The U.S. aerospace industry group, The Government Electronics Industries Association (GEIA), is planning to release guidelines on performance and qualification testing for lead-free solder during the first quarter of 2008. According to an item in ELFNET, the GEIA report, “Guidance Regarding the Performance and Qualification Testing of Aerospace and High-Performance Lead-Free Interconnects,” will be released at the end of this year at the earliest.
The reason behind the guidelines is that aerospace manufacturers may find themselves using lead-free parts even though they are exempt as an industry. For the past couple decades, the defense and aerospace industries have been buying commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts because they are less expensive than the hi-reliability military-specification parts.
Most of the suppliers of COTS parts are now moving to lead-free versions and some of them are phasing out their leaded versions. Consequently, many aerospace manufacturers are considering the use lead-free parts. If so, they’re going to need considerable information about the performance and qualification of lead-free components. The project from GEIA will give industry guidance, including test procedures for predicting performance and reliability in the harsh environments common to the aerospace industries.
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.