A new European Union (EU) law has riled the environmental community for being too weak, as well as the chemical industry for being too strong. The Registration, Evaluation and Authorization for Chemical (REACH) was approved by the European Parliament last week by a vote of 407 to 155. Under the law, companies must register up to 30,000 chemicals and provide information on potential hazards.
Environmental groups heralded the bill as an important step, but they regretted that thousands of chemicals were exempted. The European Chemical Industry Council said it was disappointed with elements of the package, claiming the vote reflects a misunderstanding of the substances of concern can be safely handled and used.
It’s not immediately clear how this will affect the electronics industry, though the law is likely to identify hazardous chemicals beyond the RoHS six. The new rules could be in place as early as next year.
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.