In a demonstration of its clean diesel-power engines, Caterpillar recently asked President Bush — who visited the company when they debuted cleaner engines — to hold a white handkerchief over the exhaust stack of a truck as the engine was revved. After the demonstration, the handkerchief was still white.
The reduction in particulate matter in the Caterpillar engines slotted for 2007 equipment is significant. "In 1988 the average EPA-compliant heavy-duty on-highway truck traveling 120,000 miles in a year emitted about 470 lb of particulate matter," explains Dough Oberhelman, Caterpillar Group president with the responsibility for Caterpillar's engine business. "The engine we demonstrated to President Bush — and the engines that our customers will use in 2007 — will emit less than 8 lb of particulate matter a year, a reduction of approximately 98 percent."
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.