I purchased a five-gallon Craftsman Shop Vac a number of years ago to use to clean up my home garage workshop. Would you believe the exhaust air was blown straight down from two ports on either side of the tank? Guess what, all the dust and debris I wanted to suck up from the floor was blasted into the atmosphere. I was dumfounded at this very bad design. I ended up fabricating a couple of deflectors from a 1/16 inch thick sheet of aluminum and attached them to deflect the exhaust air sideways. Problem solved.
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.