This is sometimes an overlooked area in some shops. Being able to test one's products to a given set of Standards and use automated test fixtures is an excellent way to validate the designs and implementation as well as build confidence in new products and product lines.
In many instances until the creation of good well thought out standards arrived an industry might be fragmented and the growth of products within that industry might be lower than expected. Consider the fax machine. Until the arrival and acceptance of the Standards in 1983 from the CCITT fax machines were not widely used nor very easy to use.
Once the Standard was approved it was easy for the industry to take off and rapid innovation followed.
The ability to test a products compliance with required standards promotes interoperability, buyers confidence, fosters innovation and drives down costs.
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.