ADTRAN, Inc. is a leading global provider of networking and communications equipment with a portfolio of more than 1,400 different high-speed network access devices used in today's telecommunications networks. Widely deployed by carriers and small and midsize businesses, ADTRAN solutions enable voice, data, video, and Internet communications across copper, fiber, and wireless network infrastructures. ADTRAN solutions are currently in use by every major US service provider, several global providers, and thousands of public, private and governmental organizations worldwide.
The European Union (EU) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, effective July 1, 2006, is the first to address electronic components. Similar environmental regulations are in place or will soon be adopted in a number of other countries. Today, environmental regulations pose a challenge no manufacturer can ignore, and although RoHS exempts telecommunications infrastructure equipment until 2009, ADTRAN is committed to full compliance in every market it serves.
A Strategic Approach to Compliance
ADTRAN determined that environmental compliance was essential to meeting revenue objectives in a growing number of markets. The company implemented a plan to develop the information resources and processes in the context of global compliance rather than focus on the specific data requirements for a particular user or application, for example, a buyer or engineering group.
ADTRAN identified 150 existing products critical to success in EU markets, along with 20 new products scheduled to be introduced in the RoHS deadline timeframe. These products use 6,500 unique components, including ASICs which require considerable research to identify a replacement, and a number of others that pose a sourcing challenge due to long lead times.
The company started with a pilot program to check the current compliance status of approximately 1,000 components to provide baseline data for the transition project. The data collected included:
- Current compliance and lead-free status
- Availability of a compliant replacement from the original or alternate supplier
- Compliance documentation
- Hazardous substance content, weights, and manufacturing parameters
Based on the pilot results, ADTRAN estimated 9-12 months to hire and train additional components engineers to transition every Bill of Materials (BOM)- too long to assure availability of compliant products by the deadline.
IHS Markit was very focused on our needs, and allowed us to meet product introduction schedules required from our international sales groups. We've continued this transition to RoHS compliance, and are today positioned to comply with regulations for every country we serve.
The Ideal Partner: IHS Markit RoHS Expertise
ADTRAN selected IHS Markit to collect the data for the 6,500 components to assure that design, production, delivery and sales continued with minimum disruption in the transition to RoHS compliance. Alan Ater, the Environmental Compliance Manager at ADTRAN, Inc. explains how ADTRAN came to partner with IHS Markit, "We spoke with other companies that used IHS Markit for environmental data collection projects and felt very confident that IHS Markit would meet our data quality and schedule commitments at a very competitive price."
IHS Markit maintains a dedicated component and compliance engineering staff that uses ISO-9001 Certified processes to collect, organize and deliver environmental information. To achieve the transition in six months, the project required:
- Accelerated turnaround time of 4-5 weeks for 500 high-priority parts
- Collecting data for eight groups of 500-2,000 parts with 10-12 week turnaround
During the project, ADTRAN modified the scope of work to include datasheet collection and remote data entry services to load information directly into their ERP system.
Environmental Data Elements
- RoHS Status (yes/no)
- Compliant Replacement
- Maximum Processing Temperature
- Moisture Sensitivity Level
- Tin/Lead Soldering Compatibility
- Terminal Plating Finish
- Concentration Level of Regulated Substances
- Weight of WEEE Monitored Substances
- Product Lifecycle Stage
- Certificate of Compliance
The Results: Uninterrupted Product Development for EU markets
IHS Markit achieved greater than 90% success rate for validating compliant parts, exemptions, and alternates while meeting every delivery schedule. ADTRAN completed a major first step in their global compliance initiative and today has in place the information system and processes to meet ongoing regulatory challenges in every international market.
"IHS Markit was very focused on our needs, and allowed us to meet product introduction schedules required from our international sales groups. We've continued this transition to RoHS compliance, and are today positioned to comply with regulations for every country we serve." explains Ater.
ADTRAN today has the infrastructure to support strategic compliance initiatives as it continues the transition to RoHS compliance and meet the challenges of environmental regulations in other countries.
Outsourcing the initial RoHS effort avoided delaying the project to hire and train component engineers and bought time to develop internal resources for global initiatives.
The company is ISO14001 certified and committed to being an environmentally sound supplier. It now understands the decision support information required by engineering, procurement, customer support, logistics and other departments. ADTRAN continues to develop a centralized compliance resource to address all functional workflows and data reuse.