Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2006

Learning from the Migration to Lead-free Solder

Richard Ciocci
THe Pennsylvania State University

Michael Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Purpose of this paper - The purpose of this paper is to characterize the motivations used in to migrating to lead-free solder by providing examples and directions for those making the material change.
Design/methodology/approach - This work achieves its objective of identifying which electronic industry actions towards lead-free soldering have been successful and why. The research reported the various motivating factors considered in adopting lead-free electronics. To that end, the authors researched industry literature and discussed approaches with various companies and agencies. The scope of this paper is largely the board-component level soldering process and companies involved in the international electronics industry.
Findings - The motivation to migrate to lead-free solder has been and continues to be multifaceted. Issues include regulatory, commercial, and technical. Processing with lead-free solder is successful, so the electronics industry's move towards environmentally compatible processes will meet regulated dates for change.
Practical implications - A company can learn how to incorporate environmental improvement principles resulting from the migration to lead-free solder. Using that migration as a case study, the company can realize additional benefits by applying these principles to other product lines. Those interested in developing environmentally friendly products and processes can adopt the lessons that this paper identifies. Incorporation of lead-free techniques, rather than resistance to change, is the result of adopting the lessons.
Originality/value - The paper presents a synopsis of the electronic industry's migration to lead free products and processes. It compares motivations for change that other studies have not compared. Manufacturers searching for direction and example to meet waste minimization goals will find the paper useful in providing such.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.


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