What type of inventory problems will persist after the July 1, 2006 RoHS deadline? Eric Karofsky, senior analyst at AMR Research believes there will be a rush on parts at the time of the deadline. “There will be people who will come up short when they hit stock-outs from last-time buys as products go end of life,” says Karofsky. He believes that major companies in aerospace and the defense industry that still need leaded parts will buy up all of the leaded stock to avoid a supply problem.
While many suppliers insist they will continue to produce leaded versions of their lead-free parts, those companies exempt from the RoHS directive expect most of the leaded parts to go obsolete.
Another supply problem may occur when suppliers miss-guess the demand for new compliant parts. “They don’t know how much supply they will need right away,” says Karofsky. “Distributors are trying to assess demand so they can stock appropriately, but it’s a guess.”
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.