What’s the cost of environmental compliance? Some consultants say 10 percent of a company’s R&D budget. Pamela Gordon, president of research firm, Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) in Alameda, Calif. claims that most consultants are overestimating the cost. “Some consultants are bandying about figures with no consideration of company size,” says Gordon. “Some say RoHS compliance will cost $100 million.”
Gordon’s team decided to ask companies what they were actually spending. “Based on hundreds of interviews with electronics companies, their contract manufacturers, suppliers and our colleagues, we estimate that meeting RoHS requirements requires a one-time investment of 2 to 3 percent of cost of goods sold,” says Gordon.
As for meeting the WEEE directive, TFI believes that’s even less expensive. “We estimate the meeting the WEEE requirements – if done strategically – can earn the company revenue and market share.” Hmmm. Gordon didn’t offer the specifics on how to profit from WEEE, but that will be covered at TFI’s Design for Environment Workshop on Sept. 14 in Toronto.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.