Six months into the EPEAT program, computers are greener and environmental gains are stacking up. EPEAT was launched last year, partially funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program evaluates computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on 51 environmental criteria. All EPEAT registered products must meet 23 mandatory environmental criteria, with an additional 28 optional criteria used to determine whether products earn EPEAT bronze, silver or gold recognition. So far, 575 products have been registered from 21 different manufacturers.
EPEAT registered products are already delivering environmental benefits. Here are the details based on EPEAT registered products that were sold during the second half of 2006:
13.7 billion kWh of electricity has been saved, enough to power 1.2 million U.S. homes per year.
24.4 million metric tons of materials saved, equivalent to the weight of 189 million refrigerators.
56.5 million tons of air pollution prevented, including 1.07 million metric tons of global warming gasses (the equivalent of removing 852,000 cars from the road for a year.
118,000 metric tons of water pollution prevented.
Reduced toxic material use by 1,070 metric tons, equivalent to the weight of 534,000 bricks, including enough mercury to fill 157,000 household fever thermometers.
41,000 metric tons of hazardous waste avoided, equivalent to the weight of 20.5 million bricks.
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.