Using a tiny piezoelectric "pill," the Tecno electronic-pneumatic regulator almost instantly limits airflow. When a low power drive signal is applied, the device's piezoelectric element changes shape and regulates pneumatic pressure through an airway. Because it has no moving parts, Tecno is reportedly wear-free. It is not affected by magnetic fields and generates no heat or sparks, making it suitable for use in hazardous operating environments. Applications for the piezo-based pressure regulator include ultrasound welding equipment, sheet tension winding machinery, and highly sensitive medical equipment, such as breathing apparatus or blood pressure monitoring systems. Hoerbiger-Origa Corp: Product Code 4185.
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.