PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Dec2018

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62 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 Article by Andrew McManus GENERAL MANAGER, GANNON & SCOTT INC. PROCESSING FACILITY IN CRANSTON, RHODE ISLAND Gold, palladium, silver, and other precious metals (PMs) in manufacturing wastes rep- resent high value, but how PMs are recov- ered can pose environmental and liability is- sues. Aerospace and electronics manufacturers and suppliers, in particular, produce volumes of manufacturing wastes that contain varying levels of PMs. With U.S. growth projected at around 2% in 2019 [1,2] , there may be an oppor- tunity for more manufacturers and suppliers to review current methods and move to high- er ground. This would include printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers. Although bookings for PCBs have fallen from recent peaks, shipments have been up about 10% through the third quarter of 2018 [3] . There are two waste streams for recycling and recovery for manufacturers to consider—the electronic waste (e-waste) from manufacturing operations and end-of-life (EOL) product recycling. On the manufacturing side, a waste audit can identify areas where more PMs might be captured for recovery. This includes both high- level PM residuals from manufacturing oper- ations—such as precious metals plating solu- tions, conductive pastes, filters, and sludges— and lower-level PM residual materials—such as syringes, wipes, rags, gloves, solder waste, and floor sweepings. Manufacturing wastes also in- clude damaged parts and returns, as well as finished electronic components and PCBs that are outdated or obsolete. These items may also need to be handled according to industry and government standards. Security is often a paramount concern. The design of PCBs may be proprietary, classified, or under International Traffic in Arms Regu- lations (ITAR) restrictions and sensitive com- ponents may need to be destroyed or obliter- ated to render information "irretrievable by any means." The environmental impact of re- cycling and recovery efforts is also a key con- sideration especially for government entities, consumer product companies, and other pub- lic corporations. Beyond e-waste from manufacturing, EOL recycling is a growing concern for OEMs since it can impact operating costs as well as brands. As environmental issues grow, it also can im- Can E-waste and Metals Recovery Efforts Lower Environmental Risks and Liability?

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