I remember reading about all of the technical and logistics challenges when workers were building the Panama canal many years ago. Many lives were lost due to disease at that time. The Panama canal is an engineering accomplishment and I'm glad to see continuous improvements being made.
An improvement of only seven percent in the volume of fresh water used suggests that the redesign was probably motivated by increasing the lock size for larger ships and the slight reduction in fresh water was achieved to help sell the design. I'm certain that the seven percent gain will be more than lost by the increase in traffic caused by the larger locks.
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.