In talking with a major components distributor we learned of bumps on the road to the July 1 RoHS deadline. For one, OEMs are starting to ask whether the deadline will be strictly enforced. Apparently, plenty of companies know their products won’t be sufficiently compliant by the deadline. Some say their products won’t be compliant until November.
In some cases, the products will be compliant but manufacturers won’t be able to easily prove their compliance. OEMs are turning to their component suppliers and asking, “Where are the materials content and compliance certification documents?” Many suppliers are saying, “Our products have always been compliant, so we haven’t prepared that documentation.”
The fear on the street is that competitors will “out” their market enemies if non-compliant products show up in Europe after July 1. Another concern comes from the notion that Europeans are much more politically committed to environmental law than North Americans. OEMs fear that mid-level bureaucrats will be eager to pounce on manufacturers that ship non-compliant products into Europe after July 1.
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.