About IECQ

 

The IECQ Solution

Hazardous Substances

With legislation on hazardous substances in place since 2003 in California, and more set to come into effect in the European Union in 2006, and with China also considering legislation, governments are clearly asking companies to address this issue. The IECQ now has available a quality management standard that companies can use to ensure their processes and controls adhere to local regulations about hazardous substances, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, in electronic components.

 

The standard was prepared jointly by the US-based Electronic Industries Association (EIA) and the Electronic Component Certification Board (ECCB), also in the USA, and adopted by the IECQ for use around the world. The IECQ is now also developing product standards for hazardous substances.

 

Dave Smith, IECQ ChairmanBut how do people apply a standard and how does one ensure it gets applied uniformly everywhere? A manufacturer can use a standard to make a product and an IECQ Supervising Inspectorate can use the same standard to assess whether the manufacturer actually does what it says it can. The IECQ has two training programmes for assessors from Supervising Inspectorates, and manufacturers are encouraged to attend.

 

According to Dave Smith, Chairman of IECQ, "not only should the Supervising Inspectorate people be competent to make an assessment, but the companies themselves should be, too, because it means they're fully prepared for the assessment. Surprises are for birthday parties. Nobody likes them in business."

 

The assessment looks at the manufacturing process to see if it adheres properly to the relevant IEC standard.

 

The training programme for assessors comprises a series of lectures followed by an exam.

 

Hazardous Substances Process Management (HSPM) – Current situation in Europe (in France in particular).

 

In June 2005, LCIE has hosted the 2nd international seminar dedicated to the HSPM approach proposed by IECQ. 15 people from France, Germany, China and USA attended a 3-day training session in Paris relative to the HSPM assessment process. Attendees came from industry and Certification Bodies. 6 auditors from LCIE, VDE and CEPREI were trained and qualified to lead the HSPM assessment audits in the electric/electronic industry.

 

In France, during the 2nd semester, professional seminars are organized for the professionals of the electric and electronic industry, for debating on the impacts of the RoHS and WEEE Directives on products and processes. The voluntary IECQ HSPM assessment approach will be presented by LCIE on September (one-day session organized by SPDEI, Electronic Retailer Association), and October 2005 (professional conference organized by COMUNDI, Public Relation Consultant). In addition, the IECQ HSPM certification is currently proposed to possible customers. The 2 first assessments are expected by end of 2005.

 

The first meeting of the IEC Working Group specifically set up for addressing specifically the RoHS and WEEE Directives issues in electric and electronic industry, is planned on September 16, 2005 in Paris. The members represent all the IEC schemes and have the mission to determine a concerted IEC policy meeting the industry needs.

  • 15 people in France were trained with 6 of them passing the lead assessor exam. 2 each for LCIE, VDE and CEPREI.

Hazardous Substances Process Management - Current situation in North America

  • In the USA, there are a few companies that are in progress of registration and one trying to be the first one registered in the world.
  • We are also in the process of signing a training joint venture agreement with the first of 50 USA State Business Development Authorities. This is expected to generate significant training activity in the USA over the next 6 months.
  • We have trained 8 people in the USA. 6 implementers were certified, 2 internal assessors and 5 lead assessors took the exams which are not yet graded. 1 one of these is another NSAI lead assessor.
  • We have three to five additional applications in progress in the USA with one planning to be certified in October.
  • BQPM is in the process of developing a Joint Venture agreement for Training with the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA). At this time we expect the Joint Venture agreement to be completed in a week or two and it may not disclose the number of people to be trained in the agreement.
  • We are in the process of putting license agreements in place with a small number of consults to provide the IECQ Training course on behalf of BQPM in the USA.
  • Once the joint venture with NNDA is declared a success we plan to expand to the Joint Venture with the same type of Authorities in the other 49 USA State over the next 12 months.

Hazardous Substances Process Management - Current situation in Asia/Pacific

  • In Asia, we have now held two training classes with more than 180 people. There are several companies getting ready for registration.
  • We will be holding another class the first week of October in Taiwan.
  • We are also going to have 4 different seminars held the week of October 10 in conjunction with the Taitronics Trade show in Taiwan.
  • We are also in the process of concluding a deal with another organization that represents 1000 IECQ HSPM Registered companies over a 24 month period of time.
  • 97 people in Taiwan were trained in April resulting in a number of assessors both internal and lead assessors. The actual number is based on the certificates issued.
  • We have three applications for HSPM in Taiwan. All will undergo Preliminary assessment in September or October and all are expected to be certified before end of 2005.
  • We have a commitment about to be put in place for another 500 HSPM certifications in the Asia Pacific region by September 2006.
  • We have another commitment about to be signed for 1000 trained implementers and/or assessors by September 2006 in the Asia Pacific Region.
  • We have an 8 unit mega booth, about 640 square feet, again in the Taitronics Tradeshow, it will be one of the 4 largest booths in the show on two major walk ways. It will have NSAI, CED, DNV, ECCB, CTECCB as a minimum in the booth with major marketing going on. We are planning to set up 2 or 3 large LCD monitors with streaming video marketing material.
  • We have 2 industry sponsored seminars being presented at the Taitronics show, one on ECMP and the other on HSPM.
  • We have been asked by the "Electronics & Product Innovation Hong Kong Productivity Council" to present the HSPM Training in Hong Kong and Main Land China as soon as we can.
  • Once this is done we will also be in a position to assist CEPRE with assessment training and accreditation.