Every so often, I get to work on a project that I find utterly rewarding.
The RoHS article in this month’s issue of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly was one such project.
Titled “Was RoHS Worth It?“, it attempts to recap the chaos and angst that preceded the ban of lead in Europe (and the de facto phase outs elsewhere). It a real eye-opener how even the most hardened anti-RoHS researchers came around to seeing value from the experience. There was broad agreement, even among those who felt the fears over lead were overblown, that much was learned from the process, not the least of which is that no matter how much we have invested in one technology, there are likely others that are better.
As Dr. Iver Anderson told me, “You could say RoHS banning electronics really is a glimpse of the future. Because it won’t be the last time.”
To me, that quote distills in two sentences what I hope to achieve from embarking on this retrospective: a record that the researchers and engineers of the future can use as a benchmark for future broad-based transitions.
I am grateful to Karl Seelig, Jim McElroy, Paul Vianco, Dr. Carol Handwerker, Tetsuro Nishimura, Kay Nimmo, Iver Anderson, Dave Hillman and Dr. Richard Coyle for their invaluable help.