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TOSHIBA TO IMPLEMENT
LEAD-FREE MANUFACTURING

Continuing the company's commitment to promoting an environmentally friendly community and delivering environmentally safe products, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC)* today announced it is implementing new manufacturing procedures using new materials that support the current industry movement to lead-free manufacturing. As a technology leader, TAEC has given increased attention to finding lead-free solutions for its products and has developed a plan to transition a portion of its manufacturing to lead-free by the end of 2003.

TAEC's implementation of this initiative is driven in part because of the pending European Community directives for Wastes from Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). These regulations state that the use of lead and other hazardous substances must be regulated by July 1, 2006. Although there is no similar requirement pending in the U.S. at this time, the European directive minimizing use of lead in semiconductors and electronics equipment will have a widespread impact on the global marketplace, requiring lead-free assemblies.

"As an environmentally conscious company, we are making solutions available to enable our customers to comply with pending lead-free legislation. TAEC is committed to working with its customers to be able to offer the best products that meet their specific criteria in the lead-free area," said Stephen Marlow, executive vice president at TAEC. "We are also taking a very active roll in regulatory standards in an effort to meet manufacturability and reliability under any new guidelines. We believe that our new packaging provides an excellent environmentally-friendly alternative while meeting our customers' manufacturing requirements."

The lead-free measures the company is pursuing vary from product to product, however the first step in TAEC's transition plan is making the packages for certain semiconductor products lead-free. Toshiba Corp. (Toshiba) has carefully evaluated soldering in terms of materials, chemicals, terminal finishes and thermal resistance to choose the optimal alternative to be applied in each product category.

TAEC is also scrutinizing the business issues associated with such a manufacturing transition. These issues include customer service, supply chain and inventory management, cost and materials management, supply continuity and industry coordination. Some of TAEC's customers are not considering the move to lead-free components, so this will involve management of duplicate parts. TAEC is striving for a smooth transition making sure the testing, qualification and re-qualification of parts meet its customers' needs. It is also carefully evaluating the entire supply chain in order to effectively manage all aspects required for supply continuity.

Written by: Toshiba


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