Apparently, electronics goods manufacturers from Taiwan have getting stung by RoHS laws in Europe. An article posted on the Surface Mount Technology website this week reports that Integrated Service Technology (IST), a test and analysis lab in Taiwan, claims that four or five of Taiwan’s electronics manufacturers have been disqualified and fined by the European Union (EU) for failing to meet RoHS guidelines. The company also stated that the companies received fines for the failed products that were shipped to the EU.
According to the article, fines for the disputed products averaged more than $132,500. One company told IST that $3.1 million in goods were returned because they were out of compliance with RoHS. ITS executives speculated that many Taiwan companies overlooked the potential impact of the RoHS directive. Data released by the Taiwanese government in late June 2006 indicated that 90 percent of Taiwan’s EU-bound goods were compliant with RoHS. Some suggest that number must have been incorrect, but if 10 percent of Taiwan’s goods headed for the EU were out of compliance, that could add up to a significant amount of merchandise.
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.