According to a report from the Aberdeen Group in Boston, Mass., many manufacturers are still at risk of non-compliance despite pouring considerable time, money and staff into complying with various product content regulations worldwide. The report examines the compliance challenges and initiatives of manufacturers across a number of industries as they respond to RoHS, FDA labeling requirements and REACH. The findings indicate that most companies still lack a sustainable, repeatable compliance process. The processes have been manual and will not scale as the compliance landscape continues to become more complex.
The report does identify some successful compliance practices such as aggressively working to meet or exceed strict standards worldwide, designing for compliance early in the product lifecycle, centralizing control over compliance and measuring compliance frequently. Best-in-class performers are more likely to use PLM as well as specialty tools such as electronic design automation, recipe and formula management, supplier collaboration, dynamic publishing, component catalogs and business intelligence and analysis tools as key technology enablers.
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.