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Impact of RoHS Legislations on National Security
Keywords: RoHS, Failure Mechanisms, National Security
An expedient transition to lead-free electronics has become necessary for most electronics industry sectors, considering the European directives other possible legislative requirements, and market forces. In fact, the consequences of not meeting the European requirements for transition to lead-free electronics may translate into global market losses. Considering that lead-based electronics have been in use for over 40 years, the adoption of lead-free technology represents a dramatic change. Although at this point, the military equipment are exempt from the RoHS directives, the effects of the directive is already being felt by the military industry. Besides, today's national security needs go beyond just the military hardware and the nation's communication infrastructure is not generally exempted from the RoHS requirements (e.g., the tools of the first responders). This paper presents the effects of RoHS from cradle to grave engineering, supply chain management, and logistics considerations. Examples of successes and failures in this transition process will be given for all the levels. In particular failure mechanisms that are either newly appearing or making a comeback with the RoHS implementation will be used in the examples.
Michael Osterman, Research Scientist
University of Maryland - CALCE
College Park, MD

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