RoHS 2 Compliant
RoHS 2: Lancaster Fastener is ahead of the game
All too aware of the implications that the new RoHS 2 directive will have on the Fastener Industry, Lancaster Fastener can breathe a sigh of relief and offer reassurance to their customers ahead of the Directive’s imminent deadline.
The new Directive 2011/65/EU generally referred to as RoHS 2 has undergone quite a significant revision not only in scope, which opens up more markets to scrutiny, but on the responsibility companies have throughout the supply chain to record and document their compliance.
As an importer and stockist supplying the fastener distribution trade throughout Europe, Lancaster Fastener has been aware since the publication of the original RoHS Directive back in 2003 that some of their products, as they pass through the supply chain, will ultimately be used in end products that have a primary electronic function and thus fall under the scope of the RoHS Directive.
Consequently, back in 2005 on a series of factory visits to their Asian suppliers, Lancaster Fastener gave the instruction that all future orders must be supplied to meet the requirements of the RoHS Directive. Namely, that Hexavalent Chromium (CR6) should be replaced with the more “environmentally friendly” passivation – Trivalent Chromium (CR3).
Sam Wilson - Managing Director, explains: “From the outset we made the commitment to have Hexavalent Chromium (CR6) removed from all future stock purchases. As a stockist and supplier to the fastener distribution industry we do not always know where our products will ultimately be used. Therefore, to remove any doubt, it was imperative that all of our product ranges complied with the RoHS Directive.”
As a result all products received into Lancaster Fastener’s warehouse as of the 01 March 2005 should be free from Hexavalent Chromium (CR6). To demonstrate this commitment and to have a visible differential on their carton packaging, they introduced a ‘CR3’ logo to readily identify compliant stock. In addition to this, all cartons were required to display a detailed product label that referenced ‘CR3’ and thus provided complete assurance to customers of compliance and batch traceability.
Achieving RoHS 2 compliance through existing monitoring and controls
The change in the scope of RoHS 2 to include fasteners that could be sold, into what could previously have been seen as non-electronic markets, has had little impact on Lancaster Fastener. In so far as, since March 2005 all of their product ranges could be supplied into any market that could potentially fall under the new legislation.
Also, the emphasis that RoHS 2 places on companies to demonstrate and document the processes they have in place to meet the criteria of the Directive, have long since been an integral part of Lancaster Fastener’s existing working systems.
Bill Jambor – Commercial Director, explains: “All of our purchase orders specify that products must be RoHS 2 compliant and all suppliers must provide a certificate to this effect with each shipment. All stock must be packed in our standard 20 kilo carton that displays our ‘CR3’ logo and is to be labelled accordingly. Our stock management system also highlights our ‘CR3’ stock to provide further traceability throughout the picking and despatch process.”
In addition to these internal procedures, Lancaster Fastener has been keen to take responsibility to ensure that their suppliers are in turn showing the same attention to detail when honouring their commitment to the RoHS Directive. To this end, samples are taken from incoming shipments at regular intervals and sent away for independent chemical analysis testing. Products are tested for the presence of chromate film and the findings are recorded and documented as part of Lancaster Fastener’s working processes. Since the independent tests were introduced back in 2005, great pride has been taken in the 100% pass rate achieved by their suppliers.
Through Lancaster Fastener’s ongoing commitment to the core values of their brand, it is perhaps not a coincidence that they were ready to meet the requirements of RoHS 2 while it was still ‘hot off the press’. More as a result of their endeavours as a company to place quality and customer service at the heart of their business.
The RoHS Directive Explained: