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Magnetic Flux Controlling Technology for Work Holding

Technology Overview

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.

Technology Features & Specifications

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:

  1. As a controlling magnet, alnico magnet coercive force is about ¼ of Nd.
  2. Loss of holding force at higher temperatures
  3. High level of power consumption
  4. Instability of holding force
  5. EPM requires many associated devices such as power supply and wire, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies), residual eliminator, cooling, controller.

 

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.

  1. Only Nd magnets with high coercivity are used in this technology
  2. Possible to implement various magnetic circuits such as single sided holding, double sided holding, optimization, module array, and etc.
  3. Easy to control instantaneous (1 second) magnetic flux flow with low DC current magnetic field
  4. 100% holding and 0% release control (no instability)

Potential Applications

  • Semiconductor: for clamping on probe stations
  • Automobile: for autonomous vehicles, Electric vehicles (e.g. for battery attachment)
  • Machinery applications: for automation, locks, chucks, clamps, magnetic drills, drones, grippers
  • OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode): for manufacturing process
  • Steel industry: for steel lifting
  • Heavy Industry: for lifting of heavy objects

Market Trends and Opportunities

Semiconductor

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.

Autonomous vehicles

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.

Customer Benefits

  • Power Consumption: Controlled by DC small current (~ 250W / 1 module) less than 1 second, and maintain holding state with no current
  • Stability: Maintain stable performance through its 100% holding and 0% removal control
  • Reliability: 100% holding control regardless of the ambient temperature influence, impurities, or dust
  • Portability: Portable with low power consumption (no need for cooling/ power supply/ residual magnetism removal, and etc.), which enables to be produced as an adaptor
  • Operating temperature: Available to hold in high temperature up to 200 C with Nd (Neodymium) magnet
  • Holding thickness: Various magnetic circuits can be realized according to the requirements
  • No residual magnetic flux: no residual in adsorption target and magnetic circuit

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