The RoHS directive, put into action by the EU in 2006, is one of the major global initiatives targeted at reducing the risk of toxic materials. Its implementation created a frenzy of research into "greener" substitutes, as well as various methods of detection for use at all levels of manufacturing and enforcing. Most methods presented today offer limited detection abilities, but two young scientists took a unique approach. After 2 years of extensive R&D, and thorough testing by top international suppliers to the electronics industry, the duo is proud to present the ultimate tester of hazardous materials for the electronics market – the Stamp-Test "Indicator Stamp".
As the world witnesses a steady shift towards a more "green" future, and governments are forwarding legislation on issues relating to CleanTech, Stamp-Test is positioned to become the standard for analyzing and detecting toxic substances. Much smaller than the size of a normal postage stamp, Stamp-Test's Indicator Stamp can be placed on any surface to verify the presence of hazardous materials within seconds. Its diminutive size, user friendly appliance and effective technique, combined with high reliability and low cost makes it an excellent choice for suppliers, manufacturers and law enforcement alike.
Stamp-Test is developing a range of small adhesive stamps which contain chemical indicators for detecting various restricted substances. In its initial stage, the company is focusing its efforts on electronic equipment manufacturers, mainly printed circuit board (PCB) fabricators and assemblers. When the stamp is placed upon the surface to be inspected, it interacts with a restricted substance and changes color, proving its presence on the product. If the indicator does not change color, the stamp remains on the product as a visual evidence of its compliance with the RoHS directive.
Although other detection methods are in the market or being developed today (including X-ray fluorescence and the application of wet chemicals onto the product being tested), no one comes close to Stamp-Test. Apart from the safety concerns involved with these methods, the need for skilled application and the high costs involved, their main flaw is their lack of lasting visual confirmation of the examination, for consumers or law-regulators.
The beauty of Stamp-Test's innovative method is in its simplicity – it is virtually a “Lab in a Stamp”. It can be applied by anyone without cumbersome equipment or safety precautions and offers proof within seconds – a verification which stays on the product until it reaches the end-user, and thereafter.
The partners behind Stamp-Test both have extensive practical and theoretical experience in the fields of PCB manufacturing and chemistry. Ra'anan Novik, CEO, is an accomplished chemist in nano-technology and electronic manufacturing. Nathan Muskal, COO, is an entrepreneur and chemistry technician, with 12 years experience in manufacturing PCB’s. They both served as staff managers at an Israeli Defense Ministry R&D facility, where they met and joined forces, subsequently leading to their partnership and research into a response to the RoHS challenge.
With the upcoming production of Stamp-Test's Indicator Stamps, electronic equipment manufacturers will have a cost-effective and simple method with which to comply with the RoHS and future regulations. Its application can help reduce the possibility of expensive recalls and fines, and even serve as a marketing incentive aimed towards environmentally conscience consumers.
Another huge advantage of the Stamp-Test product is its versatility. The adhesive stamps contain selective indicators for the color-detection of those substances (lead, chromium, mercury, etc.) which are outlawed by the E.U. for use in electronic equipment. But its applications are far more reaching: tailored to detect various kinds of substances, this method can be easily used to detect hazardous matter in children's toys, domestic items, ceramic objects, household paint and many other items which surround us daily. It can also serve the organic food industry, guaranteeing to conscious consumers the veracity of the products they are purchasing.
Stamp-Test, in its final stages before production, has opened a window of opportunity to standardize the entire market. With its user friendly technology, cost effectiveness, versatility and wide range of applications, Stamp-Test's Indicator Stamps are positioned to become the next hot deal in the global electronics market. Focusing just on the estimated 4 billion printed circuit boards (PCB's) manufactured annually around the world, and taking into consideration the fact that electronic manufacturers will eventually shift the majority of production towards lead-free boards, there is an annual sales potential of billions of Indicator Stamps to the PCB industry alone.
With virtually every business sector which is involved in the manufacturing of electronic devices - from PCB’s and electronic components, to casing, packaging and OEM’s - the business opportunity of this new detection and indication method is overwhelmingly obvious. Stamp-Test is hoping to reach a significant market share in the first year of production, through collaborating with strategic partners.
Today Stamp-Test has a functional prototype and a patent pending. Industrialization of the product and the application method is well underway, and collaboration discussions have begun with leading PCB fabricators and material suppliers. The company has received initial government funding and is earnestly seeking additional support and strategic partnerships. All in all, Stamp-Test is on the fast track to mass production, with the hope of becoming the standard of the industry and making this world a better place to live in.