As the Quality & Compliance Manager for thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics, my department receives many requests from our engineering plastics customers for declarations of regulatory compliance to REACH, RoHS, Conflict Minerals etc. As we fulfill those requests we look for ways to improve our quality and service. We also believe it is important to share knowledge to help the growing audience of engineered plastics users. On one recent occasion during our due diligence process, for a requirement on General Purpose ABS our quality team found that all of the components used to produce GP ABS are not traceable; therefore the material manufacture was unable to provide a declaration of compliance for the product. However, the story for the ABS customer has a happy ending. As a distributor of engineering plastic stock shapes we work with numerous manufactures. As a result of those relationships we were able to provide a virgin grade ABS in which all elements of the product were traceable so the customer was able to get an ABS plastic that met the REACH and RoHS regulatory requirement.
If you research materials online you may not know if a plastic like ABS will meet specific requirements. The ABS listed may come from a variety of manufacturers and may or may not be a virgin grade. So if you know up front when REACH, RoHS, or other regulatory requirements must be met you can ask your distributor the question before you buy. In the ABS example, by confirming compliance requirements needed for our customers at the quoting stage we are able to ensure a virgin grade ABS is quoted and that the manufacturer could supply the declaration of compliance for the product because the components used to produce the Virgin grade product are traceable.
You may not always need a REACH compliant material, but when you do, having a working relationship with a distributor can be a valuable asset. As a distributor we have access to materials from many different manufacturers and with a long history in engineering plastics we understand the importance of meeting REACH and RoHS regulatory requirements. We are happy to assist you in sourcing engineering plastics and making sure you get the specific requirements including REACH, RoHS, Conflict Minerals and many more that you need to be competitive in the global market.
More About REACH and RoHS
REACH is a regulation of EU, adopted to improve the protection of human health and environment from risks that can be posed by chemicals. https://echa.europa.eu
RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. It is an EU Directive that restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products. There are currently 10 restricted substances on this list that include lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl (DIBP). http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/harmonised-standards/restriction-of-hazardous-substances/
Conflict Minerals Rule a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act: The aim of this act is to cut off funding sources for armed rebel groups in the DRC. It requires manufacturers producing products that contain certain minerals to conduct supply chain audits and disclose if those minerals originated in the DRC or adjoining companies. https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/dodd-frank/speccorpdisclosure.shtml
Quality & Compliance Manager