Magnet Applications - News Feed en-us http://www.magnetapplications.com/ Recent news posted on the Magnet Applications Website. <![CDATA[January 27, 2017 - IS THERE AN OPTIMUM PRICE-PERFORMANCE METRIC FOR PERMANENT MAGNET MATERIALS?]]> http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/january-27-2017-is-there-an-optimum-price-performance-metric-for-permanent-magnet-materials http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/january-27-2017-is-there-an-optimum-price-performance-metric-for-permanent-magnet-materials Attend any magnetics conference or seminar and I can guarantee a slide will appear in someone’s presentation showing something along the lines of the year of introduction of a permanent magnet material versus the corresponding (BH)max. I know when I am presenting I always use a variant of the figure shown below:

The one thing I always point out is that it’s now been 35 years since the last significant new material was announced by Sumitomo Special Metals and General Motors; namely materials based on the Nd2Fe14B tetragonal compound. This despite untold hours and $’s spent on a search for the next big thing in permanent magnets.

So why the fascination/obsession with (BH)max? Well it is an useful and practical index of permanent magnet performance since to a first approximation the higher the (BH)max value the smaller the volume of magnet required to generate a given flux density in a air gap. Of course it’s a bit more complicated than that but this is intended to be a short blog not a textbook plus I haven’t figured out how type out equations in LinkedIn!

There are a lot of other criteria to consider when either selecting the right magnet for an application or understanding the degree of commercial success of a particular material in the market. Some of the considerations are shown below:

However, it occurs to me that there is some price-performance sweet spot that determines the degree of market success that is not expressed in the above list of criteria. This magic index is the subject of this article.

Today, there are 4 major classes of basic magnet material in commercial production; alnico, NdFeB, SmCo and ferrite. In addition there is a subset of products known as bonded magnets that combine these basic magnetic material powders in a non-magnetic binder. Most commonly used magnetic powders are ferrite and isotropic NdFeB. It’s become standard to think of all these material options as providing a continuum of (BH)max performance from 1 MGOe (isotropic ferrite) to 55 MGOe or higher (sintered NdFeB) except for a small gap between 12 MGOe (bonded NdFeB) and 18 MGOe (SmCo5). However, typically the relative market shares of these materials are not included in these discussion and hence no weighting is given to the relative commercial significance of the material options. The table below gives my estimate/guess of the global markets for these materials:

As can be seen two materials (sintered NdFeB and ferrite) account for over 90% of the market. The rest are all less than 5%; by my arbitrary definition they are niche materials. The two mass market (again by my arbitrary definition) magnets are ferrite and sintered NdFeB and yet they have dramatically different properties and performance characteristics. So if you are developing a magnet for the mass market I argue the performance gap is actually between 5.5 MGOe and 35 MGOe; a much larger gap than is typically discussed.

So I started wondering is there a metric that might indicate whether a material is destined to be a niche player or mass market behemoth. In the table below I simply divided the average price per kg by the typical (BH)max of the material to give a number with the ugly units of $.MGOe/kg. Interestingly the two mass market materials have similar values; the niche materials have values that are higher by at least 60%. My theory is that if the price-performance ratio is optimum then the market will figure out a way to fix or design around the disadvantages of the material e.g. low temperature demagnetization of ferrite, poor corrosion resistance of NdFeB. If the price-performance ratio is not optimum than the material remains a niche product since the market is less inclined to find a solution to the limitations.

So I will be the first to admit that this could be some arithmetical coincidence and as we all know correlation does not mean causation but still it’s worth pondering. Plus my market estimates could be far from reality which since it forms the basis for this analysis this makes it problematic. However, with all the continuing effort and resources being devoted to find the next big thing in permanent magnets it might be worth for the various academic, governmental and commercial researchers to do a back of a chewing gum packet (cigarettes are bad for you) estimate of the production cost and see where your $.MGOe/kg value falls. Is your work likely to produce a niche product (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or does it have the magic to be a mass market product.

Let me finish by saying I am only a mere metallurgist and not an economist so this is a very simplistic analysis (that’s probably an understatement) which I doubt will ever be considered by the HBR! However, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments. I can be reached at sales@MagnetUS.com.

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<![CDATA[December 2, 2016 - MAGNET APPLICATIONS, INC. TECHNICAL ADVISOR TO SPEAK AT MAGNETICS 2017]]> http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/december-2-2016-magnet-applications-inc-technical-advisor-to-speak-at-magnetics-2017 http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/december-2-2016-magnet-applications-inc-technical-advisor-to-speak-at-magnetics-2017 DUBOIS, PA – Magnet Applications®, Inc., the only North American manufacturer of compression bonded magnets and a leading manufacturer of injection molded magnets, hybrid magnets and magnetic assemblies, today announced that Dr. John Ormerod, the company’s senior technology advisor, will speak at Magnetics 2017, held in Orlando, FL, January 18-19.

Magnetics 2017 is a global event that brings together worldwide magnetics experts to understand the latest advancements in in magnetic applications, technology and materials. The event is attended by hundreds of OEMs design engineers, application engineers and scientists from around the globe.

Dr. Ormerod, who has nearly forty years of experience in magnetics and a PhD in Metallurgy from the University of Manchester, plans to discuss the latest developments in Dy-diffused high temperature NdFeB grade magnets, NdFeB radially oriented rings, Fe16N2, higher energy bonded magnets and additive manufacturing (3D printed) magnets. An update on the permanent magnet market and latest status of the Hitachi Metals patent litigation will also be presented.

For more information on Magnetics 2017, visit: www.magneticsmagazine.com/conferences/

Magnet Applications, Inc. is a Bunting® Magnetics Co. In addition to serving as Senior Technology Advisory for Magnet Applications, Dr. Ormerod is an advisory board member for Bunting Magnetics Co.

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<![CDATA[November 29, 2016 - MAGNET APPLICATIONS, INC. ADVANCES 3D PRINTED NdFeB MAGNETS ]]> http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/november-29-2016-magnet-applications-inc-advances-3d-printed-ndfeb-magnets http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/november-29-2016-magnet-applications-inc-advances-3d-printed-ndfeb-magnets DUBOIS, PA – Magnet Applications®, Inc., the only North American manufacturer of compression bonded magnets and a leading manufacturer of injection molded magnets, hybrid magnets and magnetic assemblies, today announced a breakthrough in 3D printed neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets. Engineers from Magnet Applications, working together with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have proven that permanent magnets produced by additive manufacturing (commonly referred to a “3D Printing”) outperform bonded magnets using traditional methods with less waste.

Magnet Applications, Inc., a Bunting® Magnetics Company, manufactured the starting composite pellets with 65 volume percent isotropic NdFeB powder and 35 percent polyamide nylon-12 binder in a precise ratio, blended to a consistent texture. The 3D printing was performed at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM system). Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a Tennessee-based science and technology laboratory managed by the United States Department of Energy. The complete study is published in Scientific Reports.

“Additive manufacturing in magnets provides multiple benefits,” commented Dr. John Ormerod, Senior Technical Advisor, Magnet Application, Inc. “They have more design flexibility, which is especially beneficial in sensor technology and it creates less waste than in the traditional sintering process.”

NdFeB magnets are the most powerful on earth, and used in everything from robotics, wind turbines, electric vehicles, cell phones, electric motors and other consumer and industrial equipment.

“With rapidly advancing technologies, the ability to manufacture the strongest magnet available in any shape without tooling, in any quantity, unleashes so many design opportunities. The work has demonstrated the potential of additive manufacturing to be applied to wide range of magnetic materials and assemblies,” Ormerod continued.

“Magnet Applications and many of our customers are excited to explore the commercial impact of this technology in the future,” he added.

With control over the size and shape of the magnet – as well as the magnetic field – further research will include printing magnets in various strengths with preferred direction of magnetization.

Contributing to the project were Ling Li, Angelica Tirado, Orlando Rios, Brian Post, Vlastimil Kunc, R. R. Lowden, Edgar Lara-Curzio at ORNL, as well as researchers I. C. Nlebedim and Thomas Lograsso working with CMI at Ames Laboratory. Robert Fredette and John Ormerod from Magnet Applications Inc. (MAI) contributed to the project through an MDF technology collaboration. The DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office provides support for ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, a public-private partnership to engage industry with national labs.

CLICK HERE to view on the Nature website.

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<![CDATA[September 21, 2016 - HOW TO ASSURE EVERY RARE EARTH (OR ANY) MAGNET MEETS YOUR REQUIREMENTS 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME]]> http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/september-21-2016-how-to-assure-every-rare-earth-or-any-magnet-meets-your-requirements-100-percent-of-the-time http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/september-21-2016-how-to-assure-every-rare-earth-or-any-magnet-meets-your-requirements-100-percent-of-the-time So you have designed and thoroughly tested your revolutionary new magnetic device and are ready to place an order with your chosen magnet supplier. How do you assure the magnets you receive will meet your (and your customers) requirements 100 percent of the time?

Like any engineered product, the first and most important task is to develop a set of documents that provide a detailed and clear definition of your requirements; these should include GD and T drawings, descriptions of all magnetic, mechanical, environmental and thermal specifications and an explanation of test methods including gauges, fixtures and equipment. It’s also useful to include any relevant quality and testing standards. A very important point to make here is that the development of the total magnet specification should be done jointly with the magnet supplier at the earliest possible time in the application development process. This allows a mutually accepted specification to be developed that meets your requirements while at the same time, by recognizing inherent magnet process limitations, provides the most cost effective solution.

JOC LLC has developed a tool and methodology (REassure) that utilizes a series of templates describing the four critical quality process elements in the magnet manufacturing process. The elements are; process control, product control, calibration and records. Detailed templates are developed for every process step in the supplier’s manufacturing process including sub-suppliers e.g. magnet plating and coating. REassure is based on ISO/TS 16949 QMS process audit practices combined with more than 30 years experience in the magnet industry and automotive supply chain.

What follows is an example of the REassure methodology as applied to a typical rare earth magnet product. The generic process steps for rare earth magnet (NdFeB) manufacturing are shown below.

Generic Process for Rare Earth (NdFeB) Sintered Magnet

The details of the process step are specific and engineered by each magnet manufacturer. For example, today most NdFeB magnet manufactures use strip casting to produce the alloy flakes; it has been found that this technique can consistently develop the optimum cast microstructure while requiring the minimum excess RE content over stoichiometry. Another example of a tailored process is the coarse pulverization stage. Nowadays this is typically performed using the common and well-known technique of hydrogen decrepitation. This is a chemical process that breakdown the alloy flakes to a coarse powder. The schematic below illustrates hydrogen decrepitation or coarse pulverization process.

Coarse Pulverization by Hydrogen Decrepitation

The process consist of introducing hydrogen gas into a chamber containing NdFeB alloy. The Nd-rich phases present at the grain boundaries absorbs the hydrogen initially resulting in a significant expansion of the crystal structure and embrittlement of the phase followed by the absorption of hydrogen by the primary main Nd2Fe14B phase. The resultant hydrided powder can have coarse particles typically < 1 millimeter (mm) and is extremely brittle and friable leading to high milling efficiencies for jet milling.

In this example of Reassure I will take one process step i.e. milling or fine pulverization by jet milling. The major objective of milling rare earth permanent magnet alloys is to produce a narrow size distribution of single crystal particles, i.e., individual particles containing no grain boundaries and therefore only one preferred axis of magnetization. This step must also be completed with the minimum contamination of the fine powder. There are many types of jet mills used in rare earth magnet manufacturing but the most common is the fluidized bed type shown schematically below.

Schematic of Fluidized Bed Jet Milling System

Using a combination of my experience of rare earth magnet manufacturing (beginning in 1979) and best quality systems practices we populate the four sections of the REassure template as shown below.

Example of REassure Template

These are the areas of control and documentation that the supplier audit targets for evidence and verification. Any specific process settings and product control values are determined using DFMEA and PFEMA tools and are normally detailed on control charts by the supplier.

The degree to which REassure is applied depends entirely on your tolerance of acceptable risk combined with the severity that an out of requirement magnet component causes in your application and at your customer.

JOC LLC can apply the REassure tool ranging from a basic desk audit to a multi-day on-site supplier audit. In all cases a full report and recommended areas for improvement will be provided. Our goal is to verify that the necessary manufacturing process control systems and methods are embedded and practiced at your supplier to assure the supplied magnetic products meet your requirements 100 percent of the time.

Dr. John Ormerod

Dr. John Ormerod is Principal and founder of JOC LLC (www.jocllc.com). He serves on the Advisory Board of Bunting Magnetics Company and is Senior Technology Advisor to Magnet Applications Inc. and Niron Magnetics. Email John at john@jocllc.com or visit www.jocllc.com for more information.

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<![CDATA[August 9, 2016 - MAGNET APPLICATIONS, INC. NAMES MELISSA BUSH QUALITY SUPERVISOR]]> http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/august-9-2016-magnet-applications-inc-names-melissa-bush-quality-supervisor http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/august-9-2016-magnet-applications-inc-names-melissa-bush-quality-supervisor DUBOIS, PA – Magnet Applications®, the only North American manufacturer of compression bonded magnets and a leading manufacturer of injection molded magnets, hybrid magnets and magnetic assemblies, today named Melissa Bush as the company’s new Quality Supervisor. Melissa will be responsible for overseeing the company’s quality systems as well as magnet and magnetic assembly inspections.

Melissa comes to Magnet Applications with more than twenty years of experience in quality control in powdered metals and manufacturing. Her expertise includes customer audits; tool, mold and part inspections; analysis of inspection results; quality training and developing quality procedures.

Magnet Applications is ISO 9001:2008 and ITAR Registered.

“Complete customer satisfaction is our goal at Magnet Applications. We want to exceed our customer’s expectations in every phase of the process – from design and engineering to manufacturing and shipping,” commented Don Lindstrom, General Manager, who made the announcement. “Melissa fits our quality culture well. Her knowledge in quality control will allow Magnet Applications to continue to promise our customers the products will be consistent, reliable and exactly what they asked for.”

In addition to her experience and Penn State education, Melissa has received certification in Basic Concepts of Blueprint Reading and Inspection; Geometric Tolerance and Fundamentals; Functional Gaging and Inspection; and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance.

About Magnet Applications®, A Bunting® Magnetics Company

Magnet Applications, Inc., is part of Bunting® Magnetics Co. family of companies, a global provider magnets and magnetic separation, metal detection and material handling equipment as well as a complete line of magnetic printing cylinders. Magnet Applications is the only North American manufacturer of compression bonded magnets, injection molded magnets, hybrid magnets and magnetic assemblies for the worldwide Automotive & Transportation, Industrial & Commercial, Medical Equipment, Military & Aerospace, Security and other industries. Its products are primarily used in PM motors and magnetic sensors. Magnet Applications, Inc. facilities are located in Dubois, Pennsylvania with sales support worldwide. The company is ITAR/DFARS and ISO 9001:2008 registered. For additional information, call 1-800-437-8890 or 1-814-375-9145 or visit magnetapplications.com. Follow Magnet Applications on Twitter @MagApplications and LinkedIn.

About Bunting® Magnetics Co.

Since the company’s 1959 founding, Bunting® Magnetics has led the industry in both durability and performance in its line metal detection, magnetic separation and material handling equipment as well as printing cylinders for several global markets: Recycling, food packaging and processing, feed and grain, plastics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, offset printing, metal stamping, automobile manufacturing and more. Bunting magnets are also available at buymagnets.com. Bunting Magnetics facilities are located in Newton, Kansas; suburban Chicago, Illinois; DuBois, Pennsylvania; and Berkhamsted, England. For additional information, call 1-800-835-2526 or +44 (0) 1442 875081 or visit buntingmagnetics.com or buntingeurope.com. Follow Bunting on Twitter (@BuntingMagCo) and LinkedIn (Bunting Magnetics Co).

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<![CDATA[August 4, 2016 - MAGNET APPLICATIONS, INC. RECEIVES AWARD FOR QUALITY BY LEADING AUTOMOTIVE PARTS SUPPLIER]]> http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/august-4-2016-magnet-applications-inc-receives-award-for-quality-by-leading-automotive-parts-supplier http://www.magnetapplications.com/news/view/august-4-2016-magnet-applications-inc-receives-award-for-quality-by-leading-automotive-parts-supplier DUBOIS, PA – Magnet Applications®, the only North American manufacturer of compression bonded magnets and a leading manufacturer of injection molded magnets, hybrid magnets and magnetic assemblies, today announced that it was recognized for outstanding quality by Tokai Rika Group, a leading global automotive parts supplier, at its Supplier Conference, held July 12.

Magnet Applications, which supplies assemblies used in Toyota, Subaru and Ford vehicles, was one of just three companies honored for supplying products that meet or exceed the quality and delivery standards set by Tokai Rika Group, a Tier Two supplier to Toyota.

“We’re honored to be recognized by Tokai Rika Group, a strategic business partner for more than seven years, with such a prestigious award,” commented Don Lindstrom, General Manager, Magnet Applications. “This award reflects the fantastic business relationship with Tokai, our ability to deliver consistent, high-quality assemblies – over three million since our partnership began – and the dedication to quality by our entire team of designers and assemblers.”

About Magnet Applications®, A Bunting® Magnetics Company

Magnet Applications, Inc., is part of Bunting® Magnetics Co. family of companies, a global provider magnets and magnetic separation, metal detection and material handling equipment as well as a complete line of magnetic printing cylinders. Magnet Applications is the only North American manufacturer of compression bonded magnets, injection molded magnets, hybrid magnets and magnetic assemblies for the worldwide Automotive & Transportation, Industrial & Commercial, Medical Equipment, Military & Aerospace, Security and other industries. Its products are primarily used in PM motors and magnetic sensors. Magnet Applications, Inc. facilities are located in Dubois, Pennsylvania with sales support worldwide. For additional information, call 1-800-437-8890 or 1-814-375-9145 or visit magnetapplications.com. Follow Magnet Applications on Twitter @MagApplications and LinkedIn.

About Bunting® Magnetics Co.

Since the company’s 1959 founding, Bunting® Magnetics has led the industry in both durability and performance in its line metal detection, magnetic separation and material handling equipment as well as printing cylinders for several global markets: Recycling, food packaging and processing, feed and grain, plastics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, offset printing, metal stamping, automobile manufacturing and more. Bunting magnets are also available at buymagnets.com. Bunting Magnetics facilities are located in Newton, Kansas; suburban Chicago, Illinois; DuBois, Pennsylvania; and Berkhamsted, England. For additional information, call 1-800-835-2526 or +44 (0) 1442 875081 or visit buntingmagnetics.com or buntingeurope.com. Follow Bunting on Twitter (@BuntingMagCo) and LinkedIn (Bunting Magnetics Co).

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