An article last week on the UK’s Computer Active website said that Britain authorities have warned its small army of PC building firms that they need to make sure the parts they use in assembly are RoHS compliant. The article notes that many smaller companies that assemble computers in Britain use imported components and many of those companies assume their suppliers are using RoHS-compliant parts – and they may be mistaken in that assumption.
The National Weights and Measures Authority – which is tasked with policing RoHS – notes that large computer companies understand that they are responsible for making sure their products are RoHS-compliant, while many of the 1,000 small- and mid-size British computer firms are not going to the trouble and expense to verify that their suppliers are compliant.
Much of the concern voiced by the National Weights and Measures Authority involves suppliers that are not well-known and viewed as reputable. The RoHS law allows the small firms to assume a component is compliant if its produced by a reputable supplier that complies with RoHS.
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.