Overall product costs and part weight were reduced by conversion of this housing used in a microwave telecom application. Elimination of machined chips of an expensive nickel alloy was one part of the cost reduction. Another was a design that incorporated threaded posts that had been separate "stand-offs" with longer bolts. All eight threaded holes were molded into the part. Like other microelectronic devices used in telecommunications, this part needed to be sealed in a hermetic package. The molder, FloMet of DeLand, FL, went to sister company Teka Seal for a glass-to-metal sealing process that completes the part. Final nickel/gold plating was done through an outside contractor. Cost savings over the original wrought design were 60 percent. For more information on FloMet, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4933-516.
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.