General Motors Co. (GM) has started work on a new electric motor plant that will be dedicated to making parts for its EVs and hybrids. The new plant, to be located near Baltimore, is expected to open in 2013.
In a press release, GM stated that “electric motor design and production is a core business for GM in the development and manufacture of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.”
The press release also said that the new production site will serve the environment, not only by creating electric motors, but also by employing a 1.23-MW rooftop solar array for its power. The solar array is expected to generate 9% of the facility’s annual energy consumption and will prevent up to 1,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere every year. Constellation Energy Group will build, own and maintain the solar power system and GM will purchase all of the electricity generated by the panels under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.