MatrixOne Tackles Emerging Environmental Regulations

New solution identifies ELV, ROHS and WEEE compliance issues; helps manage product development costs

New solution identifies ELV, ROHS and WEEE compliance issues; helps manage product development costs

Westford, MA ̵ January 24, 2005 ̵ MatrixOne, a provider of collaborative product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, today announced the availability of MatrixOne Materials Compliance Central, which is designed to enable companies to adhere to and keep pace with new environmental compliance regulations throughout the product development process.

Companies, particularly those in the automotive and electronics markets, are faced with new regulatory pressures, most notably those presented by Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) regulations.

The regulations, which will be in effect starting with the WEEE directive in Europe in August of 2005 and RoHS starting in July 2006, are aimed at reducing the amount of hazardous materials in new products and ensuring that the materials are recyclable at the end of their product lifecycle. Under the new regulations, manufacturers must implement processes to collect, organize, analyze and report detailed materials and substance data related to all new products.

To simplify and improve these processes, MatrixOne Materials Compliance Central allows users to analyze bill of material (BOM) or product content information from any source and cross-reference the data against multiple substance lists and regulation requirements during product development. In this way, product teams can determine whether a product's components meet compliance standards and certain design thresholds from the start of the project.

The provider said Materials Compliance Central also allows for suppliers to be incorporated into the compliance process at its earliest stages to ensure up-front adherence to new regulations regarding their designs and components before it is too late or too costly to make changes.

The risk of non-compliance for automotive and electronics companies is quite large. According to a recent AMR Research report by Eric Karofsky, "RoHS and WEEE: It's an Executive Problem," "Any company doing business in the European Union (EU) has less than seven months to begin complying with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, and less than 18 months to come into compliance with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Not meeting these two directives could cost companies millions. They must be taken seriously and be an executive level priority."

Sam Zawaideh, senior vice president of products and solutions for MatrixOne, explained that companies are faced today with multiple reporting formats, different substance lists and threshold limits from their customers, and various exceptions based on the usage model of these materials in the final products. "Reporting is just the tip of the iceberg; this is not just a design, manufacturing or supplier problem, it is an industry problem," he said.

Zawaideh said MatrixOne Materials Compliance Central allows companies to reduce the number of design iterations by enabling engineers, sourcing professionals and product managers to access and manage compliance data from the very beginning of each project. As such, users become familiar with the suppliers that offer compliant products, improving part selection and reuse.

"While many of these emerging regulations are being enacted initially out of Europe, they will greatly affect companies worldwide who export products to European countries. The problem will grow even more complex due to similar regulations that are being considered in Japan and here in the United States such as California's SB20 rules," said Mike Segal, senior vice president of customer success for MatrixOne. "Knowing the contents of the materials being used to develop a product allows our customers to satisfy legal and regulatory requirements and potentially avoid liabilities."

For more information about enabling compliance with regard to WEEE and ROHS, read the upcoming February/March issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.