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IPC-- Association Connecting Electronics Industries® has released a new market research study, "Issues and Outlook for Lead-Free Electronics in Military and Aerospace Applications." This study examines the current and future state of lead-free usage in high-reliability applications.
“Many manufacturers today must depend on a dual supply chain to accommodate both leaded and lead-free processes,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “The study finds that maintaining dual processes, along with the growing scarcity of some leaded components, adds extra costs. This state of economic inefficiency is a burden on the industry,” Starr added.
The study examines the use of reballing lead-free assemblies in order to meet high-reliability requirements, and it estimates the average costs that this workaround typically adds to board production. It also estimates the price differential of scarce components and identifies the tipping points at which the industry can be expected to go fully lead free. These tipping points and other indicators are the basis for a 10-year forecast of the ratio of tin/lead to lead-free solder consumption, both worldwide and in North America.
In the end, the growing cost differential between leaded materials and components will force a shift to lead-free electronics in high-reliability applications. The study provides a look at how manufacturers are coping with these problems today and how this trend will affect the industry in the future.
"Issues and Outlook for Lead-Free Electronics in Military and Aerospace Applications" is available for sale at www.ipc.org/lead-free-electronics-report. The cost is $250 for IPC members and $500 for nonmembers.
IPC is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,600 member companies 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. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.