AE is committed to protecting the environment affected by our products and to complying with applicable laws and regulations. A number of regulations have been enacted in jurisdictions around the world that restrict the use of certain substances in electronic products. These are often referred to as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulations. Products like AE’s, which are installed, operated, and maintained by professionals in relatively limited quantities in commercial settings, are generally not the intended target of such regulations.
Our approach to these restrictions is to comply with applicable requirements, to meet market demand for solutions that go beyond compliance, and to honor our environmental commitment. In doing this, we will proceed with appropriate care to ensure we continue to meet our quality, reliability, and cost-competitiveness goals as well.
A RoHS Work Station at Advanced Energy features signage and a green work surface to readily identify it as a lead-free work area.
Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of January 23, 2003, on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment went into effect July 1, 2006. RoHS restricts the use of four heavy metals, lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium; and two types of flame retardants, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDE).
The directive and subsequent amendments exempt certain applications. In addition, the directive’s scope is limited to specific types of electrical and electronic equipment.
Consistent with our environmental commitment, and in response to market demand, we offer a number of products that meet RoHS requirements applicable to in-scope products. For products that AE designates as “RoHS compliant,” we’ve taken steps to ensure our management systems and procedures conform to the regulatory requirements and standards of practice for products in the scope of RoHS. Our products designated as RoHS compliant contain no substances regulated by RoHS above applicable thresholds, or they may contain small amounts of RoHS substances in specifically exempted applications.
During February 2006, a number of Chinese government agencies published Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products, which became widely known as China RoHS. The rules took effect March 1, 2007.
China RoHS regulates the same substances as EU RoHS. Since China RoHS has no legal connection to EU requirements, products must be managed to meet the specific requirements of the Chinese regulations. China RoHS sets forth labeling and disclosure requirements not part of EU RoHS. The Chinese rules also require pre-market certification and place restrictions on substances in specific product groups, based on their listing in a product catalog.
The products Advanced Energy produce are not listed in the product catalog. AE complies with China RoHS labeling and disclosure requirements for products imported into China and new products.
Supply Chain Management
AE’s standards for RoHS compliance in our supply chain are published in AE document number RM0042, Restricted Materials and Environmental Compliance Requirements (see Supplier Standards) . Our suppliers are important partners in our material compliance efforts, and we work with them to meet RoHS compliance on designated products.
Suppliers submit a RoHS Certificate of Compliance for each part and assembly that they provide to AE. Additionally, suppliers provide a declaration of the presence of any RoHS-regulated substances and maintain documentation that demonstrates compliance, such as analytical results and sub-tier supplier certifications. Any changes to the material composition of RoHS-compliant parts must be approved by Advanced Energy in accordance with our change management procedures.
Suppliers are selectively audited for compliance with AE RoHS requirements.
As the worldwide electronics industry has adapted to the requirements of various RoHS regulations, the availability of parts made with substances restricted by the regulations (e.g., lead solder) has been impacted. Advanced Energy has ISO9001-certified management systems that ensure we proactively and effectively manage substitutions for discontinued parts in our released products. Any changes to specified parts are reviewed through AE’s Enterprise Change Order (ECO) process and are only implemented with AE’s explicit, written approval.
RoHS Compliance In Our Factories and Service Centers
Product and Component Segregation
AE reserves a unique class of part numbers for RoHS-compliant parts and assemblies so everyone in our supply chain, factories, and service centers can readily identify them. To prevent cross-contamination, any area where RoHS-compliant work is performed, including engineering, production, and service, has a dedicated work surface, clear labeling, such as signs and floor tape, and dedicated tools.
AE verifies absence of regulated substances for RoHS-designated parts and assemblies with a portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. XRF analysis is conducted for selected parts as an element of AE’s incoming inspection procedures for received materials.
Elimination of tin-lead solder in manufacturing is a critical part of making RoHS-compliant products. Lead-free solder has different properties than traditional tin-lead solder (such as a 35°C higher melting point) so rigorous attention to correct soldering techniques is of paramount importance. All personnel who solder components must pass RoHS-compliant product training conducted by a certified trainer.