The electronics industry group, IPC, has been concerned that the European Union was creating a RoHS priority assessment list without scientific assessment. In a statement issued this month, IPC has announced the tide may be turning on assessing RoHS revisions. “We are extremely pleased by this turn of events,’ stated Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy. “By setting aside their call for a list of substances for priority assessment, the Belgian Presidency [which is in charge of the RoHS revision] is acknowledging our advocacy, echoed by the EU Commission and many EU member states, for a scientifically-based RoHS Directive.” Revision of the RoHS Directive will require agreement between the EU Council, Commission and Parliament.
In a position paper released in September 2010, IPC unequivocally stated that, “Listing substances for priority assessment is prejudicial and would establish a de facto black list. Substances in Annex III would be considered harmful before a thorough scientific assessment is conducted. Substances should either be restricted under the RoHS Directive or not; there should be no ambiguity.”
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.