A sample of PICA-X heat shield material subjected to temperatures of up to 1,850C (3,360F), at the Arc Jet Complex at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The NASA-originated PICA material holds the record for high-speed reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. The SpaceX-developed and manufactured PICA-X variants meet or exceed the performance of the original material, to protect the Dragon spacecraft on its return to Earth. (Source: SpaceX)
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.