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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read)

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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 21 December, 2005

Hello all, I am a contract manufacturer and I got handed the project of looking up our parts and seeing what's lead-free and what's not. Well my question would be how is your purchasing dept handling this. I would like some input on this from alot of people. I really don't have any past part history; I have been doing SMT programming and documentation for years but never really bothered with part information. I would like to know if your purchasing dept is using a program or if they have to look up each part and figure it out for themselves and if they are chnging to a different part number setup. I have roughly about 11,000 parts to check and make sure they will be ready for July. Any input or comments would be appreciated HIGHLY.

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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 21 December, 2005

Hi Mark,

We're not doing anything too fancy. We have a couple of programs that do assist us, but in all reality, they are mainly front-ends for a database.

The first is a program called Global Shops that we use for our inventory. This is based on Postgre SQL and makes it fairly easy for various people to access the database. We just list our suppliers and their part numbers in coexistence with our internal part numbers.

Another avenue, and we do this for some of our customers, is to use the Arrow database. I don't know what the licensing/cost is for the dashboard section of the program, but I know that our purchasing director is currently working with three customers and getting their inventories straightened out. Maybe worth a look for your project.

I'm by no means a part expert, but maybe a low-cost solution... Just import your list into excel, with your current vendors and part numbers. Then, access the information from the vendors to see what they are doing for their changes. I know quite a few of our parts, we just have to append 'LF' to the end of the part number, and that will get us the lead free parts.

Just some thoughts, and like you, I'm mainly a technician/programmer. Hopefully you can use this to your benefit.


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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 21 December, 2005

Wow - 11,000. We have 8K-9K, and we have had three people working on it for the last 6mos, around their other duties. We aren't done. Some MFR's changed PN's. Some add G, some add LF, some add NOPB, some add Z, Some add a "+", etc. Some have no discernable pattern at all to the change in their PN. Some MFR's changed without changing PN's (tracking by date code) Some MFR's changed w/o changing PN's and do not track by date code either - you can only tell by package markings. Some MFR's are not changing to RoHS. (there aren't too many of these) Some have been compliant for 7-8 yrs, but only started marking packaging in the last 1-2yrs.

You will need to figure out how you are going to control it (new internal PN's, new labels, ???)At some point you may have to do a purge of stock you can't identify. It is not our purchasing dept that is handling this. Their responsibility is buying, not determining what is an acceptable alternate PN - the technical support dept is doing the research. Some parts are exact drop-in replacements, some are not. For some, your customers may require that it be qualified before being used. You have a lot of work ahead of you.

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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 22 December, 2005

11,000 parts? Easy life.

We have 66,000 lines in stock & about 500,000 on the system. We've added extra fields on the database for every part number with ROHS status, MSL, PBT, & end termination info added.

We've also had to create duplicate part numbers where they don't change as some customers want lead free & some don't.

Admittedly the Geneva convention can get in the way when trying to extract this info (accurately)from some suppliers....

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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 22 December, 2005

Try your component distributor. Many of them can take your BoM with existing mfr. nrs. and give you new list of Pb Free mfr. p/ns.

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Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 8 February, 2006

Anyone else have new input on this?

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Brian W.


Lead-Free Bom Conversion (please read) | 13 February, 2006

We have a joint process with our purchasing department. They get notification from a supplier, which is passed to us. As a CM, we notify the customer and get permission to use it. Then we enter a new part number with a special suffix indicating lead free. When the old stock becomes 0, we change the BOM to the lead free part number. That way we can look at any BOM and tell its status in terms of the lead free component mix. We have also sent lists to some of our suppliers for specific customer parts and gotten responses. The ones that cause the headaches are the manufacturers that have not changed part numbers for lead free. Don't forget to apply the same principles to your manufacturing stock, such as iron tips, solder wick, etc. Keep those totally separate or contamination can occur.

Hope this helps, Brian

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