Saving energy is becoming fashionable, as well as frugal. LS Research is providing help for people who want to do more than swap out lightbulbs. Its Rate$aver energy usage rate monitor is a wireless, in-home display that shows consumption data from the home's utility meter. The unit itself is a power miser, operating as long as two years on two AA batteries. It also uses novel display technology that makes the data visible even after the power is turned off. It uses ZigBee, employing a 100 mW power amplifier that covers most homes without a repeater.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.