Product compliance regulations are constantly changing and evolving. New REACH SVHCs are added twice per year. RoHS substances and exemptions are frequently being updated. ELV exemptions either have expired or will be reviewed in 2021. Almost every day there is a new substance-of-concern (SoC) request that manufacturers must inform their customers about. Due to this rotating door of constant updates, it can be difficult for product manufacturers to keep up with compliance evaluations.
However, companies in the automotive supply chain have it a bit easier. Thanks to their use of the International Material Data System (IMDS), companies in the automotive industry can keep up with regulation changes and customer (SoC) requests. Developed and maintained by DCX Technology, the IMDS is an internet-based software tool that the vehicle OEMs mandate and pay for, and that sub-tier suppliers must use to input the full material declaration (FMD) information of their products as part of the Product Part Approval Process (PPAP).
But what about other industries? How can other manufacturers demonstrate their product’s compliance to global regulations?
Most non-automotive industry product manufacturers do not have a common tool for FMD data collection and reporting. Some companies simply use survey tools sent to their sub-tier suppliers, inquiring if parts are compliant or not to various regulations or if they contain a specific substance.
Although this may seem like a good strategy, it often leads to extra work as suppliers must be resurveyed whenever new substances are added to a regulation or customer request. Utilizing FMD is much more efficient for both the supplier and the requester, and luckily there is now an IMDS-like solution for non-automotive industries.
Compliance Evaluation Software for the Non-Automotive Industries
DXC Technology understands the value that the IMDS has brought to the auto industry and has developed a sister software called the Compliance Data Exchange (CDX). Because CDX can be used by all industries, it has the capability to evaluate compliance across a variety of regulations. It also has more bells and whistles than IMDS. For instance, although FMD information is best, CDX includes the flexibility of alternate reporting, such as survey-based declaration or partial declaration. For companies with both automotive and non-automotive ties, it has the capability (with the appropriate licensing) to transfer data from IMDS into CDX for further analysis and to maintain a single location for all items.
There are many additional value-added capabilities of CDX, including:
- The option to create a company substance list for suppliers to report to
- Setting standard regulations (ELV, RoHS, Prop 65, REACH, etc.) for suppliers to respond to
- Up-to-date standard regulation substances and exemptions
- User Interface (UI) data importing and exporting of standardized xml formats, such as IPC1752
- Conflict Minerals Declaration Manager module for sending and receiving CMRT declarations
- Data analysis and supplier request tools for efficient data collection requests and reporting
- Back-up data file attachments (such as test reports, drawings, statements of compliance, etc.)
- Upcoming support for EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD) SCIP database reporting by January 5, 2021
With so many benefits, CDX will bring great value to product compliance evaluation efforts and compliance demonstrations. In fact, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has already selected CDX as their organization’s product compliance software tool.