Oki Electric Steps Up Toxics Reduction for Stepping Motors

Oki Electric Steps Up Toxics Reduction for Stepping Motors

Oki Micro Engineering Co., an affiliate of Oki Electric, has eliminated lead-free soldering and hexavalent chromium-free steel sheet from its stepping motors. The move puts OME’s stepping motors in accordance with the EU’s RoHS Directive more than a year before the new law is slated to take effect.

The RoHS Directive bans EU sales of products containing any of six chemical substances after July 2006. In response, Oki set goals to terminate the six chemicals subject to the directive, conducting several technology developments including semiconductor packaging, reed switches, and mounting boards to achieve lead-free products.

OME is one of the world’s top producers stepping motors used in "office automation" equipment, information systems, and industrial equipment. Conventionally, stepping motors used lead solders to connect lead wires and boards. In addition, surface treatment for metal cases and screws included hexavalent chromium to prevent rust. Taking consideration in quality, reliability and cost, OME alternated lead with lead-free soldering as well as adopting trivalent chrome instead of hexavalent chromium for the surface treatment.

By establishing its Chemical Substance Control Standard in July 2004, OME has worked on establishing a system to manage chemical substances. It has examined chemical substances in the 600 procured materials from Japan and overseas not only for the detailed information of the material but also to understand how much chemical substance was included in the subject for OME’s criteria. By computerizing the data from this examination and systemizing in order to refer to all the information related to each product at once, OME established a system to quickly search how much restricted chemical substance was included in a product. OME also reviewed its traceability flow, which is implemented at three plants in China, Thailand, and Japan to understand the chemical substance by each lot and thoroughly implemented it among suppliers.

“To terminate chemical substances in our stepping motors, it was important to systemize and control the substances included in our products and materials,” said Kunihiko Takahashi, president of Oki Micro Engineering. “Synchronizing with Oki Electric’s environment plans, we at OME will further enhance our business by continuing to convey our principles and provide the latest information on chemical substance management to our suppliers.”