John McCaully is the owner of Industrial Automation and Control, a consulting outfit with customers in the air and water treatment industries. In his other life, he is owner of Our Gang Racing, which runs a Pontiac Firebird on the International Hot Rod Association's drag-racing circuit.
The car boasts a 1,380 hp, 700 cubic-inch engine, which allows it to reach over 200 mph on its quarter-mile runs. The team competes in the Top Sportsman class, which in drag racing circles is regarded as the last true "no rules" category—fewer limitations regarding body styles and engine components, and no limits on engine displacement. Thus cars in this class possess some of the most radical chassis designs and mechanical innovations. Regulations permit electronic driving aids and other leading-edge technologies not typical in other racing classes.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.