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IPC has released a new market research study, "Issues and Outlook for Lead-Free Electronics in Military and Aerospace Applications", that examines the current and future state of lead-free usage in high-reliability applications, as well as the impact usage will have on the industry.
The study examines the use of reballing lead-free assemblies in order to meet high-reliability requirements, and it estimates the average costs that this workaround typically adds to board production. In addition, the study also assesses the price differential of scarce components and identifies many types of components that survey respondents categorize as scarce or unavailable in leaded versions.
The report also uncovered tipping points at which the industry can be expected to go fully lead free. These tipping points and other indicators are the basis for a 10-year forecast of the ratio of tin/lead to lead-free solder consumption, both worldwide and in North America.
The growing cost differential between leaded and unleaded materials and components will eventually force a shift to lead-free electronics in high-reliability applications. The study provides a look at how manufacturers are coping with these problems today and how this trend will affect the industry in the future.
For more information on the report, click here.