Jim: Many of the readers of the Semiconductor Packaging Blog are concerned with the “halogen-free movement”, other than www.Halogen-Free.com, where else can we find more information on the topic? Where do you find the latest news?
Tim: The IPC is about to publish their J-STD-709 “Low Halogen Standard.” That will be a very useful guideline on what parts of electronics assemblies may contain halogens and some of the potential challenges in implementing halogen-free alternatives. The IPC (www.ipc.org) also offers many technical programs geared toward green electronics and halogen-free. One such example (and an example of self-promotion) is at the APEX tradeshow at the end of March where Dr. Lasky and I will be presenting a ½ day workshop on halogen-free.
Jim: A half-day workshop demands a lot of material. I imagine the workshop must be quite in-depth, what does it consist of?
Tim: The workshop will cover some of the historical trends that have lead companies to develop “greener” and halogen-free electronics. The majority of the discussion will be about the “green” legislation around the globe and how halogen-free affects the electronics assembly process and end product reliability.
Jim: There are still holdouts for pb-free legislation. What do you say to anyone resisting the halogen-free movement?
Tim: Halogen-free is probably less about legislation than Pb-Free was. In the case of Pb-Free, the European RoHS Directive basically mandated that if you were to sell into the EU then the product had to be without Pb. For halogen-free, there are some legislative influences but the primary influence is the consumer buying response to items that are deemed more environmentally friendly. For both Pb-Free and Halogen-Free, there are very specific and very different business decisions that will determine if and how a company makes that transition.
Jim: Last words?
Tim: The “green” movement in electronics will dramatically affect the assemblers. It will be critical for them to understand how material properties will change and what they need to do to minimize the impact on assembly yields and product reliability.