LONDON ELFNET the European Lead-Free Soldering Network – has been working to tackle key remaining implementation issues for the RoHS Directive and is looking for others to get involved in a new set of collaborative opportunities.
Dr Jeremy Pearce, ELFNET Co-ordinator, said, “The objective of the ELFNET ‘Issues to Solutions’ initiative is to urgently co-ordinate, integrate and optimise the critical mass of European research in lead-free soldering. This is in line with our aim to provide pan-European support for the implementation of the RoHS Directive.”
The ELFNET network brings together communities of experts from research specialising in solders, components, assembly, reliability and recycling, with industry groups in consumer, automotive/industrial, aerospace/defence, IT/telecoms sectors.
In the first year of the project each of these groups drew up and prioritised lists of implementation issues for lead-free soldering technology. The work from the ELFNET experts has led to a harmonised list of issues in the ‘Issues to Solutions Matrix’ published on the project website, of which around 20 currently have a top priority. A set of new initiatives has been launched, to reach collective Solutions.
It is already clear that on some of the identified issues much of the key knowledge in Europe is held by a few. It is the urgent task of ELFNET through its website, to bring this information to the many. As the deadline approaches the focus is on the supply chain and compliance though a number of key technical issues still remain. Priority action topics include materials declaration, marking, labelling and component numbering, obsolescence, compatibility, reliability, tin whiskers, large and complex boards, harsh environments, and solder alloy properties
The ELFNET project has been funded by the European Commission to provide the best available opportunity for coordinating efforts. ELFNET now urges the European research community to come forward and work together within this unique framework.
ELFNET is a European network of national research organisations, technical experts and industry bodies enabling lead-free solutions in micro-electronics and operates in 19 European countries.