Original Press Release
IPC Survey Reveals Electronics Industry Not Prepared for REACH
Press release date: July 28, 2008
BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, July 28, 2008 - Like a bolt of lightning, the results of IPC's recent survey on REACH Preparedness in the North American and European Interconnect Industry are striking - revealing that more than 40 percent of manufacturing and purchasing personnel have no understanding of the REACH regulation as it affects their companies. The same holds true for nearly one-third of senior management and 29 percent of engineering personnel. Even 28 percent of environment, health and safety personnel have no understanding of REACH's impact.
The new European Union (EU) legislation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) took effect on June 1, 2007. The REACH regulation gives greater responsibility to industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances.
In contrast to RoHS, which covers a narrow scope of substances in electronic products encompassing about 100 different chemicals, REACH covers substances in nearly all applications, totaling about 30,000 unique chemicals. While RoHS can address entire classes of substances at a time, REACH addresses them each individually. Where RoHS requires supplier-to-customer communications, the REACH regulation makes bidirectional communication throughout the supply chain imperative.
"REACH will have a far-reaching effect on any company that buys sells or uses chemicals," said Tony Hilvers, vice president of industry programs for IPC. "Inevitably, all companies that use chemicals or make products that contain chemicals will be affected ...and that pretty much sums up the entire electronics supply chain. The survey clearly indicates that our industry is woefully unprepared for the hit it's about to take."
The electronic survey, sent to executives throughout the electronic interconnect supply chain in North America and Europe, reveals that even with a deadline for pre-registration of substances quickly approaching, only 18.3 percent of companies have identified and/or inventoried all substances in their products. In addition only 60.5 percent of chemical supplier respondents are planning to register or pre-register substances at all.
Stepping up efforts to help electronics companies prepare for REACH, IPC has scheduled a number of programs in the coming months, including a REACH Critical Update Webcast on pre-registration issues for PCB and EMS suppliers, September 18, 2008, 1:30 pm-3:30 pm, Central time. A number of sessions and meetings on REACH and other environmental issues will also take place at IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition, September 21-25, 2008, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, Schaumburg, Ill.
In addition, IPC has launched a REACH Supply Chain Task Force to help companies establish a path forward in addressing the impacts of REACH. Representatives from the OEM, EMS, PCB and supplier industries make up the task force. In a recent presentation to the task force, Design Chain Associates' President Michael Kirschner reiterated a warning from a large computer manufacturer that electronics executives should, "As completely as possible, know what chemical substances your product is made of and with ... You eventually will be held responsible for every molecule of your product."
A full report on the results of IPC's REACH preparedness survey is available on IPC's website at www.ipc.org/REACHsurveyreport. For more information about the study, contact Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research at +1 847-597-2817 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the REACH Regulation can be found on IPC's Environmental, Health and Safety webpage at www.ipc.org/EHS. For more information on the upcoming REACH webcast, contact Susan Filz, IPC director of industry programs at +1 847-597-2884 or email@example.com. For more information on the environmental programs at IPC Midwest, contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy at +1 703-522-0225 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.IPCMidwestShow.org.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,700 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.5 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Shanghai, China.