Panasonic of Osaka, Japan has removed the hazardous substances from 96 percent of its products, which amounts to 1.32 million items. The company reached the milestone last March and expects to hit the 100 percent mark in October 2005.
In order to accomplish this feat, the company worked with more than 11,000 suppliers worldwide, thereby refuting the notion that going totally green is a problem because of slow-to-change suppliers. Those 11,000 suppliers have registered relevant materials content data for their products with the Product Chemical Substance Management System (GP-Web system). The Website was specifically developed to consolidate and manage data on chemical substances on a global basis.
Panasonic’s achievement demonstrates it is possible – a full nine months prior to the RoHS deadline – reach compliance across thousands of global suppliers, while also successfully gathering the pertinent materials content to show compliance. This is particularly surprising given that many OEMs claim that only 70 to 80 percent of their suppliers are ready for RoHS.
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.