iNEMI HFR-Free Leadership Program Launches with 22 Companies Participating

HERNDON, VIRGINIA (August 3, 2009) — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) today announced the official launch of its HFR-Free Leadership Program.  As an umbrella for several projects, program activities will provide a technical evaluation of key electrical and mechanical properties of "HFR*-free" (or "low halogen"**) materials to ensure reliability and performance of replacement materials.  Projects will also assess technology readiness and supply chain capabilities.

iNEMI member companies participating in this effort are:

OEM   Supplier
Cisco   Albemarle
Dell   Doosan Corporation Electro-Materials
Delphi Corporation   Elec & Eltek (E&E)
HP   Elite Material Co., Ltd.
Huawei   Guangdong Shengyi Sci. Tech Co., Ltd.
Lenovo   IBIDEN
    IST-Integrated Service Technology, Inc.
EMS / ODM   Intel Corporation
Celestica   ITEQ Corporation
Flextronics   Nan Ya Plastics Corporation
Foxconn   Rohm & Haas (Dow Chemical Company)
Quanta Computer   Shenzhen Pacific Insulating Material Co. Limited (PIC)

“iNEMI OEM members account for 40% of the PC shipments worldwide, and these companies are all working to remove halogenated flame retardants from their products,” said Robert Pfahl, vice president of global operations for iNEMI.  “However, this kind of conversion must be implemented throughout the supply chain and requires coordination among companies.  There are two key aspects to be addressed for widescale conversion.  The first is to use a scientific approach to identify replacement materials that provide the same or better performance and reliability with reduced environmental impact.  The second is to build industry consensus on these solutions to ensure a standardized approach throughout the supply chain.  The iNEMI program is focused on activities in support of both of these areas, and the companies participating in these efforts represent the full spectrum of the supply chain, which gives us a much greater chance for success.”

Program goals include:
  • Define electrical signaling and PCB material property requirements as well as the associated test conditions that deliver the data required to make design and supply chain readiness decisions.
  • Define the material set parameters and test conditions for all relevant market segments.
  • Leveraging prior investigations, carry out the necessary testing of available materials from participating companies.
  • Publish a set of material guidelines for use by industry that meets all market segment requirements — signaling, mechanical, quality/reliability, SMT yield and environmental.  (This may require design trade-offs and/or material property changes to resolve marginal parameters.)
  • Drive test conditions and material properties into supplier data sheets.  (This effort may entail coordination with standards organizations to revise existing industry standards.)
The initial projects organized under the HFR-Free Leadership Program are the HFR-Free PCB Materials Project and the HFR-Free Signal Integrity Project.  While the initial sign-up period for these two projects is now closed, it is still possible for additional firms to participate by petitioning the founding members.

A related project — the PVC Alternatives Project — is currently in development.  It will evaluate alternatives to PVC (including additives) in electronic cable and wire applications using a lifecycle assessment (LCA) approach.

About iNEMI
The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's mission is to identify and close technology gaps, which includes the development and integration of the electronics industry supply infrastructure.  This industry-led consortium is made up of more than 65 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities.  iNEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical), and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies.  The consortium also works with government agencies, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives.  iNEMI is based in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.), with regional offices in Shanghai, China and Limerick, Ireland.  For additional information about iNEMI, visit
*     HFR = halogenated flame retardant
**   defined as BFR/CFR/PVC***-free
*** BFR = brominated flame retardant     CFR = chlorinated flame retardant     PVC = polyvinyl chloride

For further information:
Cynthia Williams
+1 207-871-1260