The world of electronics grows and evolves at a breakneck pace. On a seemingly daily basis, new electronic gadgets hit the market – the tech-savvy consumer is inundated with choices for faster home computers, powerful smartphones, and more visually stunning TVs; these examples only scratch the surface of the ever-changing landscape of electronic devices.
This process of continual growth and discovery seems clearly beneficial for all; there is, however, an unspoken corollary to the unfettered progress made in electronics: the specter of obsolescence looms large, relegating the old, broken, and tragically untrendy devices to the wastebasket. As electronics have become cheaper and more commonplace, the amount of electronics waste in landfills around the world grows at a seemingly exponential rate.
To limit the ecological impact of the growing problem of “e-waste”, the European Union created the Restriction on Harmful Substances (RoHS) directive, establishing limits on the amounts of the most ecologically dangerous materials commonly used in electronics. Manufacturers who choose to “go green” take this directive to heart; however, given the complex supply chain involved in most modern manufacturing, it is sometimes difficult to ensure that all components of a device meet RoHS requirements. In these situations, RoHS auditing can provide these manufacturers with some much-needed peace of mind.