Also at the show, Astyx Inc. (formerly known as Microwave Technology and Sensors) showed a proximity sensor that detects the distance of near-field (about half an inch) targets, including carbon fiber composites, as well as all types of metals. The new prox sensor represents a departure of sorts for sensing technology, which previously had been unable to detect such composites with great accuracy. Astyx Inc. President Peter Schmitz says the new sensor can detect its distance from a carbon fiber to an accuracy of about 10 µm at a measuring range of about 1 mm. For more information on Astyx, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4928-553.
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.