To meet RoHS requirements, the company upgraded its surface mount assembly line to implement a lead-free process at its San Jose, California manufacturing facility. The enhanced process includes replacing the lead components on circuit boards with new, eco-friendly, lead-free parts. This new surface mount technology (SMT) equipment gives RSA the flexibility to meet all of its customers' product needs. In addition, RSA has upgraded its equipment to include a new solder paste printer, which allows very precise printing of the lead-free paste while a new reflow oven, with the capability of reaching the extremely high temperatures necessary for soldering lead-free surface mount components. It has also made a commitment to become halogen-free over the next year. �There are challenges to this,� says Sanjay Vyas. �The industry's been lead-free for a long time. But we're very committed to being a leader in the eco-friendly, clean green space for PCB and surface mount assembly. We're also focuing on eco-friendly packaging in post-production as well.�
This upgrade will also allow design engineers to create compact boards that require less space, while still delivering high-quality product enhancements. Together, these equipment and process upgrades fulfill the requirements of the RoHS Directive, making RSA operations fully RoHS compliant.
The RoHS Directive responds to the growing concerns over human health and environmental risks associated with the use of certain environmentally sensitive materials in the production of electronic products. The EU implemented the RoHS Directive in July 2006, with compliance regarding the use of unleaded solder in telecommunications products targeted for 2010. California, the first U.S. state to apply these standards, adopted similar legislation in January 2007.
RSA's decision to achieve early RoHS compliance positions it well in terms of these industry standards. As the telecommunication industry adapts its technology to meet RoHS standards, many component parts will become obsolete. For RSA, the shift to lead-free soldering allows the company to maintain a competitive advantage, while incorporating an ecologically friendly manufacturing process.
Mr. Vyas adds, �We recognize that adopting green manufacturing techniques is not only environmentally responsible, but also beneficial to our employees, our neighbors,
their kids, and to our community at large. We want to be a great neighbor.� Even though RoHS regulations have already taken hold in California, RapidSMTAssembly is proactively working to minimize the impact of its manufacturing facility on the local environment by voluntarily incorporating the EU, California and other auditable environmental compliance and reporting directives.