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RoHS/WEEE Compliance & Green Initiatives
- RoHS/WEEE Compliance
- Steps To Achieving RoHS Compliance
- All RoHS Compliant Products Are Not Created Equal
- RoHS Compliance Identification
- Industry’s First RoHS-Compliant Low Profile PCI RS-232/422/485/530 Board
- Industry’s First RoHS-Compliant Low Profile PCI Digital I/O Board
- Popular PCI RS-232/422/485 Board Achieves RoHS Compliance
- WEEE Compliance Identification
Sealevel Systems is committed to providing our customers with high quality products that meet the RoHS (2002/95/EC), WEEE (2002/96/EC) and other green initiatives being adopted by the global community. The RoHS directive restricts the use of lead and certain other hazardous materials in electronic products marketed to the European Union. Sealevel is designing all new products for RoHS compatibility as well as modifying legacy products and manufacturing processes for RoHS compliance. We will continue to offer both RoHS compliant and non-compliant products to meet global and domestic customer demand.
In order to comply with the RoHS directive, Sealevel engineers had to reconsider every step of the manufacturing process including:
- Eliminating banned substances
- Selecting PC board laminate materials and lead-free solders
- Confirming compliant components availability and cost
- Awareness of higher manufacturing temperatures
- Choosing metal and plastic enclosure materials
- Specifying paint, silkscreen, and powder-coating materials
- Establishing benchmarks for Tg, CTE, and Td
- Identifying and stocking compliant and noncompliant products
- Considering long-term reliability of products
To comply with the RoHS directive, Sealevel had to change the soldering processes used in manufacturing. Lead-free solders, called SAC alloys, must be used and they have a significantly higher melting point than lead alloy solders. PC boards are made using a laminate material consisting of a resin or epoxy reinforced by glass fibers. The higher manufacturing temperatures change the integrity of traditional laminate materials causing them to expand and/or delaminate. While most laminate materials were already RoHS compliant, commonly used board materials can’t withstand the higher manufacturing temperatures required by using lead-free solder. Other manufacturers have neglected this fact and continue to use traditional PC board laminate materials. Sealevel tested several laminate materials and developed prototype boards that were subjected to numerous thermal cycles over the course of several weeks, from temperatures as low as -40°C to as high as +100°C. Sealevel selected a laminate material that could handle the higher manufacturing temperatures and still be cost effective for our customers. Although extreme, these tests confirm the exceptional reliability of the products for which Sealevel is known.
Electronic products sold into the European Union must not exceed the allowable limits of 10 hazardous substances as stated in Directive 2015/863. RoHS compliance comes at a premium and because many customers still demand non-compliant products, Sealevel devised a unique and ingenious identification method. All new Sealevel circuit boards will have two gold-plated, etched-copper pads marked “RoHS” and “non-RoHS” in the silkscreen. The absence of these pads denotes a non-compliant product. During separate manufacturing processes, compliant boards will have a solder mark on the “RoHS” pad, while non-compliant boards will have a solder mark on the “non-RoHS” pad. Thus, the boards are clearly marked and can be visually identified.
Since compliant and noncompliant products share a common design, Sealevel chose to continue with the familiar 4-digit part numbering scheme for non-compliant products. RoHS compliant parts will append “-RoHS” to the end of the part number. Only after Sealevel could finally guarantee the reliability did we announce new industry-first RoHS compliant products.
Industry’s First RoHS-Compliant Low Profile PCI RS-232/422/485/530 Board
On 11/18/2005, Sealevel Systems, Inc. announced the first RoHS-compliant multi-interface PCI serial I/O card, the 7106-RoHS. The board offers a selectable RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, or RS-530 interface and is MD1 low profile and universal bus compatible (3.3V or 5V). The 7106-RoHS was the first in a series of forthcoming RoHS-compliant serial product introductions.
On 12/9/2005, Sealevel Systems, Inc. announced the first RoHS-compliant low profile PCI digital I/O adapter, the 8018-RoHS. The board offers easy connection to industry-standard solid-state relay racks for monitoring and control of AC and DC signals. Designed for compatibility with legacy and new computer systems, the board is MD1 low profile and universal bus compatible (3.3V or 5V). The 8018-RoHS was the first in a series of forthcoming RoHS-compliant digital I/O product introductions.
Sealevel’s popular 7201 board is now RoHS compliant with the introduction of the 7201-RoHS. The board provides two serial ports, each individually configurable for RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485. The 7201-RoHS is capable of data rates to 460.8K bps and automatically handles RS-485 transmitter enable/disable. The board utilizes 16C850 UARTs that provide 128-byte Tx/Rx FIFOs and is Universal Bus (3.3V or 5V) compatible.
Legislation enacted on August 13, 2005, requires electronic product manufacturers that ship to the European Union to provide a means for recycling materials as stated in Directive 2002/96/EC. All WEEE compliant products are denoted by a trash receptacle icon with an ‘X’ through it. For questions about Sealevel’s recycling policy, please send an email to email@example.com.
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