I bought a cheap elliptical / exercise bicycle. I didn't know if it would get much use. And if it did, then I could justify a more expensive unit. It quickly developed a clunk in the pedals. I disassembled the covers to inspect the drive, expecting to find the bearings were failing. The belt had a fixed tensioner, not spring loaded - the pedaling resistance was adjusted by a drum brake unit. I don't know how they assembled the tensioner - the belt was ridiculously tight. I had to struggle to unbolt and remove the tensioner - it was at the end of the adjustment for 'looseness'. After several minutes of pondering I re-routed the belt and re-installed the tensioner. The belt is now snug vs. piano string tight. And the clunk is gone.
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.