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Testing Electronic Components for RoHS Regulations

XRF Analyzers are a popular solution to test electronics and various product lines for RoHS compliance.  Below is a brief overview of the regulations that affect organizations.  Please review our website for additional application overviews

RoHS Analyzers
EDX-2800 : Bench Top XRF
Excellent desktop analyzer that offers precision and accuracy 
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Handheld XRF Tester
The Pocket : Handheld XRF
Portable XRF is one of the most popular RoHS testing methods
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Overview of RoHS and Electronic Goods:
As noted in the main Hazardous Substance Detection section, regulations on hazardous metals are affecting a wide range of industries and product lines. The initial regulation (and most commonly referred to) was the European Union’s (EU) RoHS (Restrictions on Hazardous Substances) initiative that affected consumer goods manufactured and sold into/throughout Europe.

Since RoHS affected products sold into the EU it only affected United States companies that were exporting goods there. However, many states in the United States are developing regulations similar to RoHS which affect goods sold into those individual states. California was one of the first with their Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003; commonly referred to as California-RoHS, an overview can be reviewed here.
Who is affected by RoHS and similar hazardous substance regulations?
These directives affect any organization that manufactures, distributes and sells electrical and electronic equipment to the regulated states (EU and USA). The banned materials show up in a variety of product lines; including:

          Mercury: thermostats, sensors, relays in switches and discharge lamps
          Lead: Soldering of printed circuit boards (PCB’s) glass for cathode ray tubes and light bulbs
          Cadmium: Switches, springs, connectors, housing for printed circuit boards
          Hexavalent Chromium: metal coatings for corrosion protection and wear resistance
          Polybrominated Biphenyls and Diphenyl Ethers: flame retardant in printed circuit boards, connectors and plastic covers 

How to comply with regulations?
Organizations have to review and consider what approach is best for them; that is probably why you are at the Skyray XRF website.  Whether you are a supplier that needs to show compliance at your buyers request or a manufacturer that is showing compliance so that you can continue selling into a region; you have options.  Companies that show their product line meets the regulated levels frequently send product to outside testing laboratories, incorporate lead-free solder and designs or take in-house control of compliance testing.  No matter what the method, by proving and promoting compliance to RoHS and simliar regulations a company can increase market share and develop current business relationships.

Why test in-house instead of sending components to outside laboratories?
Whether an organization is manufacturing a component or assembling a final product, if they want to have total control over compliance testing then x-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a common method.  Both Portable XRF and Desktop XRF technology offer a cost-effective, non-destructive testing method that can quickly confirm a product meets the standards set.

Independent laboratories provide an excellent service to companies that test on a limited basis or require extremely detailed product analysis. However, many organizations prefer having in-house testing capabilities because they want to:
          Eliminate long-term laboratory and shipping costs
          Avoid the hassle of shipping components/products out 
          Speed up the delivery process and avoid waiting for test results
          Gain full control over the testing

Compliance to RoHS and Lead-Free Regulation can offer access to new markets and increased your long-term success.
If you are serious about showing compliance to RoHS and other hazardous substance regulations, contact Skyray XRF for in-house testing options



Information on RoHS in the USA can be found at this XRF Blog post

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