Adopted by the European Union (EU) in January 2003, the Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) is a landmark edict intent on providing a safer environment for future generations.

At present, RoHS legally applies only within the EU; however, it is fast becoming a worldwide initiative. Aware of its significance, Crown International has taken a proactive approach and announces that eight of its eleven amplifier lines currently in production as well as all of its PIP modules now meet the regulations of the RoHS directive.

The goal of RoHS is to minimize the effects of electrical and electronic equipment on the environment during their usable life and once they become waste. Specifically targeted by the directive are a number of heavy metals (lead, mercury, etc.) and certain flame-retardants, the use of which can pose potential environmental hazards after disposal. The elimination of these substances will result in more environmentally friendly recycling practices.

Larry Coburn, Crown’s senior vice president of manufacturing, had this to say regarding the company’s RoHS achievement, “Crown has always demonstrated a commitment to environmentally friendly manufacturing. Years ago, we changed our paints to solvent-free powder coating, and, more recently, changed our solder flux to eliminate the need for harsh solvents. So RoHS was a natural progression for us.”

Making the transition to RoHS compliance, however, should not be quickly dismissed as a simple feat. Coburn notes that, beginning with the design process, “we had to build everything with new lead-free processes and then validate those products to make sure that they passed performance tests. Furthermore, we had to individually contact every one of our suppliers and have them certify that their components were RoHS compliant. This alone entailed over 10,000 parts. As far as the factory was concerned, we upgraded both of our assembly lines to handle higher temperatures and new lead-free solder. We also worked for over a year in advance with dedicated resources to make this transition a smooth one, and spent considerable time with many recognized consultants and our automotive group to ensure success. A lot of effort was required to update our processes to comply, but given the purpose of the RoHS initiative, we here at Crown unanimously considered it a worthwhile undertaking.”

A full list of Crown’s RoHS-compliant product lines can be found on the Web at: www.crownaudio.com/pdf/RoHS-compliance-letter.pdf