RoHS Directive: the chemical analysis of materials to obtain certification

On the subject of restrictions on the use of dangerous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (AEE), Directive 2011/65/EU – also known as RoHS II – replaced Directive 2002/95/EC. Defined bythe acronym for “Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive”, the RoHS is about bringing people together the laws of the Member States on the restrictions of the use of dangerous substances in the above-mentioned equipment and to protect human health, connected to the recovery and environmentally sound disposal of waste from the equipment.

RoHS and its main changes

Firstly, the new directive has extended the field of substances subject to restriction, refining the necessary technical documentation, including declaration of conformity (DoC) and CE marking. Furthermore, the directive defined additional obligations for operators in the production/distribution chain and harmonized the list of substances subject to restrictions with similar regulations such as REACH.

At the level of expansion of the field of application, three categories of products subject to the RoHS II, which therefore went from eight to eleven. The categories in question are:

• Category 1 – Large household appliances;
• Category 2 – Small household appliances;
• Category 3 – IT and telecommunications equipment;
• Category 4 – Consumer equipment;
• Category 5 – Lighting equipment;
• Category 6 – Electrical and electronic instruments;
• Category 7 – Toys and equipment for leisure and sports
• Category 8 – Medical devices;
• Category 9 – Monitoring and control instruments, including industrial monitoring and control instruments;
• Category 10 – Vending machines;
• Category 11 – Other equipment (EEE) that does not fall into one of the above categories.

As for the substances with restricted use and the values of the maximum tolerated concentrations by weight in homogeneous materials, the RoHS places emphasis on: Lead (0.1 %), Mercury (0.1 %), Cadmium (0.01 %), Hexavalent Chromium (0.1 %), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) (0.1 %), Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (0.1 %).

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CE MARKING and DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY

As mentioned, since its entry into force the RoHS directive has introduced theobligation of CE marking and the requirements for the declaration of conformity. In order to place electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) on the market, therefore, every economic operator must comply with the conformity assessment procedure in line with the legislation. Compliance with RoHS requirements must be supported by the necessary technical documentation; which will then lead to a declaration of conformity (DoC) and the CE marking to be affixed to the finished product.

In this context, the producer must guarantee that the electrical or electronic device meets the limitation requirements on substances subject to restrictions, by drawing up the technical documentation, after having had internal production control carried out. The manufacturer is also responsible for issuing the declaration of conformity, affix the CE marking ensuring traceability, and keep the documentation available for 10 years after being placed on the market. Furthermore, generally speaking, all economic operators – the manufacturer, the authorized representative, the importer and the distributor – are responsible for ensure product conformity, applying – when necessary – the most appropriate corrective measures.

How to obtain RoHS Certification

Exist two modes to obtain RoHS certification. There Before – widely widespread in past years – involves the analysis of all the components and materials used for the production of the product, aimed at collecting the individual RoHS conformity declarations that concern them. This method is based on the principle that if all the components and materials used respect the established limits, consequently the complete product also respects them.

To date, however, we act using the second methodology which consists of taking the product, literally breaking it into small pieces, collecting samples of all the materials used - both the electrical and plastic parts - to subject all these samples to chemical analysis. It follows that the number of analyzes is high, extremely precise, so much so that they are entrusted to dedicated laboratories that carry out these activities with great efficiency.

As usual, Sicom Testing responds to market needs promptly and effectively. To satisfy the growing requests for RoHS certification with application of the chemical analysis method of materials, Sicom Testing has tightened new agreements with specialized laboratories and offers its customers a complete, fast and safe service.

To request further information on this topic, write to info@sicomtesting.com
or call +39 0481 778931.

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