Some industry participants are refraining from the group hand-wring over RoHS compliance. But that rosy confidence may be shattered when pieces of the sky really do start falling.
A parts procurement specialist at an aerospace manufacturer – exempt from RoHS – recently told us he expects to keep buying leaded commercial parts after the EU deadline. Asked whether any of his suppliers have indicated they will discontinue production of commercial-grade leaded parts, he said he hadn’t heard a word to indicate leaded parts would not be available after his suppliers switched to green.
A recent survey of parts suppliers conducted by Technology Forecasters Inc. in Alameda, Calif., however, finds that the majority of parts suppliers plan to issue end-of-life notices on their non-compliant parts as soon as 30 days after the RoHS deadline, except for military-grade parts. Our aerospace buyer says he never buys military-grade components. He buys leaded commercial parts and expects to keep doing so. He was surprised by our skepticism, saying, “It never occurred to me those parts might go end-of-life.”
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.