The European Union’s (EU) Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive is now the effective law in the UK. While WEEE entered the statute book at the beginning of the year, full producer responsibility was delayed until July 1 of this year. Under the legislation, those selling electronic goods have to offer their customers free in-store take-back service, or, they can help fund the expansion of a network of WEEE collection points.
The directive also requires manufacturers to join one of 37 Producer Compliance Schemes that are operating in the UK. The schemes collect and recycle the electronic products on behalf of their manufacturer members. The schemes are monitored by the UK’s Environment Agency.
The WEEE Directive will be reviewed in 2008, five years after the EU first agreed to implement e-waste legislation.
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.