News Archive 2007

News Archive 2007
December 19, 2007

Outlook: Electronics and the Environment Conferences in 2008

In 2008 there will be a couple of outstanding events and conferences to bring the latest on product design and energy efficiency.
In Wels, Austria, there will be the World Sustainable Energy Days from March 5-7. The programme has just been published on the conference website.
The Vth Ecology in Electronics conference will be hosted in Warsaw, Poland, May 25-26, 2008. The purpose of theconference is the continuation of its traditional mission to establish a forum for the exchange of knowledge on ecological aspects of designing and manufacturing electronic systems, reuse of components and recycled materials used in electronic equipment. Further info.
Berlin, Germany, will see the world largest event on electronics and the environment, the Electronics Goes Green 2008+ conference. Following the conferences in 2000 and 2004, the event on September 8-10, 2008, will again see the latest in technology and policy. Leading electronics OEMs are going to present their achievements in environmentally bening products and technologies. Energy efficiency of appliances is likely to be among the priority topics. Currently, the Call for Paper (deadline February 28, 2008) is open. Further information is available at the Electronics Goes Green website.

December 12, 2007

RoHS exemptions: Review in Progress

The Annex to the RoHS Directive currently lists 29 applications of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, which are exempted from the Directive's substance restrictions. Materials and components can be exempted if their elimination or substitution via design changes or materials and components which do not require any of the restricted materials or substances is technically or scientifically impracticable, or where the negative environmental, health and/or consumer safety impacts caused by substitution out­weigh the environmental, health and/or consumer safety benefits thereof.
On the basis of this provision, the Commission has received (and is still receiving) additional requests for applications to be exempted from the requirements of the Directive from in­dustry. These requests need to be evaluated in order to assess whether they fulfil the above mentioned requirements. Where the requirements are fulfilled the Commission proposes a Draft Decision amending the RoHS Directive and its Annex.
Furthermore, the Commission shall carry out a review of each exemption listed in the Annex at least every four years or four years after an item is added to the list. Thus, also the deletion of materials and components of electrical and electronic equipment from the existing Annex has to be considered if their elimination or substitution is possible with regard to the criteria listed above. As the RoHS Directive has entered into force on 1 July 2006, this review shall be done by 2010. Currently there is an ongoing study to review the listed exemptions. Further information and stakeholder registration at the review project website.

November 11, 2007

Zero Watt Standby Monitor by Fujitsu Siemens

Fujitsu Siemens presented a monitor, which consumes no energy in standby: Capacitors are intended to store enough energy to switch on the monitor again from zero Watt standby. Solar panels allow a revitalisation of the monitor even after five days. In case the monitor does not receive a wake-up signal during this time the monitor has to be switched on manually.

October 19, 2007

European Commission Proposes 1 Watt Standby Regulation

The European Commission today presented their proposal to regulate standby and off-mode losses: For off-mode and standby covering a reactivation function a threshold of 1 W is proposed for household and office equipment broadly. For standby including some information or status display 2 W are allowed, according to the proposal. These limits are suggested to take effect one year after the adoption of an EuP implementing measure on standby and off-mode losses which is expected by mid 2008. After 3 years a second tier with 0.5 and 1 W limits is proposed. This has been discussed today in the Consultation Forum in Brussels. The technical background analysis has been compiled by Fraunhofer IZM, Bio Intelligence Service and CODDE.

June 19, 2007

Eco-design Regulations Speed Up

Next steps of the EuP process are ahead: The European Commission published a first working document on street lighting, which will be discussed at the first Consultation Forum meeting on June 22. The document proposes a couple of generic and specific requirements for an implementing measure on street lighting. The Consultation Forum comprises besides the EU member state representatives 19 industry associations, one retail association, 8 non-governmental organisations representing expertise in energy related aspects, consumer interests and environmental issues in general, one organisation representing social enterprises in the recycling business and the standardisation body CENELEC.
In parallel, recommendations on policy options to be given by the contractors of the preparatory studies are expected in the coming days for PC / laptops / monitors, for TV sets and standby and off-mode losses. Reports will be made public via the project websites and are open for stakeholder feedback.
The Chinese SEPA announced to respond to the EuP directive with a couple of own regulations in the second half of 2007.

June 8, 2007

Norway Prohibition on certain hazardous substances in consumer products

The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority proposes new legislation prohibiting certain hazardous substances in consumer products. It is expected that, if the proposal will be adopted, this may have impact on the production, import and export of products containing the mentioned substances in Norway:
1 - Arsenic
2 - Bisphenol A
3 - Lead
4 - Diethylhexylphtalate (DEHP)
5 - Cadmium
6 - Medium-chained chlorinated paraffins (MCCP)
7 - Musk compounds (Muskxylene and muskketone)
8 - PFOA and related compounds
9 - Triclosan
10 - Selected surfactants (DTDMAC, DODMAC/DSDMAC, DHTDMAC)
11 - Pentachlorphenol (PCP)
12 - Tributyltin and triphenyltin compounds (TBT and TPT)
13 - Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD)
14 - Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA)
Limits for the RoHS-6 substances are by a factor 10 stricter than that of the RoHS regulation itself. Bisphenol A and TBBPA, relevant for printed circuit boards, are banned as well.

June 1, 2007

GreenRoSE Project Features RoHS Transition Case Studies

The EU-funded project published eight case studies from small and medium sized enterprises in UK, Poland, Latvia, Slovenia describing their approaches for phasing out banned substances and the experiences they made until they finally achieved RoHS compliance. For those companies not yet affected by RoHS (e.g. medical and monitoring equipment) these frank case studies might help to manage such a transition process smoothly and to learn from the experiences others have already made.

February 20, 2007

Next Set of Product Categories Considered under EuP Framework Directive

The European Commission is going to launch preparatory studies on five additional product groups. These studies will serve as technical input for possibly drafting implementing measures. These product groups are:
* solid fuel small combustion installations (in particular for heating)
* laundry dryers
* vacuum cleaners
* set top boxes
* domestic lighting
Further product groups will be under investigation once the work plan of the European Commission is published. Due date: Mid 2007.

January 26, 2007

EU Lead-free Projects Host Final Seminar in San Sebastian, March 1-2, 2007

The ELFNET Lead-Free Dissemination Event in conjunction with the International IPC Lead-free conference will be open to all, so that the results of ELFNET and the other projects can be delivered to a wide audience. It is hoped to launch the ELFNET Roadmap for future electronics interconnection technologies, as well as presentations of the latest information from Europe's experts including ELFNET intiatives in reliability, modelling and heterogenous assembly. GreenRoSE and LEADOUT project will also disseminate key results of their work with SME's, including new tools for lead-free soldering implementation.
Event information
Project information: GreenRoSE, LEADOUT, ELFNET