Tin plating has been and continues to be the preferred surface coating for the leads on electronic components. But tin-based plating is susceptible to the formation of needle-like protrusions or whiskers, and whiskers can potentially cause significant problems. They are especially a concern for applications requiring high reliability and long useful 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.