25 Sep 2017
Automotive hardware design is a lucrative area for mechanical engineering professionals – but fraught with environmental compliance management issues. As well as GADSL and the international material data system, there’s also the ELV (end of life vehicle) directive.
Like the RoHS and WEEE compliance schemes, ELV restricts the use of four toxic metals – lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium. However, the EU now realizes there are certain applications where the use of these substances cannot be avoided and have relaxed the rules accordingly.
ELV includes mechanical design (Unlike the WEEE/ROHS directives, which focus on electronic and electrical equipment). For example, ELV covers the use of lead in galvanized steel; not just sheet metal, but that used for machining purposes and hot-dip galvanized steel components. These have been subcategorized and clarified.
Other exemptions cover the use of lead in vibration dampers and lead in glass and ceramics. The latter category covers VHDL design and even FPGA design, as it describes lead used in dielectric ceramic materials of capacitors, both in integrated circuits and as discrete semiconductors. Interestingly, a new exemption has been added for lead-containing thermoelectric materials used in automotive system designs which reduce CO2 emissions. New changes regarding the use of hexavalent chromium in absorption refrigerators (used in motor caravans) and mercury in lamps were also described.
In many cases, existing exemption dates have simply been shifted, or wording changed. In others, the changes are more significant. We at Enventure Technologies offer a wide range of services to the auto industry, including data cleansing solutions to aid ELV compliance management.