An improving economy and growing end-user confidence will boost demand in Europe's electric drives market, valued at $1.5 billion, says a study by Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com). With robust growth in the ac drives market—the key sector of European electric drives industry—and a rebound in the German market, the study also projects the overall market to grow to $2 billion by 2009.
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.