Small-to-medium-size enterprises (SME) usually don't have the design engineering resources of large companies. Nor do they have the purchasing clout to draw these services directly from their suppliers. So they often turn to distributors for support in designing their products and in creating a functional bill of materials.
Distributors are happy to help their customers since assistance in design typically means the distributor gets the component sale. Many distributors take design engineering a step further and help their customers create products that are likely to meet consumer demand, since a hot-selling product means the customer will buy more components.
Green Assistance From Distributors
Managing the minefield of environmental compliance can be overwhelming for a small-to-medium-size enterprise. Questions about how to manage materials content information or how to make sure all of the parts in a bill of materials are compliant can be a major headache. Distributors assist their customers with a continual flow of information on how to manage compliance with European directives such as RoHS and WEEE as well as environmental laws promulgated by individual states in North America.
Distributors provide wide-ranging information on compliance. Most large distributors have created extensive Web-based resources that are continually updated with green news and white papers on the technical issues of compliance. You can learn about tin whisker mitigation and find compliance guides that spell out the steps necessary to comply with individual environmental directives.
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.