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Möjligheter och hinder för att utöka omfattningen av RoHS-direktivet
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
2005 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree)Student thesisAlternative title
Expanding the Scope of the RoHS Directive : Prospects and Obstacles (English)
Abstract [en]

The RoHS Directive was introduced in order to restrict hazardous substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, EEE. It currently restricts the use of six hazardous substances/compounds; cadmium, lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, PBB, and PBDE. The RoHS Directive currently includes category 1-7 and 10 in the categories of EEE listed in Annex 1A to the WEEE-Directive (Waste of EEE). The aim with the report is to investigate and elucidate prospects and obstacles to increase the scope of RoHS. This report mainly considers the inclusion of product categories 8 (Medical Devices) and 9 (Monitoring and Control Instruments).

In order to fulfil the aim eight questions were formulated, that shall be answered in the report. In order to find the knowledge of and attitude towards RoHS of manufacturers, retailers, and importers of products falling under category 8 and 9, a questionnaire was sent to 80 companies, of which 25 answered. The answers showed that many of the companies did not know of RoHS before the questionnaire was sent out. The majority did not consider that their product category needed a longer time period to find alternatives for the applications where any of the in RoHS restricted substances were used, compared with the other categories in annex 1A to WEEE. Of the companies that answered on the questionnaire the majority had less than 50 employees. The companies in the study had limited knowledge of the contents of their products, they bought the function rather than the contents.

One important conclusion in this report is that only a few of the companies in category 8 and 9 are likely to keep using non compliant components for a long time if they use standard electronic equipment irrespective if they intend to readjust their production according to the RoHS Directive or not. The reason is that most subcontractors will be forced by the customers, mainly the larger ones, to readjust their production. They certainly will not keep two production lines. A paradox problem that can arise for small and medium sized companies, the majority of those answering the questionnaire were, is to get access to compliant components before the RoHS Directive is put into force. These companies order such small batches that it is unrealistic to order them from the original manufacturer, who usually is located in Asia. The small and medium sized companies usually buy their components from middlemen/grossists in Europe and Sweden. These grossist in many cases have large stocks with non-compliant components that they want to sell out before RoHS Directive is put into force from the 1st July 2006.

The RoHS Directive has been critized for restricting lead, but different studies show that the alternatives to e.g. Lead gives only slightly worse results, which by way of introduction can be expected from a new technology compared with an old, more investigated. The work with the report has also revealed a lack in communication and cooperation not only between the different stakeholders in electronic industry: retailers, importers, manufacturers and subcontractors, but also between industry, customers and authorities. The RoHS Directive may improve the communication and cooperation between these different actors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för konstruktions- och produktionsteknik , 2005.
Keyword [en]
Technology, The RoHS Directive, Category 8, Category 9, EEE, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium, PBB and PBDE
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2806ISRN: LITH-IKP-EX--05/2242--SEOAI: diva2:20148
Available from: 2005-03-11 Created: 2005-03-11

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