In a move that reflects its leadership in green manufacturing, Dow Corning Corporation has disclosed details of its ongoing initiative to develop environmentally friendly silicon- based materials for China's electronics manufacturers. The company has successfully enabled one of China's leading power electronics module companies to stay ahead of pending environmental laws affecting the global electronics industry.
In July 2006, two European Union environmental laws -- known as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives -- will go into full effect, placing strict mandates on electronic equipment waste and banning the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and other hazardous materials in electronics sold into the market. Similar laws have been proposed in several other countries. China will implement its own RoHS regulation in March 2007.
To help customers in China prepare for the changes, Dow Corning has collaborated with companies to develop, qualify and implement compliant materials for use in electronics manufacturing. Dow Corning's Science & Technology team, working in conjunction with the company's China Application Center in Shanghai, helped one of China's leading power module manufacturers eliminate the use of solvent-based adhesives by switching to a compliant silicon-based materials solution. As part of the program, Dow Corning's team collaborated with local dispensing, measurement and packaging equipment suppliers in the South China region to integrate the new material into the customer's manufacturing process.
"As a result, our customer today can be reassured about upcoming green laws and also benefits from a highly productive turnkey manufacturing solution that delivers far greater power module performance than previous approaches," said Tom Cook, global industry executive director, Dow Corning. "The new European Union directives affect manufacturers everywhere -- a change in materials for the European market means a change in materials for all global markets. Because Dow Corning has worked diligently to monitor environmental legislation, we're better prepared to help customers ensure their products are always in compliance. We take great pride in this success -- it's the right thing to do for our industry and our planet."
Dow Corning's global approach has included tracking the development of applicable legislation, educating raw materials suppliers about the pending changes and implementing product line adjustments as needed. The work is part of the company's Product Stewardship Program under which Dow Corning continuously monitors, prepares and plans for regulatory changes affecting its business, customers and partners throughout the supply chain.