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Dynamic keeps NZ electronics on track - Willis

Dynamic keeps NZ electronics on track - Willis

New Zealand is on track to be well poised when international lead-free legislation takes effect in July 2006, world lead-free electronics expert Bob Willis said in Christchurch today.

Willis is fronting an Australasian three-day conference in Christchurch to help New Zealand and Australian companies switch from lead soldering to tin silver and copper on electronic circuit boards.

The symposium started ends today. Leading New Zealand electronics contract manufacturer, Dynamic Contract Manufacturing, has making unprecedented moves in heading the change to lead-free processing.

Dynamic Contract Manufacturing, a division of Dynamic Controls, brought Willis out from the UK to run the symposium.

Dynamic Controls is the world’s largest manufacturer of control systems for wheelchairs and scooters.

Willis has been substantially involved with lead-free electronic processing on a global scale, with expertise in introducing lead-free technology in Europe, the US and Japan.

He said at the conference in Christchurch that lead soldering in circuit boards, such as computers, was not a concern for the public or from the user point of view.

``The change is all about restricting consumer and telecommunications plant fill sites where at present the lead in leaching into water tables.

``In certain areas like Japan there are simply not enough holes in the ground to fill up. They are restricted by physical space so recycling is vital.

``So the change is fait accompli and will become law in Europe by July 2006. People have to change.

``The most common solder alloy that will be used globally will be tin, silver, copper.

``I was surprised how many electronic companies are doing so well in New Zealand and in Christchurch. Dynamic Controls is seen as leading the way in the lead-free business and they will become a source of information for the New Zealand industry.’’

Dynamic Controls chief executive John McCombe said this week’s symposium was providing the Australasian electronics industry with cutting-edge global lead-free intelligence.

``It is creating an excellent opportunity to capitalise on the changing environment and optimise operations with the new market in mind.”

The impending lead-free legislation change will have huge implications for New Zealand’s electronics industry.

Compliance with lead-free requirements is estimated to be worth $250 million to the NZ economy. But the switch to silver, tine, copper soldering could be worth up to $1.4billion to the New Zealand economy.

As one of the largest electronics companies in New Zealand, Dynamic Controls sees the initiative as an important way to support the industry and foster growth, McCombe said.

``This initiative comes at a good time for us, as, coupled with our recent restructuring and substantial investment in equipment, we are enhancing the service that we provide to our customers.’’

The Christchurch-based based company is owned by Invacare Corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Invacare is the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of innovative home care and long-term care medical products that promote recovery and active lifestyles. Sales for 2003 were $US1.3 billion. The company has 5300 associates, and markets its products in 80 countries around the world.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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