Friday, December 09th

RoHS and WEEE Compliance Disclosure

There is a continual worldwide environmental movement away from the use of lead and other hazardous substances towards “non-toxic” products. As an ISO 9001 registered company, Bay Area Circuits is committed to supporting our customers in complying with Europe’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. We are also interested in supporting customers who are voluntarily eliminating lead from their processes.

RoHS and WEEE Directives

In February 2003, the European Commission passed legislation that will restrict the use of some substances in most electrical and electronic equipment brought onto the market after July 1, 2006. The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directives require that mercury, cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) be at or below a threshold level (0.1 – 0.01%) on each banned element.

RoHS and Bay Area Circuits Products

Lead is the primary RoHS banned substance of concern for the printed circuit boards manufactured by Bay Area Circuits. Therefore, our lead-free products are RoHS compliant. While we typically use tin/lead solder in the manufacturing process, many printed circuit boards can be designed and built lead free using silver or gold. If we supply you with printed circuit boards that do not have a solder finish, like gold or silver, then those boards should meet the RoHS directive.

Lead Free Assembly Process

There is a separate but related issue to the elimination of lead in printed circuit boards. While many of our standard orders meet the RoHS directive, the new lead-free assembly process is significantly hotter and 25 seconds longer (counting extended cool down time) than the normal lead solder cycle. This extra heat and dwell time of the lead-free assembly process can delaminate (destroy) a normal FR-4 circuit board. Also, the extra thermal stress imposed on the vias can cause premature cracking, opens, and intermittent failures in copper hole walls. In order to prevent such common occurrences, if a customer requests a RoHS compliant board, Bay Area Circuits will upgrade the board material to a high-temperature FR-4. This helps to ensure that RoHS compliant boards will not fail in assembly.

RoHS and WEEE Orders

When requested by a customer to do so, Bay Area Circuits will manufacturer boards to meet the WEEE and RoHS directives, as well as the unique requirements of each board design, using compatible laminate materials, surface finishes, and processes. Lead-free requests must be made to your respective Bay Area Circuits sales representative.

Legal Effect of Information Provided

We are committed to sharing information in order to comply with the RoHS directive and to be open with our trade partners. It is for this reason that information is provided to you. Please note however, that while the information has been compiled in good faith, it represents our current views and state of knowledge that will certainly change as time progresses. Furthermore, neither the information above nor any further information we provide shall create or affect any legal obligation or establish any legal relationship.  Neither we nor any of our officers or employees shall have any liability as a result of any error, omission or misstatement, whether as a result of any negligence or not. No information should be relied upon, except as a non-legally binding statement of our knowledge and intentions.