Q&A: Not Ready for the Jolly Green Giant

19 Sep, 2006 By: Kenneth Wong

PLM vendor Arena Solutions finds that manufacturers are ill-prepared for RoHS compliance.


The European Union's RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) took effect July 1. The directive "bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants." Manufacturers who wish to sell their wares in the European Union must comply with RoHS.

Among the first casualties of RoHS was Palm's Treo650 smart phone. (See "RoHS Rules Kill Shipments of Palm Treos to Europe," EETimes.) The green giant also took a bite out of Apple. According to the AppleInsider Web site, Apple had to withdraw several products from the European market, including the desktop eMac.

Recently, PLM vendor Arena Solutions polled manufacturers who are not currently using Arena PLM to gauge their RoHS readiness. Arena's survey found "83% of respondents were at severe to high risk of not being able to demonstrate compliance or due diligence for RoHS based on their documentation management capabilities. In addition, 60% of respondents are not confident that they track all parts and materials in their products."

Arena CEO Michael Topolovac talked with Cadalyst about how some manufacturers might have underestimated the green giant's resolve, how Arena plans to tackle compliance management and why outdated computational processes -- although good enough at one time to land man on the moon -- might not be the best for managing RoHS today.  Read more >>


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About the Author: Kenneth Wong

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