OSHA to Post Injury Records

On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final regulation that will require employers to submit to OSHA their injury and illness records electronically. OSHA will then post those records on the internet. The regulation also includes provisions to prohibit employers from discouraging employees from reporting injuries. The final regulation is available on OSHA’s website and will take effect January 1, 2017.

IPC filed comments expressing concern with the proposed rule, stating that the proposed rule would have unintended consequences and fail to improve workplace safety.

 Under the proposed rule, companies with more than 250 employees will report annually, instead of the proposed quarterly reporting. However, companies with 250 or more employees must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries, which includes all manufacturing sectors, must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.

 Under the whistleblower protections of Section 11(c), OSHA is granting itself the authority to issue a citation where they believe an employer has suppressed an employee from reporting an injury, regardless of whether an employee has filed a whistleblower claim. This directly contradicts the statute. This will be the mechanism for OSHA to go after safety incentive programs as OSHA believes these suppress employees from coming forward.

 

 

European Union Conflict Minerals Legislation Negotiations Continue; OECD Moves Toward Broader Scope

EU trialogue (EU Council, Commission and Parliament) negotiations on conflict minerals continued with discussions during a May 11 meeting in Strasbourg, France. The trialogue continues to wrestle with downstream vs. upstream and mandatory vs. voluntary due diligence. In an effort to reach compromise, the Dutch Presidency is pushing a compromise based on a mandatory system for upstream, taking into account volumes, but other Member States are still reluctant. EU negotiators have agreed on the recognition of industry schemes and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development) standards.

The OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains was held May 10-12 in Paris and included such topics as companies addressing due diligence on the worst forms of child labor in their supply chain, and applicability of OECD due diligence guidance to other mineral supply chains. An NGO statement welcomed the OECD Forum and called on OECD members to demonstrate their commitment to the OECD Guidance and to ensure responsible and transparent mineral sourcing. IPC Director of Regulatory Affairs Fern Abrams represented IPC members at the Forum and participated in a panel discussion on costs and cost sharing of conflict minerals compliance.

On May 12, the Dutch government launched their Public-Private-Partner initiative on conflict minerals. The underlying objective is to address the issue of conflict minerals (3TGs) and to enable their responsible sourcing.

IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2016: Industry Leaders Advocate for a Pro-Manufacturing Policy Agenda

By John Hasselmann, Vice President of Government Relations

IPC places a high priority on educating government officials about key policy issues of importance to the electronics industry.

That’s why top executives from leading electronics companies gathered in Washington, D.C. recently for “IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2016.” During this two-and-a-half day event, executives met with members of Congress, Administration officials and other leaders to discuss policies that affect their companies, including:

  • Robust funding for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a system of public-private R&D partnerships established by Congress with IPC’s support in 2014;
  • Corporate tax reform, including an increase in the R&D tax credit, a permanent extension of bonus depreciation, and a reduction in corporate marginal tax rates; and
  • A balanced, fact-based approach to regulation, including pending rules on toxic substances and overtime pay.

IPC members met with key policymakers including:

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has a leadership role on tax policy;
  • Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy Trade, who has a role in U.S. “conflict minerals” policy;
  • Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, who is keeping an eye on the overtime pay issue;
  • Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees environmental regulations;
  • Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), an influential member of the Senate Appropriations and Commerce, Science Transportation committees; and
  • Luis Jimenez, Counselor to the U.S. Trade Representative, who briefed us on pending international trade agreements.

With 2016 being an election year, IPC is closely watching the presidential and congressional elections to determine what impact they may have on policy making in the coming years. During IMPACT, executives met with surrogates for four of the leading presidential campaigns to hear how their candidates might support our industry. We heard from:

  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), on behalf of Senator Ted Cruz;
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), on behalf of business executive Donald Trump;
  • Mr. Kris Balderston, on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and
  • Former Rep. Vin Weber, on behalf of Governor John Kasich.

The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) was invited but did not provide a surrogate.

During IMPACT, IPC also recognized two members of Congress with the “IPC Government Impact Award.” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) was honored for his advocacy of smart, fact-based environmental regulations and export controls; and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) was honored for his leadership on the NNMI and environmental regulations.

In addition to group meetings with key leaders, IPC also arranged individual meetings for member company executives and their hometown elected officials.

Altogether, IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2016 was another big step forward in strengthening the electronics industry’s presence in the halls of government. Developing long-term relationships with key policymakers is one of the most effective ways we can advocate for policies that will enhance the success of our industry.

On behalf of all the IPC staff who put this event together, thanks to all who participated!

Please make a note on your calendars to participate in IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2017 during the week of May 8, 2017, and let us know if you have any comments or questions.

View IMPACT 2016 photo gallery.

View IMPACT 2016 video.

 

IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2016: Building Tomorrow’s Advanced Manufacturing Economy

John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO, extends a special invitation to IPC-member company executives to attend IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2016: Building Tomorrow’s Advanced Manufacturing Economy, April 28–20 in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

IPC Concerned By EPA Fact Sheet on TSCA CDR Reporting

Under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, printed circuit board manufacturers who send byproducs, such as wastewater treatment sludge, spent etchant or spent baths, for recycling may be required to report under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule.

EPA recently published a fact sheet on reporting requirements for the printed circuit board industry.  Members are advised to read the fact sheet very carefully.  Prior to publication of the fact sheet, IPC submitted informal comments to the EPA and asked for a meeting to discuss how the fact sheet could be improved to provide clearer advice to the industry particularly as regards reporting of Chemical Substances of Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products and Biological Materials (UVCBs).

IPC and EPA were unable to schedule a meeting to discuss IPC’s concerns with the guidance, prior to the release of the fact sheet. IPC’s letter to EPA outlines our concerns.

PCB manufacturers are advised to review our CDR guidance and TSCA CDR website in addition to the new fact sheet.

For more information, please contact Fern Abrams, director of regulatory affairs and government relations, at fabrams@ipc.org or +1 (202) 661-8092.

How do you value communication?

IPC President and CEO John Mitchell discusses the value of razor-sharp communication and how it puts industry leaders and innovators on the path to success.

 

 

 

Product Compliance Requires Supply Chain Transparency

By Tord Dennis, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Changes to the RoHS, REACH, and conflict minerals regulations make the need for supply chain transparency more crucial than ever. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in 2015 that the 0.1% threshold for notifying SVHCs ( Substances of Very High Concern) in articles applies to “each of the articles incorporated as a component of a complex product” and not to the entire article. Companies that file with the SEC must annually determine and report the sources of tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (3TG) in their products under section 1502 of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Suppliers cannot afford to claim “confidentiality” or ignorance to the material and substance make-up of the products they sell that become part of another company’s product. Leary of public backlash and/or legal action, some OEMs are taking drastic measures such as discontinuing business with suppliers who do not give them the information they need in a timely manner.

Full material declaration (FMD) is quickly becoming the “gold standard” data requirement for an OEM to accurately assess the risk of restricted materials in a product. This means that suppliers must deliver the complete material and substance breakdown of their component/product in a manner that puts the least amount of impact on their core business activities and enables the OEM to collect and aggregate similar information from other suppliers. IPC has developed a family of standards dedicated to this task. The IPC-175x family of standards (e.g., IPC-1752A for material and substance declaration and IPC-1755 for conflict minerals) establishes a standard reporting format for data exchange between supply chain participants. It defines the information that most companies need to collect in order to prove compliance. It also specifies an XML-schema which enables more efficient and effective exchange of data by enterprise data systems.

Automating the exchange of FMD data is made simpler with the adoption of the IPC-175x family of standards but other critical elements must be in place to achieve success. The OEM needs to build a product stewardship process that enables them to efficiently collect and analyze the FMD data from their supply chain. This means they must have executive level support and a well thought out implementation plan for enterprise software to manage this data. The OEM and the supplier must commit to being partners in this venture; “no data means no business” for all parties involved. A statement must be included in supplier contracts that require documentation pursuant to any government’s legal requirements regarding restricted materials and substances.

To learn more, attend technical conference session, S03 at IPC APEX EXPO. I will present a paper titled, “Best Practices for Product Environmental Data Collection,” on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm. To learn more or register for IPC APEX EXPO, visit www.ipcapexexpo.org.

 

IPC Opens Office in Brussels, Belgium

Office to provide EU member support, standards development and educational offerings 

IPC is pleased to announce the official opening of a new office in Brussels, Belgium. The office will deliver the full suite of IPC products and services, including member support, standards development activities, educational opportunities, and more to all members in Europe.

Over the next several months, Director of Operations, Aleš Šinkovec and his staff will be reaching out to member companies in Europe to share new initiatives and opportunities to participate in Europe-focused activities and events.

“Having an office and an enthusiastic staff in Brussels, led by Aleš, is a very important step in our ongoing mission to deliver value and provide support to our nearly 550 member companies in Europe,” said Sanjay Huprikar, IPC vice president of member success. “We are excited about new initiatives in standards development, the launch of a European electronics council and public affairs efforts that we will be announcing and sharing with our members in the coming weeks.”

Adds John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO, “Over the years, IPC has made great strides to become an association serving the needs of a global industry. We believe strongly in supporting the European electronics market and will work to support our European members to achieve competitive excellence and financial success.”

The IPC office in Brussels is located at Boulevard du Souverain 280, 1160 Brussels (Auderghem) Belgium;
+32 (0)2 740 22 35. For more information on IPC’s office in Brussels, contact Sanjay Huprikar at SanjayHuprikar@ipc.org.

Preventing Production Defects and Product Failures

By Dr. Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D., D.Sc. CEO & Principal, H-Technologies Group & Board Trustee & Distinguished Adj. Professor, Case Western Reserve University

Under today’s manufacturing and market environment, the effort to maximize production yield, reduce cost and assure product reliability is becoming increasingly important to a company’s competitiveness. Considering the new and anticipated developments in packaging and assembly and with the goal of achieving high yield and reliability in mind, the “how-to” prevent prevailing production defects and product reliability issues through an understanding of potential causes is a necessity.

On Thursday, March 17, 2016, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, professional development course (PD21) at IPC APEX EXPO will be held at the Las Vegas Conference Center. The course will address the top six production defects and issues:

  • PCB pad cratering (vs. pad lifting)
  • BGA head-on-pillow defect
  • open or insufficient solder joints
  • copper dissolution issues
  • lead-free through-hole barrel filling
  • PCB black-pad issues

The course provides a holistic overview of product reliability including the important roles of materials, processes and testing/service conditions, as well as the crucial principles behind the product reliability. The course addresses the most prevalent production issues and defects that affect yield, cost and reliability, suitable to all who are involved with or interested in SnPb and Pb-free manufacturing including designers, engineers, researchers, managers and business decision makers; also is designed for those who desire the broad-based information.

Specific defects associated with BTCs and PoPs and the reliability of BTC and PoP assembly will also be outlined.

The main topics to be covered in this course are listed below. You are most welcome to bring your questions and issues for solutions and discussions.

Main Topics:

  • Premise of production defects and product failure prevention
  • The most common production defects/ issues in lead-free assembly
  • PCB pad cratering (vs. pad lifting) — causes and solutions
  • BGA head-on-pillow defect — causes, factors, remedies
  • Open or insufficient solder Joints – different sources, best practices
  • Copper dissolution — process factors, impact on through-hole joint reliability, mitigation
  • Lead-free through-hole barrel filling — material, process and solder joint integrity
  • PCB black-pad issues – causes, remedies
  • Defects of BTC solder joints – prevention and remedies
  • Defects of PoP solder joints – prevention and remedies
  • Product reliability – principles
  • Product reliability – roles of solder joint, PCB and component considerations
  • Summary – production defects
  • Summary – product reliability

For more information on this PD course or to register, visit www.IPCAPEXEXPO.org.

 

 

IPC APEX EXPO 2016: A Global Experience

IPC APEX EXPO has always been a melting pot of education, training, and technology. In years’ past, the show has focused on delivering the latest in technical research, industry best practices, and providing networking opportunities with industry leaders. The theme of this year’s show is “Forward Thinking for Tomorrow’s Technology.” This mantra couldn’t be more appropriate as this year’s show will be looking ahead to global industry technologies and solutions.

As the electronics industry expands, global participation is needed. Not just from the community outside the United States, but for American companies to participate with their global counterparts. IPC APEX EXPO 2016, which will be held from March 13-17 in Las Vegas, will deliver this needed global focus by providing education, solutions, and opportunities.

IPC has made it a priority to increase global support for our members and the industry. In 2015 alone, IPC increased the number of standards distributed across the globe by translating standards into more than 11 different languages. As a result, there has been an increased international interest in IPC APEX EXPO, as the annual event has become a hotbed of global discussion for the electronics industry.

If this will be your first IPC APEX EXPO, then we invite you to check out the First Timers Welcome Breakfast. For our international audience, we will be hosting an International Reception. Either way, IPC APEX EXPO’s technical conference, show floor, and professional development courses are geared toward fostering an environment of international growth.

Register today or visit www.IPCAPEXEXPO.org for more information.

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