Chemical product testing at the VDE Institute
VDE
2018-03-15 page 534 0

Chemical product safety and sustainability

Environmental protection goals and substance-related statutory requirements are in force worldwide. They form the foundations that manufacturers and distributing companies must comply with during product development.

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Stephanie Werner
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At the same time, sustainability of electrical products is significantly important, in addition to reducing and preventing pollutants. Furthermore, the energy consumption, the choice of materials during product design and the manufacturing and recycling processes are crucial for a product’s CO2 emissions during its life cycle.

With the VDE Testing and Certification Institute, you have a trustworthy, reliable and experienced partner at your side, with which you can put your product on a safe and successful course.

Our service offerings

The VDE Institute test products for REACH substance prohibitions

REACH

The European chemicals legislation, REACH (1907/2006/EC), governs the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals.

The VDE Institute test products for REACH substance prohibitions

The European chemicals legislation, REACH (1907/2006/EC), governs the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals.

In § 33, the directive contains a candidate list of substances of very high concern or SVHC. It is managed and updated by the EU. Any supplier’s product that contains a candidate list substance in a concentration greater than 0.1 percent (w/w) by weight must provide the customer with information about the product, e.g. the name of the SVHC substance.

According to the ECJ’s ruling, the individual products that make up the item must be separately evaluated. Each “item” (e.g. electronic product) consists of several components, which are also deemed an item. If the components contain more than 0.1% of a SVHC substance, it must be reported in the entire item. If the total amount of a SVHC substance exceeds one ton per year, the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) must be informed.

The VDE Institute assists manufacturers and importers in determining the substances from the SVHC candidate list and creates a detailed study report. You are provided with the information within a short period of time, and with the usual premium quality, since the studies are conducted using the products alone, without the aid of additional information, such as product-specific documentation or information from suppliers.

Substance prohibitions according to REACH, Annex XVII
Substance prohibitions on 104 substances; such as nickel in jewelry, PAK or phthalate; were adopted from the former 76/769/EU directive.
As an extension to this, the EU introduced a threshold value for carcinogenic PAK, 1 mg/kg for consumer products, and 0.5 mg/kg for toys. Proven compliance with the requirements is an integral part of the VDE mark. As such, you can sell your product to the best of your knowledge, and your customers can safely use it.

The following substances are part of the carcinogenic PAK family:

  • Benzo[a]pyrene
  • Benzo[e]pyrene
  • Benzo[a]anthracene
  • Chrysene
  • Benzo[b]fluoranthene
  • Benzo[j]fluoranthene
  • Benzo[k]fluoranthene
  • Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene

Substances requiring approval according to REACH, Annex XIV
Other than in approved, exceptional cases, substances that are listed in Annex XIV of REACH may no longer be used for production in Europe.

These include, for instance, the following substances:

  • 1,2-Dichloroethan
  • HBCD (Hexabromocyclododecane)
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
The VDE Institute assists in identifying restricted substances

RoHS Conformity

The RoHS directive 2011/65/EC on restricting certain hazardous substances (Restriction of Hazardous Substance) requires a declaration of conformity and CE mark.

The VDE Institute assists in identifying restricted substances

The RoHS directive 2011/65/EC on restricting certain hazardous substances (Restriction of Hazardous Substance) requires a declaration of conformity and CE mark.

The conformity evaluation process is the responsibility of the manufacturer and includes the creation of the required technical documentation along with internal production control that complies with Module A of Resolution 768/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council on a common regulatory framework for the marketing of products. The CE mark is issued according to the general rules set forth in Article 30 of ordinance (EC) 765/2008. It is subject to market monitoring. Severe sanctions may be issued if abused.

The following products are affected by the restrictions:

  • Machines
  • Lighting products
  • Electric tools
  • Entertainment technology, information and telecommunications technology devices
  • Household devices
  • Industrial and non-industrial monitoring and control systems
  • Medical devices
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment

On July 2019, the directive’s requirements will then apply to nearly every electronic device.

Many of the user-related exceptions are time-limited and will only be extended individually upon request.

The restricted substances include

  • Lead and lead compounds
  • Cadmium and cadmium compounds
  • Mercury and mercury compounds
  • Sechswertiges Chrom
  • Two types of brominated flame retardants (PBB and PBDE)

Starting in 2019, short-chained phthalates DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP will be included in the RohS directive.

Assessing products and processes in the supply chain
Analytical processes provide information on whether there are substances that are prohibited by law. In conjunction with manufacturer declarations and quality assurance agreements, these test certificates within the supply chain serve to verify a device’s RoHS compliance.

Analysis on homogeneous tools includes low-cost and prompt testing for the presence of the regulated substance via an overview method (screening). In case of a positive result, its exact contents are verified using a specific process.

We offer you an integrated and reliable assessment of RoHS conformity as part of product testing and certification. This helps immensely in achieving legal certainty. To do so, use the following options:

Assess the manufacturer’s documentation (Level 1)
Verify the documents that certify RoHS compliance in the supply chain (such as manufacturer declarations, quality assurance agreements, analytical results, general terms and conditions) and create a final declaration of compliance.

Product testing/analysis (Level 2)
Analysis on components and devices and create a RoHS confirmation of conformity for your product.

Product testing/analysis with conformity monitoring (Level 3)
Analysis on components and devices with yearly conformity monitoring and the issuance of a RoHS certificate for your product, including use of the VDE RoHS label.

Appraisal according to the IECQ process (Hazardous Substance Process Management)
We appraise the management processes for RoHS compliance as per IECQ regulations and, upon the fulfillment of conditions, confirm that the company in question has developed and implemented a process management system for avoiding hazardous substances for the products it manufactures and/or markets.

The VDE online database improves your market presence
The products that we certify as RoHS-compliant are published on our website at www.vde.com/zertifikate. Manufacturers, retailers and buyers regard RoHS compliance as an integral part of selecting a product. Therefore, you can use our offering on RoHS evaluation of products and their entry into the VDE Institute’s information platform website, which is well-known in the field of electrical engineering.

Our laboratory is one of the handful in the world that is accredited according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 regarding global RoHS test standard IEC 62321 and has played a crucial role in standardizing this IEC test procedure. As such, the VDE environmental laboratory is an important institution for chemical studies worldwide, including the VDE environmental laboratory in China (Foshan).

China RoHS
An expansion of the China RoHS has been taking place since July of 2016. It applies to all EEP (electrical & electronic products). This definition of the product scope complies with EU RoHS (DC < 1500V & AC < 1000V). The parts of a product that contains the 6 RoHS substances in excess of the threshold value in homogeneous material must be marked with an X in the material documentation and the other with an O. Devices that do not contain any substances must be marked with a green “e”. If substances are present, the products must be labeled with the “environmental protection use period” product life cycle, the date of manufacture, and the material details in the product documentation.

The VDE Institute performs market analyses on customer-specific requirements

Material declaration

Material analysis according to customer-specific material lists and requirements

The VDE Institute performs market analyses on customer-specific requirements

Material analysis according to customer-specific material lists and requirements

The VDE Institute performs a material declaration at the level of the homogeneous materials or at the product level. Customer-specific requirements, such as substance and material lists along with legal foundations, are the basis for the tests. We use the “VDE MaDE” software tool to create material declarations in machine-readable form according to IPC175X as you need it.

Benefits for you

We provide you with information on full product composition with regard to your requirements in a short time and with premium quality. But we do not need any preliminary information to do so – a product provided to the VDE Institute is sufficient. This product information will allow you to obtain the qualification for market readiness. Furthermore, you can use the results during supplier evaluations and draw conclusions about their quality. We can evaluate your entire production process and even incorporate the management system.

DXC technology Logo

Compliance Data Exchange (CDX) System

With CDX, DXC Technology offers manufacturers a material data system for the entire supply chain.

DXC technology Logo

With CDX, DXC Technology offers manufacturers a material data system for the entire supply chain.

After your products are tested and analyzed in the VDE Testing and Certification Institute’s chemical laboratory, the results can be transferred to DXC Technology’s Compliance Data Exchange (CDX) system . Importing into CDX is quick and easy via the IPC 1752 format, in which the VDE’s test results will be provided to you. The CX offers a communications platform through which you can share VDE test results with your suppliers and/or customers. Furthermore, additional analyses can be performed or several test results can be aggregated to an end product. In CDX, you can also review your product’s compliance with many different environmental regulations, such as conflict minerals, EVL, HKC, REACH, RoHS or WEEE, and the results can be sent through the entire supply chain.

In addition to creating the material declaration in IPC (*.xml) format, we can also handle data maintenance in the CDX database for products we test on behalf of the customer.

A tester at the VDE Institute checks the recyclability of electrical products

Recyclability

Calculating product-related recycling quotas

A tester at the VDE Institute checks the recyclability of electrical products

Calculating product-related recycling quotas

Our tests provide information on your product’s recyclability. In this manner, we document compliance with product disassembly requirements to meet certain recycling quotas. Furthermore, we test mandatory disassembly steps on your product for the removal of critical materials. At the same time, evaluating the individual products provides information on the entire product category’s recyclability.

Our service offering:

  • Evaluating your product’s recyclability at the level of recycling-friendly units as per IEC/TR 62635:2012-10
  • Checking the plastic part’s mark as per ISO 11469:2000
  • Calculating the product’s recyclability and evaluating it according to the guidelines of the WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) for optimized, minimal and regulatory disassembly
  • Calculating recyclability according to EPEAT

Our documentation provides you with additional information on how you can improve your product’s structure with respect to ErP Directive 2009/125/EC.

The VDE Institute performs life cycle assessments (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessments

The VDE Institute creates a holistic balancing (life cycle assessment or LCA) of electrical products with a focus on the CO2 value (carbon footprint).

The VDE Institute performs life cycle assessments (LCA)

The VDE Institute creates a holistic balancing (life cycle assessment or LCA) of electrical products with a focus on the CO2 value (carbon footprint).

At the same time, we can create product-specific CO2 balances. The report is created according to PAS2050 and ISO 14040. And the foundation for it is Directive 2009/125/EC “Establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products” (ecodesign directive).

We evaluate all phases of the product levels: manufacturing, transport, use and recycling. This provides you with approaches for improving the product structure according to ecodesign guidelines. Future product generations can be improved through comparisons of many different product concepts. Furthermore, this comprehensive approach allows for a comparison of many different product locations, packages and transport options.

You can use our results for marketing activities and to support your company strategy on environmentally friendly products. This is because VDE-tested products indicate safety and open markets.

The VDE Institute performs error analyses

Error analysis and additional tests

The VDE Institute assists in analyzing emerging electrical or mechanical errors via chemical analysis studies.

The VDE Institute performs error analyses

The VDE Institute assists in analyzing emerging electrical or mechanical errors via chemical analysis studies.

As such, existing problems can be traced back to the level of the materials used. For instance, this gives you an additional argumentation basis for disputes with suppliers and customers.

At the same time, our focus is on the following possible problems:

  • Aging plastics
  • Defective solder joints
  • Flux residues
  • Verifying material identity
  • Corrosion
  • Material defects
  • Contamination

We are your reliable partner in many other Areas:

  • Researching materials that come into contact with food (LFGB requirements)
  • Quality check for test water
  • Leaching tests for nickel (Ni) and heavy metals (Cadmium Cd, Lead Pb etc) from electronics and consumer goods


 

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