A Korean company is seeking to commercialize its innovative magnetic flux-controlling technology. The technology helps to hold or detach a magnetic body (armature) through controlling magnetic force with the arrangement of the permanent magnet rotating freely with a coil without using electronic power within less than 1 second. It helps address the inherent limitations faced by electropermanent magnets (EPM), such as instability, high power consumption and performance losses at high temperatures.
Manufacturers of automobile components, magnetic drills, semiconductor, electromagnetic locks, deadbolt, safety equipment etc. are sought for license agreements.
As a key role in automated process of manufacturing facilities, work-holding technology is to hold or lift the parts securely using magnetic work holders. Magnetic holding/lifting devices hold/attach magnetic objects on a workbench by leveraging on strong magnetic forces generated by the permanent magnet. The objects can be detached when the devices control and stop the magnetic flow from the permanent magnet.
EPM technology which was developed in the 1980s is mainly used as work holders such as internal devices attached to mould clamping of injection machine, mould clamping of press machine, chuck of factory machine etc. EPM magnetises and holds alnico magnets with high current magnetic fields. Alnico magnet controls Nd magnet’s flux flow path by magnetising N-S and S-N at high power (~ 10 seconds).
However, there are some limitations with EPM as follows:
New magnetic flux-controlling technology
Since 2008, the Korean company has focused on the development of work-holding technology. In 2019, the company has newly developed a magnetic flux-controlling technology which enables the devices to hold or detach objectives within less than 1 second by controlling magnetic flux path with small-sized DC (Direct Current). In other words, this technology helps to hold or detach a magnetic body through the control of the magnetic force with the arrangement of the permanent magnet rotating freely with a coil.
The detailed concept of the magnetic flux-controlling technology is as below.
A large number of needle pins (headpin) in wafer probe station for semiconductor test are required to be pressed exactly one-on-one while testing. However, as the pins continues to increase in volume, the pressure is not uniformly distributed. To solve the problem, the Korean company has developed a technology that produces more than 200kg of power in a unit area with equal pressure regardless of the thickness of the space inside the semiconductor. As it works without using electricity, it does not affect the semiconductor wafer.
Available to build an automated system: Installing a part using the new work-holding technology in a small space under the car seat carpet or on monitors to automatically move or fix them within 0.5 second. The technology is also possible to be applied for automatic replacement of automobile body frame.
Magnetic tools (e.g. drills)
A magnetic drill’s stand and the attachment part of its main body can be replaced with the technology to hold them without any detachment.