Sandwiched between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers, distributors of electronic components often find themselves in an awkward situation. Customers want to know whether the components are compliant, and the distributor replies they must be so because their suppliers told them so. But, they go on to add that they are not absolutely sure, as they did not make the components.
Different distributors address this problem in different ways. Some, like Newark InOne of Canada, conduct testing to check if the component is compliant, and grade their suppliers accordingly. That way, they can't give customers a guarantee, but assure them of all possible measures.
It remains to be seen how the European Union decides to police the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) compliance when OEMs come under the scanner after the July 1, 2006 RoHS deadline. Customers will have to continue relying upon distributors to get assurance of compliance.
As the number of components is too large for distributors to vouch for, some of them, like Avnet, try to connect the customers to the suppliers so that the former could get compliance information from the latter. Like Avnet, Arrow Electronics Inc. also offers a fee-based service designed to help customers facing due diligence issues.
Among the top distributors of electronic components are Arrow Electronics, Avnet, Future Electronics, Bell Microproducts, Memec Insight, TTI, Newark InOne, Digi-key, All American and Nu Horizons. All of them distribute components like semiconductors, passives, electromechanical devices, connector products, computer equipment, embedded subsystems, crystals, test equipment, and active components, including analog, clock and timing devices, and so on.
You can visit their web sites to know what components are available at what prices, and make your informed choice. Many of the distributors will agree to offer you a small quantity of components, provided it is not less than the minimum quantity fixed by them.
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