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Online DfE Training and Certification

A new online design-for-environment (DfE) training and certification program may revolutionize the way engineers approach the design of electronics products.

If you've been searching for an online design-for-environment (DfE) training and certification program to help you keep pace with the latest environmental regulations, energy-efficient methodologies, and supply chain strategies in the electronics industry, you're not alone.

International Environmental Regulations
It can be a daunting task trying to keep up with the burgeoning number of international environmental regulations such as the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), and the European Community Regulation on Chemicals and Their Safe Use (REACH), which mandate that certain chemicals that had been used by the industry for years are now deemed to be "hazardous" to human health or the environment, and must be either phased out or restricted.

When you start adding up all of these regulations, and there are many others, it's a lot to try to keep track of while designing products.

Easy Access Needed
Recognizing the industry's need for easy access to a DfE training program, Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI), PlesTech Ltd., and Harvey Stone Communications joined forces to create DfE Online, a highly customizable, self-paced program for electronic design engineers, managers, executives, supply chain managers, and product launch teams.

"Given the rise in compliance issues internationally, we think DfE is a critical business strategy for companies, and an important career investment for busy managers and engineers," explains Pamela J. Gordon, founder and president of TFI. "Few companies have rigorous training programs for DfE principles that underlie not only environmental regulations, but also help reduce costs, produce competitively better products, and enjoy the efficiency that comes from DfE."

Convenient Training
DfE Online is designed to bring convenient, lower-cost training to the people working in the electronics industry around the globe who see a huge gap between their in-house training capabilities and the growing number of hurdles they face in meeting DfE requirements. What's included in the training? The program encompasses eight modules:

  • Why DfE is critical.
  • The impacts of substance emissions on health and the environment.
  • Reduction of material resources in DfE.
  • Techniques for designing energy-efficient electronics.
  • DfE methods for disassembly and high-value "afterlife".
  • Tools for measuring environmental performance and monetary return on investment.
  • Supply chain strategies for reducing social and environmental impacts.
  • DfE case studies, critical recommendations, and future roadmaps.

Perhaps one of the most helpful aspects of DfE Online, the training is customizable to each individual company's specific priorities and needs — you can choose which slides or modules to assemble. It was designed for maximum possible flexibility, so that training can be done as a group or individually. While product launch teams will likely want to do the entire training, others involved in marketing, legal, or finance may be more interested in focusing on a subset of modules or portions of modules to review.

Pro Development Tools
Tools for professional development are also included — in the form of hundreds of case studies, videos, articles, interactive exercises, quizzes, a user forum, and a certificate for successfully completing the training.

Pricing is available for individual, team, and corporate licenses — ranging from $995 US for an individual license, $8,500 for a team license, and $19,000 for an unlimited corporate license. So far, the industry response is overwhelmingly positive because so many companies have been searching for a program like this and are eager to finally learn the concepts of DfE and have all of their employees be "on the same page" by taking the training program together.

"The bottom line is that our training grounds the industry in the environmental and social issues involved in DfE, so that they can specifically target making their products more cost-effective, responsible, and compliant," Gordon points out. "It also provides compliance coaching that will help you meet not only today's regulations more efficiently, but also future regulations."

Contact: TFI, 2000 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501 510-479-3478 Web:

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