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Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption?????

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I heard that Swatch was granted their exemption to use lead ... - Apr 18, 2007 by

flipit

#49113

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 18 April, 2007

I heard that Swatch was granted their exemption to use lead solder for anything under 800 microns pitch. Is this true? Can't find a thing on the Web stating that this exemption was granted.

Chris

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flipit

#49118

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 18 April, 2007

Patrick,

I knew Swatch applied for an exemption but was it granted? This is where I am confused.

1) Lead in finishes of components with pitch of 0.65 (650 microns) or less is exempt. Is this correct? Did this stem from Swatch?

2) This is for component finishes (plating) only correct? This does not apply for assembly? Correct?

Chris

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#49120

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 18 April, 2007

Look at page 8 paragraph 22 This exempt was approved by the TAC June 22, 2006

http://www.emsnow.com/cnt/files/white%20papers/Status_of_EU_RoHS_Exemptions.pdf

The exempt was granted by request from both Swatch and Sony for tin whisker formation on fine pitch boards. The smaller the distance a whisker has to travel the shorter the time for a failure to occur. So when you have boards with 0.65mm pitch or less you are exempt from using lead free alloys.

Just remember if it takes a short time for fine pitch to fail it will just take a little longer for lager pitch. We will be back on the same subject in one or two years.

Patrick

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James

#49199

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

I wonder if you could push this to exempt any board with SnPb paste applied to the entire board as long as it has fine pitch parts? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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#49200

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

James,

Smart thinking!! That�s what Swatch and probably Sony does. And to set the record straight Japan doesn�t have a lead ban in solders only a recycling program similar to the European WEEE

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#49203

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

> I wonder if you could push this to exempt any > board with SnPb paste applied to the entire board > as long as it has fine pitch parts? > hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

And would TopLine fine pitch comonents count? ;)

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patrickbruneel

#49204

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

Only if they pass functional testing -:)

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#49207

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

But the function would be to get a ROHS exemption.

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patrickbruneel

#49208

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

Stephen,

This is brilliant!! Sorry my elevator is a little slow on Fridays

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flipit

#49209

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 20 April, 2007

This does not make any sense at all. 0.65mm is 25 mil pitch. I could make all of my products exempt by putting a .025" pitch component on them and what is the downside? Absolutely nothing at all. Just put an 8 pin 0.025" pitch or less device in place of the 0.050" pitch 8 pin device. 0.020 pitch is too easy. Why isn't everyone going this route to avoid RoHS?

Chris

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#49228

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 23 April, 2007

I would hope that the committee is at least intelligent enough to insist that exemptions be based on the use of parts w/o coarse pitch equivalents, but we are somewhat evidence challenged in that respect.

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#49234

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 23 April, 2007

Am I missing something, or does this exemption only apply to lead finishes? That's the way it appears in the referenced section, anyway. How does that exempt them from Pb-free processing?

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flipit

#49243

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 23 April, 2007

Steve,

You read it the same way I read it. Some of my coworkers thought that the 600 micron and under spec meant that you could use lead solder and be exempt at this component pitch. That is why I posted it on SMTNET. The exemption specifically states tin finish (plating?) on lead frames is exempt from RoHS at 600 micron and below. However, you see I got different interpretations of what this exemption actually means. If the exemption actually meant that you could process 600 micron pitch components with lead solder, what good is RoHS? Almost all my product are exempt. I think this would have been all over the SMT trade rags by now.

I believe the exemption only applies to lead frame component plating under 600 micron pitch. When component leads are under 600 micro pitch, tin/lead plating, on the component leads, can be used.

Chris

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#49245

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 23 April, 2007

Chris,

WEEE is great but RoHS doesn�t make since, here�s a couple of threads covering similar issues.

http://www.smtnet.com//forums/index.cfm?fuseaction=view_thread&CFApp=1&Thread_ID=10341&#Message41486

http://www.smtnet.com//forums/index.cfm?fuseaction=view_thread&CFApp=1&Thread_ID=10858&#Message44123

http://www.smtnet.com//forums/index.cfm?fuseaction=view_thread&CFApp=1&Thread_ID=10865&#Message44178

The exempt has been granted for fine pith by the TAC because of tin whisker formation. Lead is known to mitigate whisker formation. Just using Sn/Pb solder on the leads and then solder with lead free wouldn�t make sense at all. What would this resolve? And if you would use lead-free solder on the Sn/Pb lead frames your board wouldn�t be RoHS compliant anyway.

Swatch is using Sn/Pb solder on their products today �period�

Patrick

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#49251

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 24 April, 2007

It would make sence for Swatch I guess, they probably dont use any component over 0,6 pitch. Didnt swatch just say they would stop production if they didnt get the exemption? Thats probably the main reason they got it, otherwise all this RoHS crap would have gotten too much bad publicity, jobs would have been lost because the European gouvernement make a huge error. Now with this exemption Swatch got away with it and the rest of us just can carry on hobbying while noone else cares... Face it, how many 'normal'people know what RoHS is anyway?

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#49256

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 24 April, 2007

I want to say one more thing on this; many times RoHS is compared to the CFC elimination. But there is a huge difference between the two for following reasons:

In late 80�s scientific evidence became available that CFC�s contributed greatly to the ozone destructions in the upper atmosphere. Environmental agencies were made aware of this danger and they encouraged the technical community to look for alternatives or different technologies. The big difference Between RoHS and CFC elimination is:

A) CFC�s: Scientific evidence was available that CFC�s were harmful to the environment. RoHS: No scientific evidence that lead in solders is harmful to our environment. US EPA and University of Stuttgart reported that alternatives to lead in solders are a bigger burden on the environment than lead.

B) CFC: Elimination of CFC�s was a global effort and all industries that used CFC�s were encouraged to look for alternative technologies including but not limited to the electronics industry. RoHS: Only one country the EU is banning lead in solders under RoHS directive and one industry is targeted �the electronics industry� all other countries encourage WEEE (recycling).

C) CFC�s: CFC elimination was never written into law because better and more economic technologies became available before the target date the Montreal protocol had set. RoHS: Became law (in the EU) July 2006 on 6 substances without proven reliable, more economic or alternatives better to the environment.

D) CFC�s: No exemptions ever had to be granted because it never became law. Companies who wanted to use CFC�s could do so, they just missed out on the benefits the new technologies had to bring and CFC�s became very expensive due to the (at the time) decreasing amount of producers. RoHS: Many exempts are still pending for the simple reason that no alternatives to the 6 substances are either proven reliable, work as well as the product it replaces, or are proven better for the environment.

The bottom line is CFC elimination has encouraged new technology such as No-Clean/No-Residue soldering eliminating cleaning and post assembly. RoHS is bringing chaos, additional cost and no improvements to either process or environment.

I can keep on going but as much as a promoter I was to eliminate CFC�s, as much as an opponent I am in banning lead in solders for no good reason (if it�s not better why using it?).

This time the green flag is used and abused, not for a better environment or more effective manufacturing, but for other reasons of which I don�t want to be part of.

Patrick

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#49257

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 24 April, 2007

Patrick, firstly, I don't disagree with you on the efficacy of or lack of good science behind RoHS. It's a bad joke and our industry is the victim that got punked.

I simply don't see anywhere in that document that states they've got an exemption that allows them to use leaded solder. The section with the six new exemptions uses different language to distinguish between lead in solders and lead in lead finishes. Is there other evidence that tells you they truly have an exemption that allows them to use leaded solders? Have you talked with them, or is there something else in print somewhere else? It just doesn't add up to what you're presenting.

Not trying to start a fight here, just want all the facts.

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flipit

#49264

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 24 April, 2007

Hi,

The verbiage states lead finish on components and not solder used in assembly. I have found nothing that states that Swatch got an exemption. Although the 650 micron pitch spec seems to have come from the data Swatch presented in their execption request. I agree that soldering with SAC alloy to Sn/Pb plated parts makes little sense. It could very well be that Swatch is soldering with Sn/Pb solder and that every watch they make is well below 650 micron pitch. This 650 micron pitch exemption certainly protects the component manufacturer from tin whiskers but may not protect the assembler. Tin whiskers right out of the tape or the tray, before assembly, would be a serious problem for the component manufacturer.

If the facts are that 650 micron pitch and below components can be solder using Sn/Pb solder, these trade rags would be all over this. 650 micron pitch and below is just too common. If Swatch has such an exemption, RoHS and lead free has received a serious boot to the skull.

I started this discussion because many at my company read it as 650 micron pitch assembly made us exempt. Does it? I need to see it written specifically stating assembly of 650 micron pitch and below can be performed with Sn/Pb solder.

I will see if I can email some of my former coworkers that work in these huge contract houses.

Chris

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GS

#49266

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 25 April, 2007


Rob

#49267

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 25 April, 2007

I'm reading that the same as you - which would mean everything we have scrapped (disposed of responsibly) in fine pitch, including such diverse things as resistor networks (MNR18's for example) and TSSOP's would be exempt, and we've basically flushed a huge amount of cash down the pan.

Any clarification on this?

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#49274

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 25 April, 2007

Here�s the link to the exempt request, the exempt is for �solder paste� nothing is stated about plating.

http://forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/env/dir_2002_95/library?l=/requests_exempions/resonator_electronics/a-1018_swatchpdf/_IT_1.0_&a=d

If you want to hear from them what paste they are using and exempt status email info@swatchgroup.com ATT: Jennifer Kluge

Patrick

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#49276

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 25 April, 2007

I read the request months ago with great interest. However, a request is hardly an exemption. Here's my issue with the language:

"23. Lead in finishes of fine pitch components other than connectors with a pitch of 0.65 mm or less with NiFe lead frames and lead in finishes of fine pitch components other than connectors with a pitch of 0.65 mm or less with copper lead frames.

24. Lead in solders for the soldering to machined through hole discoidal and planar array ceramic multilayer capacitors."

The first seven words of 23 vs. the first three words of 24.

To insist that they have the same meaning, w/o providing something other than the same text over and over, is convenient to your argument but not convincing.

I don't care what they're using for paste, I want to know what language makes them think it's OK to use leaded paste. If the INTENT of the exemption was to allow them to process with leaded paste (or leaded solder) then it should say so.

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flipit

#49281

Swatch Group Granted Lead Exemption????? | 25 April, 2007

Steve,

See the link below. See the out take from the link below. http://forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/env/rohs/library?l=/requests_exemptions/resistant_applications/hpdoc/_EN_1.0_&a=d

The specific verbiage is, "This exemption request seeks to exempt Pb only in the platings for fine pitch components, which are a small subset of all parts using tin-lead platings."

I am uncertain who requested this exemption.

Never the less, Sn/Pb is not exempt in the 650 micron SMT assembly process as far as I can tell. It is exempt in the plating finish of lead frame devices under 650 micron pitch for sure.

Chris

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