Market News

BANNOCKBURN, IL --Calling the impact of the RoHS Directive "enormous, expensive and burdensome," IPC is calling for industry resistance to potential additions to the controversial environmental rules.

The trade group is asking companies to contact EU Council and Parliament officials "to prevent unwarranted RoHS regulations." Specifically, the trade group argues that the final revised RoHS Directive must not restrict Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA), the flame retardant used in more than 80% of printed circuit boards.

"If TBBPA is added to RoHS, the EU will be initiating a troublesome precedent by restricting a substance for political instead of scientific reasons. The Okö Institut, private consultants hired by the EU Commission, identified TBBPA for possible restriction under RoHS. TBBPA has undergone a comprehensive EU risk assessment that determined it is safe for the environment and human health," IPC said in a press release.

Nevertheless, an IPC task group last week closed voting on the draft of a pending standard limiting use of bromine -- a main constituent in TBBPA -- in certain electronics products. It is unclear why IPC is taking what seem to be contradictory positions on halogen -- in response to Circuits Assembly's questions in February, IPC said,
"There is a fundamental difference between non-voluntary legislation and voluntary standards. J-STD-709 standard does not state an IPC position.” However, critics of IPC's position have noted that standards are by definition intended to set industry requirements.

IPC is listing on its website (www.ipc.org/global-efforts) analysis of the proposed RoHS review, instructions on how to contact EU officials, and a draft letter for EU officials. 
ANKARA, TURKEY -- A massive computer manufacturing plant planned by HP and Foxconn Technology Group is scheduled to commence production by 2010 and will employ about 2,000 workers, the companies said. 

The plant will be built in Çorlu, Turkey, and will have an annual capacity of 200,000 desktop PCs.
 
As previously reported, HP and Foxconn will invest about $60 million in the project.
MINNEAPOLIS -- HEI, Inc. reported net sales of $55.8 million and net income of $1.1 million for the 16-month period ended Jan. 3.

The company had net profits of $243,000 for the four-month period ended Jan. 3.

The unusual 16-month reporting year (September 2007 to December 2008) came about because HEI modified its fiscal year to end on the Saturday closest to Dec. 31.

HEI had net income of $857,000 for the 12-month period ended Aug. 30, 2008, versus a net loss of $5.7 million the 12-month period ended Sept. 1, 2007.

In a statement, CEO Mark B. Thomas said HEI reported a 16-month period to save on costs of a separate audit for the original 12-month fiscal year and a subsequent four-month period.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILBosch Rexroth AG, parent company of Bosch Rexroth Corp., reported $8.3 billion in 2008 sales, up 9.8% year-over-year.

Sales in the Americas were up nearly 8%. The company anticipates a significantly weaker performance for the current fiscal year, but said it is maintaining its R&D investment.

The Bosch subsidiary spent around $364 million on R&D in 2008, or 4.5% of sales.

The growth experienced last year by the manufacturer of drive and control technologies was led by developments in the German, European and Asian markets.

NEWTON, CT – In April, TÜVRheinland will offer seminars explaining how to register for the European Union’s REACH legislation.
 
“In-Depth REACH Seminar” is a full-day program that provides information needed to satisfy the legal requirements of REACH. Included in the seminar is an overview of REACH, a list of regulated substances and facts about preparing a Chemical Safety Report, a Technical Dossier and a Data Gap Analysis.
 
To register, visit www.us.tuv.com.

LONDON–Despite a lackluster fourth quarter, the Cookson Group reported fiscal year revenue climbed 23% to ₤2.203 billion (US$3.039  billion). Trading profits were ₤216.3 million (US$298.3 million), up 11% from 2007.
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