In the early years of FCI’s lead-free investigations, research focussed on the practicalities of a range of technologies and how to select the best-in-class candidates from these.
From here, it was essential to refine the technology, ensuring any further development efforts were guided by market requirements and co-ordinated in the most effective way. In this respect, FCI used a structured development process (the T-PACE process).
Early on in the project, a number of guiding principles were adopted to help the team set priorities and work accordingly. These guidelines proved very effective in the development of technologies that addressed customer expectations. The project was co-ordinated across all FCI divisions and the guidelines were a valuable tool to aid decision-making and smooth the process of moving to lead-free.
FCI Lead-Free Guiding Principles:
1. Provide customers with lead-free solutions in compliance with requirements and regulations applicable to them 2. Provide customers with solutions that are process-compatible 3. Focus on process development and control, and qualify products to meet customer requirements 4. Clearly label products and maintain traceability 5. Support customers in their transition to lead-free 6. Provide global solutions 7. Partner with peers and industrial consortia to enable uniform solutions 8. Partner with suppliers to further develop technical solutions and match these with evolving customer requirements 9. Actively participate in consortia to facilitate smooth transition across the industry