Getting ready for the July 1, 2006 RoHS deadline alone is not enough to meet environmental compliance demands, says Mike Kirschner, president of Design Chain Associates in San Francisco. Kirschner believes companies need to revamp their business processes to remain environmentally compliant. Here are some areas where companies need to restructure in order to meet compliance requirements going forward.
Revamp design processes, including the component selection process and the bill-of materials-review process. Companies have to make this up, as “there are no good comprehensive and well-written checklists or industry standards out there for this yet.”
Justify the funding needed from management to complete the process. Kirschner notes that companies have underestimated the engineering time and resources required to maintain compliance.
Determine how to manage due diligence. In this area, companies tend to overspend for systems that are beyond what is necessary.
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.