REACH Roundup: Altrion, SAP and TechniData AG satisfy chemical bureau compliance


During the first several years under REACH—i.e., European Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) legislation—the average chemical company is estimated to handle 15,000 compliance projects, each involving substance registration, usage and management, supply chain, financial, and legal processes. REACH places the burden of proving the safety of chemical substances, products, and consumer use on the manufacturer and importer.
Chemical, consumer product, mill, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and other process manufacturers will be denied the right to trade noncompliant substances within the European Union (EU).
To help manufacturers succeed with compliance, several vendors now offer solutions for which benefits have been achieved in testing. For instance, SAP and TechniData AG recently launched SAP REACH Compliance, a comprehensive application for addressing complex tasks required by REACH.
Clariant , a global leader in specialty chemicals, aggressively implemented SAP REACH Compliance months before the first legislative deadline.
"From day one, Clariant will enjoy a competitive advantage under compliance, with the unique ability to manage all aspects of mandated data via a single software application," says Dr. Uwe Wolfmeier, head of corporate product safety, Clariant. "The level of enterprisewide execution demanded by REACH is simply too complex to trust to disparate point applications, let alone ones that don't integrate with a company's existing core business processes."
Despite the potential for significant business disruptions and revenue losses related to noncompliance, a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey indicates that many chemical companies are expected to miss the 2008 REACH deadline, which was June 1, 2008. Companies are underestimating the level of enterprisewide, and remain uncertain about the type of technology commitment required to achieve compliance.
"Companies recognize the importance and the necessity of IT support for REACH," says Jurgen Schwab, CEO, TechniData. "Reach will be an ongoing task, not only an activity for 2008. Companies that set up the right REACH IT infrastructure today will avoid an ongoing struggle with insufficient tools in the future."
SAP REACH Compliance integrates with companies' existing ERP, supply chain planning, and SAP Environment, Health & Safety applications. The solution also supports third-party software for authoring chemical-safety assessments, chemical-safety reports, and standard EU REACH exchange formats, such as the IUCLID 5 solution.
Atrion International also reports completion of its REACHexchange beta testing program with seven multinational clients, including DSM and Akzo Nobel , two chemicals giants based in The Netherlands.
The results of the testing validated the ease of use and practicality of REACHexchange’s bidirectional exchange of data between Atrion’s Intelligent Authoring (IA) application and local instances of a company’s IUCLID 5 system—-the tool for registering chemical substances under REACH legislation.
“The European Chemical Bureau’s [ECB] IUCLID 5 license agreement prohibits companies from directly interfacing a third-party system with IUCLID 5, which could potentially result in redundant and inconsistent data, and in the long run affect a company’s reputation,” explains Patrick J. Lavoie, president of Atrion International. “We developed REACHexchange to enable companies to overcome this limitation while working within the confines of the IUCLID 5 license agreement.”
Atrion’s IA application automates the creation of globally compliant and multilingual Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS); labels; hazard summary sheets; as well as documents related to transportation, inventory reports, and more.
REACHexchange in combination with Atrion’s IA application allows data as well as necessary classification information to the central IUCLID 5 system.
REACHexchange Beta testers confirmed that the REACHexchange interface eliminates risks associated with inconstant data between registration dossiers and SDS’, due to duplicate data entry. This is an important and costly hurdle to overcome for companies, especially as they begin to devote scarce internal resources to prepare for REACH pre-registration.
"With REACHexchange, we can calculate the First Aid, Storage and Handling and Transport in Atrion’s IA application and export it to IUCLID 5 via REACHexchange," says Gerard Kulk, Team Leader, Materials Compliance Support at Akzo Nobel. “This enables us to leverage the same data across both systems saving our organization considerable time."
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