RoHS (Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances) is an EU Directive which requires all businesses to comply with regulations concerning specific environmentally hazardous substances in electronic and electric equipment. Every business in the supply chain – including manufacturers, importers and exporters, and some retailers – are responsible for understanding the RoHS compliance definition and adhering to the regulations.
All businesses are responsible for developing a working RoHS compliant definition and testing system to ensure that all products are fully RoHS compliant. All companies are also responsible for RoHS training to ensure that all employees understand RoHS and testing procedures. There are very specific regulations government RoHS compliance and the penalties for ignoring regulations are severe. Lack of understanding and lack of knowledge are not considered an excuse for lack of RoHS compliance, so it is essential that your business get familiar with RoHS regulations and carefully follow every rule concerning testing and documentation.
Most businesses today ensure RoHS compliance by sending their electronic and electric parts and equipment to specialized laboratories across Europe. These laboratories offer fully RoHS compliant testing and documentation. Unfortunately, sending your products to the laboratory for testing can take weeks and in many cases the testing process is invasive, so that your products are disassembled and often destroyed in the testing process. In addition, testing via laboratories can be expensive. Over time, as you test your products and equipment regularly, these hassles and costs can quickly add up and make RoHS compliance testing less than convenient for your company, especially if your company is responsible for many electronic and electric parts and pieces of equipment. Each piece of equipment would need to go through the entire testing procedure regularly. Another option for RoHS compliance is to put together an in-house testing facility. In many cases, however, the cost of hiring and training professionals is prohibitive.
Handheld XRF analyzers can help you create an in-house testing system that is fast, non-invasive, and cost-effective. Handheld XRF analyzers are small devices that screen items for elements, including for the elements banned under the RoHS. These devices screen in real time, which means that you get results instantly. It’s an ideal way to tell whether a piece of equipment is RoHS compliant – without the wait. In compliance with RoHS, many handheld XRF analyzers also save the results of scans. In addition, these scans do not require any actions on the part of the user – the scanners do all the analysis work. This helps to reduce human error for more reliable results.
With handheld XRF analyzers, you can enjoy the benefits of in-house testing without having to pay for consultants, additional employees, or expensive equipment. Since these analyzers are not destructive, you will not need to sacrifice any parts of equipment to testing. You may not even have to purchase handheld XRF analyzers. Many companies offer rentals of these devices so that you can rent the latest models as you need them for RoHS compliance testing. The IEC Guidelines affirm that XRF testing is a valuable step in RoHS compliance.