A new environmental directive from the European Union arrived last month when the European Council formally issued a draft battery directive. The political agreement behind the directive was completed last December. The new rule bans cadmium in batteries, with some exclusions. The directive also includes disposal requirements. The directive is expected to be adopted in mid 2006. Once its adopted, companies will have 24 months to comply.
Key requirements of the agreed draft directive include:
A partial ban on portable nickel-cadmium batteries that excludes batteries used in medical equipment, emergency lighting and alarm systems, and cordless power tools. However, the exemption for power tools is subject to review after four years.
Collection targets for spent portable batteries of 25 percent of average annual sales four years after the directive is implemented in the UK, rising to 45 percent after eight years.
Bans the disposal of untreated automotive and industrial batteries in landfill or by incineration.
Member states will have 24 months to implement the directive once it has been agreed.
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.