While there is still some concern about the reliability of lead-free components, OEMs of consumer products have found ways to adapt to RoHS laws while still producing sturdy products. According to an article at RoHS-News, two firms, E-Certa Inc. and Sanmina SCI, teamed up for a study looking at the effects of RoHS on consumer products. The results find that OEMs of consumer products have found ways to design lead-free versions that are sufficiently reliable, erasing the fears that lead-free components risk product failure.
The military and aerospace industries are not convinced, however, that lead-free parts are sufficiently reliable. Those industries still shy away from RoHS-compliant parts. Consumer products don’t face the same difficult environments or the same length-in-service as military and aerospace products. While a cell phones and TVs experience relatively stable temperatures – as well as short lifecycles – military and aerospace components are subject to extreme temperature variances over years if not decades.
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.