Expect more, not less, regulation of the chemicals and substances used in equipment manufacturing.

That’s what Caterpillar’s John Hunter told supply chain executives, compliance officers and purchasing executives attending AEM’s Regulatory Compliance Executive Summit in Chicago on March 15.

A total of 47 participants representing 19 member companies, three cross-industry groups and five Market Access Pathway (MAP) partners attended the first-ever summit.

“In addition to Europe, we are looking at REACH regulations in Australia, Korea, China, Japan, Norway, Turkey and now even California,” said Hunter, who is engineering manager for chemical management and sustainability analysis at Caterpillar Inc.

Taking a Common Approach

John Haupt, vice president, purchasing & supply management at Volvo Construction Equipment, illustrated for the group the overall complexity of the issue and the challenges of working with a supply chain that averages 11 layers deep.

“Without a Common Data Exchange Platform, the cost and complexity increases across our supply chain and goes in the wrong direction for our industry’s customers and dealers,” Haupt said.

Matt Griffen, technical specialist – restricted substances at Jaguar, said that at the beginning, the automotive industry was going down a compliance road that was very much like “the wild, wild west.”

“Different OEMs had different requirements, especially in reporting,” Griffen noted. 

Auto makers quickly learned that taking a common approach for the whole industry kept costs down and understanding high, he said.

Training Now Free

John Wagner, AEM director, materials management, told summit attendees that access to the Learning Management System (LMS), which houses AEM’s compliance training, is now free to the entire supply chain. This is a dramatic change, he said, and eliminates a hurdle for companies to start using the training program.

Wagner said there is also a discount when using the Hewlett Packard Enterprise CDX solution when pulling the information from the system after being trained through the AEM training program. This also represents a huge cost savings to members.

Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president, pointed out that AEM’s regulatory compliance program is an evolution, not a revolution.

“It may not be perfect, but the fundamental building blocks are now in place,” he said.

O’Brien reminded attendees that technical training is available with the HPE CDX platform and that members should take advantage of it.

For More Information

For a complete summary of the summit or more information on EU REACH and other materials regulations, contact AEM’s John Wagner (jwagner@aem.org, tel: 414-298-4164).