Legislation governing the environmental regulation, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), in the United Kingdom has been postponed nearly a year to June 2006. The UK’s Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) cited “continuing concerns expressed by the business community and other stakeholders” when it shifted the deadline for compliance from the original target date of August 13, 2005. The postponement was the second for WEEE. It was pushed to January 2006 earlier this year.
The electronics industry is still waiting for details on methods for collecting and disposing of waste equipment. The UK’s Environment Agency said these methods will be unveiled this autumn. The agency’s manager for waste producer responsibility, Jeff Cooper, notes that his group will “work closely with government departments to implement the forthcoming WEEE regulations.” He expects to announce arrangements for the registration of waste producers in the early autumn with registration of those producers starting during January 2006.
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.