An article on the website of our sister publication, Purchasing magazine, finds there is a tight supply of RoHS compliant parts, “as manufacturers have not produced enough to meet demand, according to independent distributors.” The article also notes there is a tight supply of non-compliant parts as well, since many component manufacturers have cut back their non-compliant production or stopped it altogether.
In some cases, prices are already rising for non-complaint parts that have become valuable to the exempt industries. Spot prices are up 50 percent for NOR flash chips in 32-, 64-, and 128-bit densities. The uncertainty in the components market is providing boom times for independent distributors that trade in excess and hard-to-find inventory.
Yet even as the market for non-compliant parts tightens, the article also warns that the prices for non-compliant parts will eventually fall drastically as OEMs and contract manufacturers begin to unload their excess storages of leaded parts.
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.