Whether your top concerns are related to quality or compliance, sourcing from a material vendor who's compliant with current standards and regulations is a must. Working with a company that verifies their certifications allows you to place your order knowing the materials you'll receive meet regulations.
Why Does Metal Vendor Compliance Matter?
Depending on the situation, a non-compliant metal service center can have major implications for you and your product's end-user. Here's what you need to know and what to look out for.
International Industry Standards
International standards are essential to ensuring a level playing field and maintaining consistency and quality across industries and nations. The standard certification you want to look for is ISO 9001; it defines the criteria for meeting today's quality management principles. And depending on your industry, your materials may need to be RoHS and/or DFARS compliant as well.
Restriction of Hazardous Substances, or RoHS, "restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products." It restricts materials that are hazardous to the environment and known to pollute landfills. Restricted materials also pose a danger to individuals who are exposed to them during manufacturing and recycling. RoHS compliance has been part of European law since 2003.
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, or DFARS, is used by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support a preference for domestic specialty metals. Its basic requirements state that in order for the DoD to use specialty metals, the metals must be melted in either the United States or a qualifying country.
In the case of RoHS, producers who fail to comply can be fined, have their goods impounded, and lose their right to sell products in the 25 EU Member States - not to mention incurring losses related to negative press and media coverage. Companies that produce products for the EU market have a vested interest in ensuring their products meet RoHS directives.
In the case of DFARS, failure to comply with specialty metals regulations can result in government investigations, delayed deliveries to DoD customers, monetary withholding, and other sanctions. It is the responsibility of the producer to ensure all metal vendors and suppliers who provide the specified specialty metals are compliant under DFARS.