While the switch to lead-free solder has been completed across much of the electronics industry (some areas are exempt), the directives related to hazardous materials are an ongoing work in progress. The European Union has just published a revised version of RoHS. Look for an item on that in the next fews days. India has just announced its own RoHS regulations.
The good news is that after three or four years of using lead-free solder, there have not been major reliability problems. Look for an article on that subject in the next week.
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.