Did you know that the average electronic device contains a vast array of toxic heavy metals? Mercury, lead, gallium, selenium, arsenic, zinc, cobalt, tin, palladium and aluminium, to name a few. When you toss that electronic device, someone gets exposed to all those toxins as they dismantle and recycle your electronic waste. Or it goes into the landfill to leach poison into the soil and waterways.
Of course electronic devices enable incredible innovation for industries, but there are costs! There are environmental costs. There are extractive costs to humans, countries, and the environment to get those heavy metals out of the ground. And you know the capital investment that your company has made in electronic equipment. When you consider all these costs, you know you need to find ways to maximize equipment life and device longevity.
You have to be on top of your maintenance programs! And you need to consider using equipment to “modernize” older equipment that is still in its useful life period.
So this week we are looking at what we call “legacy products”. Products that can extend the useful life of an electronic system. These are products that might help you stay in touch with all those sensors and PLCs that only have a serial connection, so you can perform predictive maintenance remotely! Or they are products that conform to industry standards to facilitate a quick and easy replacement, extending the life of the complete system.
This isn’t the place to get into the Bathtub Curve conversation, but I encourage you to look up the paper by Dennis Wilkins!
We jumped into the week with the EDC 4000 from Innodisk. It’s a flash drive that is a drop in replacement for a 40-pin or 44-pin rotating media hard drive. It’s got better performance than a hard disk drive with 40MB read rate, 20MB write rate, and it’s way more reliable-- no spinning disks!
Remember those sensors and PLCs that only have a serial connection? Serial is still a great protocol on the factory floor, but remote access to industrial equipment is critical.
Connect Tech’s BlueHeat/Net Ethernet to Serial device provides a network interface for legacy equipment. Connect devices via software selectable RS-232/422/485 ports. Industrial protocol, POE & industrial temp options. Based on the uClinux embedded operating system.
The PC104 standard has been around since 1987 for a reason. It is modular, rugged, and there are numerous options for SBCs and peripherals in the PC104 form factor.
The ICOP Technology VEX2-6454 can help you get more life out of your PC104-based system. This PC104 SBC features the Vortex86EX2 Processor 600MHz, ISA Bus, VGA/LCD/LVDS, GbE, 4 COM, 1GB DDR3, 16-bit GPIO, LPT, PS/2, audio, and miniPCIe. All that in the industry standard PC104 form factor. It is an awesome upgrade for any stack!
Serial, serial, serial. The M2M world is full of serial devices ~ see above!
The INSYS icom SCR VPN Routers/IoT Gateways allow you to connect both IP-based and serial devices to transform any set up into a modern IT environment. The hardened icom OS provides extensive security, VPN, and local data processing. (We also call that Edge Computing!)
The PC104-plus standard dates back to 1997, and allowed for the addition of PCI to the PC104 bus. All PC104-plus boards must be stackable and usable along with standard PC104 modules. Talk about layers and layers of legacy!
If you need a lot of computing horse power, but you want to keep your stack, check out the ADLINK CM2-BT2 Extreme Rugged™ PC/104-Plus Single Board Computer with Dual-core Intel Atom® Processor System-on-Chip. DDR3L SODIMM socket, PC/104 & PCI-104 connectors, 3 USB, 2 GbE, Audio, VGA, LVDS, 4 COM, mini-PCIe slot. It supports DOS, Windows, Linux, VxWorks & others.
It was a full week of thinking about equipment conservation! But in the midst, we had time to read this delightful success story from ADLINK Technology about the University of Hawaii Autonomous Racing Team! You want to talk about conservation of knowledge and equipment!
These kids were all ready to compete in the 2020 Purdue evGrandPrix competition when it got shut down for COVID-19. But they have come back, repurposed what they learned building an autonomous EV go-cart, and now they are ready to compete in the Indy Autonomous Challenge with a full size autonomous race car!
If you haven’t been following this, I recommend you check out https://www.indyautonomouschallenge.com! The race will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 23, 2021. The only thing more fun than fast cars is fast unmanned cars!
Next week we are taking a look at COMExpress modules and carriers. Join us!