Michael Pecht ab, Tadahiro Shibutani b, Lifeng Wu c
a CALCE Electronics Products and Systems Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
b Institute of Advanced Sciences, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan c College of Information Engineering, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China
While a majority of electronic manufacturers have transitioned to lead-free materials and processes, both to comply with government legislation and to be compatible with the evolving supply-chain infrastructure, there are still many electronic manufacturers who are not using lead-free technologies, because they produce products that are either currently exempted or excluded from the government-imposed restrictions. Nevertheless, at some time, these manufacturers will need to have a lead-free transition plan, which includes compliance identification of the materials used, supplier compliance, process updates, and reliability assessment and qualification to the targeted application. This paper first briefly overviews the state of the knowledge as it relates to the reliability of lead-free solders. Then the paper provides a guide to help the planning team to assess the reliability issues needed for scheduling and resource identification to ensure a cost-effective and timely transition to lead free products. The focus is on a risk matrix developed to help companies determine the general category of risk that they will encounter if they are currently exempt or excluded from making lead-free electronics.This article is available through the publisher or to CALCE Consortium Members for personal review.