Lead Free Assembly Guideline - Version 3.0
The General Purpose Lead Free (GPLF) assembly system guideline was originally developed in 2004 with a minor revision added in 2005. The aim of the document was to produce a handbook that would assist system integrators/ electronics producers and their supply chain in developing Pb-Free manufacturing solutions that meet required levels of reliability while complying with forthcoming environmental legislation.
The guideline has not been revised since 2005 and is in urgent need of updating. The proposed Guideline – 3rd Edition Project is therefore aimed at making the document more relevant to the current challenges and issues faced by the industry.
The General Purpose Lead Free (GPLF) assembly system guideline was originally developed in 2004 with a minor revision added in 2005. The aim of the document was to produce a handbook that would assist system integrators/ electronics producers and their supply chain in developing Pb-Free manufacturing solutions that meet required levels of reliability while complying with forthcoming environmental legislation. As very few official standards on Pb-Free electronics existed at the time, and subsequently a variety of solutions were being considered, the guideline was particularly successful in highlighting ‘industry preferences’ as highlighted by members of HDPUG. Consequently the original document proved very popular amongst the whole of the electronics supply base, and download counts of the then free publicly available version far exceeded any other visits to the HDPUG web site throughout 2004 and 2005.
Although environmental legislation came into force in 2006 requiring producers to use Pb Free solder in the manufacture of PCBs, this legislation was not universally applicable to all electronic product types and in particular excluded applications required to meet high reliability performance crtieria. The evolution of the electronics manufacturing supply chain to meet the high volume demand for Pb Free product markets is now resulting in component supply issues for exempt areas putting presure on such applications to transition to Pb Free. The revised guideline will focus on these transition issues and provide guidance based on industry experience to date coupled with research, development and qualification findings from activities within HDP user group as well as published data within the industry.
Team members will be invited to provide input for the guideline from their own experiences and areas of expertise. An editorial team will be formed to capture relevant inputs and generate the content of the guideline. The completed draft guideline will be distributed to team members initially and subsequently to all HDPUG members for review and comments prior to becoming publicly available.
It is proposed to form a new Lead Free Guideline team with the objectives of generating a 3rd edition of the guideline. The guideline will identify/ review current Pb- Free related preferred practises. In addition, recommendations generated from recent HDPUG projects and any relevant publicly released research data from within the industry will be considered. Lessons learnt from volume manufacturing since the introduction of RoHS and other legislation over the last 2 – 3 years will also be included. The exact scope of the guideline needs to be agreed among the participating team members, although some emphasis should be placed on processes to support the manufacture of higher reliability product types that are not yet legally required to be Pb-Free. Possible other considerations may be requirements from Medical, Aerospace and Automotive applications.