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UGS Reveals Antidote to Stalling European WEEE Adoption


UGS PLM Software, a division of Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today released a guide to ensuring Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive-compliant practices are central to the product lifecycle in manufacturing organisations throughout Europe.

Although the deadline for full compliance with the WEEE Directive will be necessary across the European region by July 1, 2007, reports suggest that a high proportion of organisations will be exposing themselves to regulatory and commercial issues when having to show due diligence in their environmental compliance strategy. “A worrying number of organisations are concerned that their WEEE compliance strategy is taking longer than expected or, worse, have yet to start,” said Henry Seddon, vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa Marketing at UGS. “We are showing those organisations that it isn’t too late to start. Our guide, which incorporates planning, auditing and rollout of WEEE, demonstrates that getting on the road to compliance is easier than many people think.”

UGS PLM Software, which helps companies manage their design and manufacturing processes, has warned that failure to prepare for the directive could result in stalled shipments of electrical devices, steep fines for those yet to comply and, in the worst case, products will be barred from market.

To compound the problem, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, geared towards removing toxic materials such as lead mercury and cadmium from manufacturing – therefore ensuring the safe and accessible disposal of equipment by the public once the WEEE Directive becomes active – is yet to take hold in a significant number of organisations. The problem lies in the perceived challenges when adopting new manufacturing processes, according to Seddon.

“While companies were given ample warning of the July 2007 deadline, there are still a number of companies that remain non-compliant,” Seddon said. “This is down to senior management being stuck with old processes and unwilling to believe that change doesn’t mean starting from scratch. Our guide highlights a number of things manufacturers can do, supported by their local enforcement council, to fast-track their journey towards RoHS and WEEE compliance now, while ensuring their processes are more efficient for future changes.”

UGS PLM Software is currently the only PLM supplier enabling a lifecycle strategy for the entire compliance process.

“There will be associated costs in adopting the regulations, but in the medium term this can be translated into more efficient manufacturing processes and the ability to think in product lifecycle terms – a valuable approach to business that, when embedded, will become an advantage to every organisation,” added Seddon. “Ensuring manufacturing processes meet the standards of the RoHS and WEEE Directives – such as cutting out hazardous chemicals – must not be something companies put off.

“There could, of course, be financial repercussions. But the environmental damage is far worse, and must become a core consideration to manufacturing processes in Europe and beyond.”


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