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Couple interesting articles on lead-free

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#41296

Couple interesting articles on lead-free | 2 May, 2006

#41297

Couple interesting articles on lead-free | 2 May, 2006

Hi,

Who cares, lead free is not going away, and unfortunately that "lets just hope lead free goes away" attitude has permeated a lot of US based suppliers, and now we are in real trouble, because parts availability currently is a total mess.

It seems like a lot of companies in the US did not think the lead free change over would happen, and now are all rushing to deal with it. We purchase all our components from US suppliers, and are getting really stupid lead times now. A lot of companies still want to sell us lead based parts, or don't even have lead free parts available until late june. How are we supposed to change over that fast with product in the sales channel.

This lead free change over has been the biggest screw up ever from a lot of very large suppliers, and now we are caught in the middle while customers ask where products are. It's a mess.

Wishing this will all go away won't help, we need to start applying incredible pressure to component suppliers to get lead free sorted out, and we have to stop using lead based parts so they only need to manufacture one type of part, so we can get supply.

Grant

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Rob

#41299

Couple interesting articles on lead-free | 2 May, 2006

Good point Grant, but also to be fair some of our USA suppliers have also been very good in the Leadfree change over - Kemet, Microchip, Lattice, & Diodes Inc to name a few, whereas a the attitude of a couple of our European suppliers have left a lot to be desired.

The Japanese have also been pretty good except some slight pontification over part number changing.

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patrickbruneel

#41301

Couple interesting articles on lead-free | 2 May, 2006

Grant,

Non of the articles state that lead-free will go away (unless I missed something). I've never heard it being a problem souring lead-free components only leaded components. But I have to admit not being on the manufacturing floor on a daily basis as you evidently are. Exempt companies in hirel and military industry have to re-tin components with leaded solder because some components are no longer available in Sn/Pb. Can't agree more that it's a serious mess.

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#41304

Couple interesting articles on lead-free | 2 May, 2006

Hi,

Yeah, it's a nightmare, and we are dealing with suppliers such as Xilinx and many others who have lead times that are now 20 weeks, but they can get you lead parts on 4-6, because they did not plan correctly. Lead free is not something that's happened suddenly, but I think there has been so much press critiquing lead free, that people have forgotten that it has to happen, and they need to sort it all out so we can get lead free parts.

I don't know about everyone else, but we have had a hard time getting everything in lead free. We are done now, but the lead times on the lead free parts are horrible, and we are going to have to ship two models of product, once into the US with lead parts we can get, while we ration lead free parts into the european market.

Are other people seeing the same issues?

Grant

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#41320

Couple interesting articles on lead-free | 2 May, 2006

Grant,

I personally disagree that lead-free can't be reversed. The reason it went that far is because lead has a bad reputation (lead in gas and in paint)and was probably assumed by the European green politicians as equally bad in solders. When they made the decision they had no scientific data about environmental impact and reliability risks. Today studies on environmental impact are available from US EPA and Studgard University. Both studies provide sufficient evidence that the alternatives are worse for the environment then lead.

Once the green flag comes down and reliability data becomes available we will see what happens. The reason why I'm so passioned about this is that at one point in my carrier I had all resources and equipment available to look for alternative and better alloys. Guess what we end up using!! The biggest problem I have today is that all data and studies were classified and no data could ever leave the building.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to address your component concerns at John Burke's website http://www.rohsusa.com This will not solve your problem but at least it will address yet another issue.

Lets talk again in a couple of months.

Pat

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