The variety of product labeling standards set forth, or under consideration, by organizations such as the Electronics Components Industry Association (ECIA), Electronics Components Association (ECA), Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JDEC), Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA), now part of TechAmerica, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) present additional labeling challenges.
Among these are:
- CEA-556: Outer Shipping Container Bar Code Label Standard
- CEA-556C: Shipping and Receiving Transaction Bar Code Label Standard
- CEA-621A: Consumer Electronics Group Product and Packaging Bar Code Standard for Consumer Electronics
- CEA-706: Requirements for Using 2D Machine Readable Symbols for Marking and Identifying Electronic Components
Beyond these standards in electronics, global supply chain labeling demands to meet guidelines, standards, and regulations are increasing at a rapid pace in almost all industries. In the field of electronics, which crosses over with peripheral industries such as chemicals and consumer goods, evolving labeling standards and regulations, sooner than later, will require enterprise-wide labeling solutions in response to corporate concerns about risk mitigation and consumer safety.
Hewlett-Packard recently acknowledged it “maintains information on about 240 chemicals that could be in electronics parts but are not regulated, so it knows where the chemicals are being used in case they end up restricted by laws.”
With so many chemicals used in the manufacturing of electronics, and the increasing regulations in the chemical industry such as the Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication (GHS), electronics companies may have to address the associated challenges of labeling chemicals accurately. But all point to an unmistakable pattern: globalization, environmental concerns, chemical substance monitoring and control, counterfeit prevention, industry regulations, customer responsiveness, best practices, supply chain transparency, data standards, and the need for commonly understood product labeling are all critical factors in the smooth operation of a reliable global supply chain.
This trend can be temporarily avoided or delayed, but inevitably the industry is facing a future where partners and consumers will demand to know more about a product’s origins, contents, and whereabouts.
The following regulatory initiatives are admittedly environmentally focused. As such, what are the implications for quality enterprise barcodes tied to core applications? These directives, rules and regulations include:
- The RoHS Regulation (Directive 2002/95/EC) and RoHS II: EU Member States shall ensure that new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market does not contain any of the six banned substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), in quantities exceeding maximum concentration values.
- The WEEE Directive: Together with the RoHS Directive, WEEE sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods.
- The ErP Directive2009/125/EC (Formerly EuP): This European directive establishes a framework under which manufacturers of energy-using products (EuP) will, at the design stage, be obliged to reduce the energy consumption and other negative environmental impacts that occur during the product’s life cycle.
- The Packaging Directive: This directive aims to harmonize national measures in order to prevent or reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment. It contains provisions on the prevention of packaging waste, on the re-use of packaging and on the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
- The CE Mark: This is a mandatory conformance mark on many products placed on the market in Europe to ensure the product conforms to EC directives.
- IPC-1752: This is an Institute for Printed Circuits materials declaration management standard for material declaration forms and electronic data exchange formats to facilitate electronic reporting for suppliers and customers along the electronics supply chain.
- The Electronic Industry Code of Conduct: This is a set of best practices adopted and implemented by some of the world’s major electronics and telecommunications brands and their suppliers to implement a single sup- ply chain social responsibility code of conduct in the sector.
- Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM): GSCM has been adopted as a proactive strategy by leading electronics industry companies, including Dell, HP, IBM, Motorola, Sony, Panasonic, NEC, Fujitsu, and Toshiba. It represents a proactive approach for improving the environmental performance of processes and products in accordance with the requirements of environmental regulations.
The information required by these rules, directives, guidelines and regulations is not going to be managed at a desk using a notepad and a three-drawer manual filing cabinet system. Not, at least, for electronics manufacturers who hope to survive and thrive in this second decade of the 21st century. Electronic data systems tied to product labeling solutions are going to capture, follow, measure, evaluate, track, and monitor the required information. For a long time to come, standards-based traditional and 2D barcodes will indisputably remain at the center of establishing and managing a product’s identity and all of its various characteristics.
Stay tuned for Part IV of An Imperative for the Electronics Industry, where you can get more insight into how Enterprise Labeling Solutions can provide answers to a multitude of supply chain labeling challenges, and leverage the electronics industry to the next level. Also, to find out more about how Enterprise Labeling Solutions intersect with business drivers to impact the performance and overall success of your business, view the recently released report on Key Business Drivers for labeling in your global supply chain.
About the author:
Joe Longo is Electronics Industry Specialist with Loftware and has been working with Loftware enterprise customers in the electronics industry for over seven years. His customers include some of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world: Jabil Circuits, Flextronics, Celestica, Kemet, Plexus, GE and more. Highly knowledgeable about the key issues most EMS manufacturers are facing today, he provides in-depth studies and recommendations to electronics manufacturers on solutions to their labeling requirements. Email: email@example.com.