Electronic News reports that Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) manufacturers, who are excluded from the EU RoHS Directive under Article 2, sec 3, are recognizing that those same exempted parts are being used for initial production and the demand is rising for lead-free components. Therefore, many vendors are voluntarily phasing out their MRO leaded-parts, and those ‘exempted’ manufacturers are now involuntarily complying with RoHS to keep up with the market.
Those engineers buying parts for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) haven’t worried much about the switch to lead-free parts. MRO is exempt from the European Union’s (EU) Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation. Yet lately, MRO engineers are beginning to find that the industry move to RoHS compliance has sneaked into their supply chain and changed their parts.
Even though MRO is exempt, much of the parts used for repair and maintenance are the same parts that are used in production. So they’re going lead free. "We find that even suppliers or MRO parts are coming out with RoHS-compliant parts," said Paul Tallentire, president of Newark InOne, a Chicago-based distributor small production and MRO parts. "Initially MRO customers in the United States thought they were exempt, but now they know they will be impacted."
Manufacturers that sell their products globally have until July 1st of this year to achieve RoHS compliance in order to put their products on the market. Californians Against Waste is sponsoring AB 2202 (Saldaña), which will extend RoHS to consumer elecrical and electronic devices in California and require the phase out of toxic materials by January 1, 2008. The manufacturers currently redesigning their products to attain RoHS compliance will automatically be compliant in California if AB 2202 becomes law.