HERNDON, VA-The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) says its member companies are asking for unique parts numbers for components that are compliant with laws restricting the use lead and other hazardous substances in places like California, China and Western Europe.

"Demonstrating and certifying compliance with [these laws] is a complex undertaking made more difficult by the electronics industry's distributed design and manufacturing supply chains," iNEMI says. "Industry must have means of differentiating compliant products that is common across all of the companies involved in, or contributing to, product manufacture."

Among the consortium's member companies voicing support for this proposal are communications provider Alcatel (Paris), supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc. (Seattle), Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA), Hewlett-Packard Co. (Palo Alto, CA) and Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ).

"Many of our members feel very strongly about this issue, and they came to us, asking that iNEMI issue a position statement to go on record as supporting separate part numbers," says Jim McElroy, executive director and CEO of iNEMI. "They are rightfully concerned about being able to keep compliant and noncompliant parts separate...The new regulations require that manufacturers know exactly what is in their products, and they need a way to not only track but also to prove that their products do not contain lead, cadmium or any of the other [restricted] substances over the specified limits."

For more on environmental compliance and parts numbering, visit www.inemi.org.