Key personnel have completed the Kester University Lead-Free RoHS Compliancy Implementation Course
- Lead-free soldering training is in progress for assembly personnel
- Identification of good lead-free solder joint training for inspection personnel is in progress
Identify compliant products so that customers know what they are getting
- We have determined to do this through 2 methods:
- Date Codes. As products become compliant we will publish the Date of Compliance on our website. Products built after that date will be compliant.
- Labels. Pathway will mark compliant products with a RoHS label:
Further information about RoHS: