How big is the valve business? Bigger than you might think. According to the Valve Manufacturers' Association (VMA), the U.S. industrial valve industry logs sales of approximately $2.7B. Biggest markets include the petrochemical, chemical, construction, and petroleum industries. Though the industry is big, VMA classifies most valve manufacturers as small to medium size businesses. Collectively, they employ 20,000 people in both manufacturing and support functions.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.