Sometimes a fuzzy-headed article can produce an excellent conversation.
According to Robert Landman, president of H&L Instruments in North Hampton, N.H., “lead-free electronics in products whose life-cycle includes operation in and through harsh environments, pose technical risks that can lead to degraded reliability and reduced lifetimes.”
Landman’s thoughtful comments were posted in response to an article in GreenerWorking.com entitled, “Electronic makers turning green and benefiting.” The article drew knowledgeable comments from a number of executives in the electronics industry who continue to insist there has not been sufficient testing of lead-free electronics to indicate they will perform adequately in high-reliability settings. Many of the comments challenge the notion that leaded solder is an environmental problem at all.
These comments collected together offer a well-informed and intelligent perspective on lead-free issues in the electronics industry.
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.