I am intrigued by the ubiquitous use of rusty screws securing toilet seats to the base of toilets. It seems that in an effort to save $0.10 or so, the manufacturers always go with either standard steel or some cheap version of stainless steel that resists corrosion for 1 - 2 years of normal use.
When selecting a material for the mounting screws, I believe any student in a freshman engineering design course would be expected to consider the water laden environment of a typical toilet due to normal use and cleaning. My house is five years old and the primary example of visible corrosion I can point to is that all three of my toilets have rust stains under the seat mounting screws. It seems inexcusable that such a simple material choice could be so wrong so frequently.
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.