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RoHS & WEEE Directives - last time buy obsolete parts

Dolby Laboratories


RoHS & WEEE Directives - last time buy obsolete parts | 1 October, 2004

From time to time, component suppliers decide to discontinue production of components that we use in our products. Occasionally, these components can be sourced elsewhere or designs adapted or altered to accommodate alternates. In many cases, however, we are required to make a �life-time buy� of the component to ensure that we can continue to manufacture a particular product until a decision is made to discontinue it. In our case the products we sell are often at such a low volume that it is economically impractical to re-design and the last-time-buy is the only option to maintain the product's life. Because many of the components currently on a life time buy contain lead and because the suppliers of these components have indicated that they will not be producing a lead-free version, questions have been raised as to whether the RoHS Directive could be made to allow these components to be used after the July 2006 deadline. It has been proposed that an exemption be made for these types of components or that such components be �grandfathered�. The response from European and Member State regulators has been unaccommodating � pointing to the necessity for the RoHS Directive to have �hard and fast deadlines�.

This is a matter we at Dolby have been concerned about and James Lingard of the DTI put me in touch with a contact (below) from Avaya, a company who are involved with communication systems.

Charles E H Franklin Government Affairs - EMEA AVAYA Waterloo Office Park (Building M) Dr�ve Richelle, 161 1410 Waterloo, Belgium Direct: + 32 (0) 2 357-5818 Mobile: + 32 (0) 495 59 32 10 Fax: + 32 (0) 2 357-5765

They are interested in collaborating in a joint approach to the Technical Adaptation Committee concerning an exemption for RoHS and WEEE for stocks of components bought as compulsory last-time-buys from suppliers. I suggested to Charles that a posting on ths forum might elicit some responses from other organisations interested in this topic and he asked that I do this. Please would you reply directly to him (details above) if you wish further information


Nigel Burtt Production Engineering Manager Dolby - European HQ Email: Tel: +44 (0)1793 842132 [direct line with voicemail] Fax: +44 (0)1793 842101

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