U.S. House Approves Measure to Promote Lead-Free R&D in Milaero, Automotive, Medical


Reading time ( words)

IPC, the global trade association for the electronics industry, is applauding the U.S. House of Representatives for approving a measure that would promote research and development into the performance of lead-free electronics in high-reliability sectors such as aerospace, defense, automotive, and medical equipment.

The House this week voted 327-101 to approve an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2740), offered by Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), to “increase and decrease the defense-wide Research, Development, Test and Evaluation account by $5 million in order to support funding to develop lead-free defense electronics to ensure the defense industry can integrate cutting-edge civilian technology to meet military requirements.” The “increase-decrease” language is how Congress asks government agencies to find funds for specific requests within existing budget limits.

IPC is leading the advocacy effort to secure these funds because the aerospace, defense, and high performance (ADHP) electronics sectors remain reliant on lead-based solders and components even as the commercial sector has largely phased out the use of lead (Pb) due to human health and environmental concerns. ADHP products have more demanding performance requirements than consumer electronics because they need to perform flawlessly in harsh environments and in safety-related applications. However, to date, there has not been enough R&D on the performance and interoperability of Pb-free products in the ADHP sectors, which would be necessary to inform such a transition. DoD budget cuts within the last decade blocked a “Lead-Free Manhattan Project” from being completed, although some companies and universities continued to work on portions of the overall effort. 

IPC praised Reps. Kuster and Schneider for their leadership, as well as Reps. Pete Visclosky (D-IN), chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Ken Calvert (R-CA), ranking minority member of the subcommittee, for facilitating the amendment’s passage.

“The Department of Defense’s reliance on lead-based electronics presents serious challenges for the Armed Forces’ ability to continue to integrate cutting-edge civilian technology into the systems that help keep Americans safe,” said Rep. Kuster. “I’m proud the House adopted my amendment, which will help the DoD partner with civilian groups to develop lead-free electronics that will help our Armed Forces accomplish their important missions.”

“Without research and investment, our defense industrial base will continue to face challenges incorporating newly developed technologies, which ultimately will adversely affect our military readiness,” said Rep. Schneider.

“Leaded electronics are vital to the reliability of aerospace, defense, and other high-performance sectors,” said IPC President and CEO John Mitchell. “However, the migration of the commercial industry to lead-free electronics has introduced technical and supply-chain concerns that can only be addressed through new R&D. The R&D that the House backed this week will ensure that DoD strengthens its access to cutting-edge electronics.”

IPC and a consortium from industry and academia are also working with leaders in the U.S. Senate to secure as much as $15 million for the R&D program in 2020, with legislative action expected there in July.

About IPC

IPC is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Illinois, dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 5,400 member-company sites which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Combating ESD: The Silent Assassin in Electronics Manufacturing

09/20/2019 | Neil Sharp, JJS Manufacturing
ESD is a constant but invisible force within electronics manufacturing that can have a powerfully detrimental impact on production yield, product and product reliability, and company profitability. And as the circuitry within electronic devices continues to get faster, smaller, and more sophisticated, their sensitivity to the effects of ESD is only likely to increase.

Meet Dr. Bill Cardoso, SMT007 Columnist

09/03/2019 | I-Connect007
Dr. Bill Cardoso started his first company at age 17 in Brazil, selling it a few years later to work for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where he led research in nuclear physics to build the equipment that discovered the Higgs Boson (and the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics). After 10 years at Fermilab, he moved from Chicago to sunny San Diego to start Creative Electron in his garage in 2008.

eSMART Factory Conference 2019, Day 1

09/02/2019 | Happy Holden, I-Connect007
The recent eSMART Factory Conference in June in Dearborn, Michigan, was the second annual conference on the smart factory. SMTA described it as "A technical conference with a focus on electronics manufacturing from software systems/processes to augmented reality and smart inspection." In this article, Happy Holden gives us the highlights of the conference.



Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.