My 1996 Buick Regal had developed turn signal issues. Upon investigation I found that the turn signal relay was held in place by a spring clip to the steering column. Unfortunately the relay housing was made of plastic, over time the housing fatigued and failed under the load of the mounting clip. That led to interference with the relays contact points free play and function. I temporarily replaced the housing with a pill container, that’s still there and functioning.
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.