There’s no surprise in the news that non-compliant parts are experiencing shortages and price hikes. As component suppliers discontinue their leaded components in favor of their RoHS-compliant versions, those companies that are exempt from RoHS compliance – defense, aerospace, medical devices – find that leaded parts are in shorter supply and more expensive.
But there may be more to the story. News on the street says that many manufacturers in non-exempt industries are still busy building products with leaded parts. Apparently they have been slow to convert to RoHS compliant products, so the demand for non-compliant parts has been stronger than anticipated.
An article this week in Electronic Weekly, UK-based sister publication of Design News, notes that there is evidence in Europe of continuing demand for leaded components. Some insiders suggest that companies are still producing and distributing non-compliant products into Europe because many European Union countries have been slow to begin their policing for products that are not RoHS compliant. With companies still producing non-compliant products, the need for non-compliant parts is greater than expected and prices are thus rising.
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.