i-Nalysis, a recently launched New England-based company, had introduced a handheld X-ray Fluorescence device designed to make it easier for companies to identify lead and other elements in their products. According to i-Nalysis, the palm-sized device is based on recently developed X-ray technology that uses pyroelectric crystals. The new technology was developed to bring down the cost of X-ray identification. The company is aiming the new product at military contractors that need to test for lead components, recycling companies that need to analyze alloys, retail chains that want to test for lead in toys and jewelers who need to measure carat content in diamond rings.
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.