Anorexic geometries, high bending stresses, and a brittle material (pewter alloy) shouldn’t go together, but here’s what happens when they do. To avoid this arty serving fork’s premature demise during the cutting of a honeybaked ham, the makers could have thickened up the cross section by a factor of three or so and used a more sensible material like stainless steel. But, then, it wouldn’t be art, would it?
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.