China Magnets Source Material Limited Uses Automation Equipments in Magnet Manufacturing to Increase Production Capacity

As the market demand for NdFeB magnets continues to increase, magnet manufacturers have begun to look for ways to increase magnet manufacturing capacity.

At the same time, rising labor costs and difficulty in recruiting workers have forced magnet plants to consider ways to reduce labor costs by reducing the number of workers they use.

At this point, “automation” has undoubtedly become the golden key for permanent magnet manufacturers to solve the problem.

Increasing Market Demand for Industrial Magnets

magnet manufacturers sintering furnace making raw material for permanent magnets

Rare earth sintering furnace

In terms of applications of permanent magnet materials, the automotive sector is the largest with 35%, followed by various types of loudspeakers and miniaturized electroacoustic devices with about 30%, and other areas including computer disk drives with 10%.

A modern luxury car requires roughly 15-70 pieces permanent magnet devices to perform various control actions. The rare-earth permanent magnet materials used here probably weighs about 0.5-3.5 kg. With the development of automobiles to be multi-functional and intelligent, the application of NdFeB permanent magnets in automobiles will become more and more extensive. According to relevant research reports, the consumption of NdFeB permanent magnet material for each hybrid car is about 2.5 kg; pure electric cars are 5 kg each.

And in March 2018, Tesla, the global leader in new energy vehicles, used permanent magnet motors in the Model 3 electric car. This means that rare-earth permanent magnet synchronous technology completely dominates the new energy vehicle market. Due to the initial saturation of the market for hard drives, optical drives, etc., the automotive market, especially new energy vehicles, is the main driver of the growth of NdFeB materials.

In addition, because of the rapid advance of automation and intelligence, robots and their servo motors will have a rapid growth. This will also drive an increase in NdFeB usage. There are some new areas, such as high-speed rail, electric cars, where more high-performance NdFeB magnets will be used.

Rising Labor Costs for China Magnet Industries

The magnet industry is labour-intensive. Manual work is high labor intensive and requires high physical and technical quality of employees.

Few in the younger generation are willing to do this work. The average age of workers in China magnet manufacturers is now mostly in the forties and fifties, which is already significantly older. Difficulties in recruitment are becoming more and more prominent.

Because of the shortage of workers, this also makes it much more difficult for magnet companies to manage these frontline workers. Also because of the physical strength, these old workers are more casual about the execution of technical processes, causing hidden problems to permanent magnet quality.

With the development of society, people’s living standard continue to improve, the retirement of the older generation of workers, labor resources will be more strained, magnet industry competition will be more intense. This traditional magnet manufacturing process is clearly not adapted to the survival and development of the magnet industry in today’s society.

The use of mechanical automation in production is therefore of far-reaching significance for both society and business. To this end, China Magnetic Source Materials has been automating many production processes in recent years, based on the actual production situation.

Automatic Equipments in Magnet Manufacturing

At present, we have international advanced permanent magnet production lines in magnet manufacturing, including vacuum induction casting furnace, continuous vacuum sintering furnace, automatic forming press, multi-line cutting machine, automatic testing equipment, automatic plating production line, etc.

  • Vacuum Induction Casting Furnace

It is a special melting equipment for the production of alloy flakes. In order to obtain high performance sintered NdFeB magnets, it is necessary to remove α-Fe, control the small and uniformity of the column crystal, improve the uniformity of the distribution of the Nd-rich phase, and reduce the low carbon oxygen content in the melting process.

Conventional ingot technology is difficult to control the crystal structure due to the long cooling time of the ingot after melting finished. Therefore, the crystal uniformity is low, the neodymium-rich phase is not uniformly distributed, and α-Fe can occur under poor control.

The Vacuum induction casting furnace uses copper wheel rapid condensation technology. The thin band thickness can be controlled in the range of 0.2~0.4mm, and the Nd-rich phase spacing can be distributed in the range of 4~10μm. The key technical indicators such as crystal structure and α-Fe content have been greatly improved. There are also advantages in terms of carbon and oxygen content control due to the higher melting efficiency.

At the same time, it can realize full automatic control, real-time monitoring, full touch screen working environment, simple operation.

  • Continuous Vacuum Sintering Furnace

Automatic feeding and discharging, continuous production. Compared with the traditional sintering furnace, the production efficiency is increased by more than 30%, the energy consumption is reduced by more than 50%, the operating cost is greatly reduced; and the furnace temperature uniformity, consistency, energy saving, very cost-effective.

  • Automatic Pressing Machine

It has the advantages of less operators, high production efficiency, safety and high degree of automation.

  • Multi-wire Cutting Machine

It is a small and high-speed magnet cutting machine and mainly used for the arc cutting of various hard and brittle materials such as magnetic materials.

Compared with conventional wire-cutting machines (internal circular grinding machines and wire EDM), it can achieve a significant improvement in magnet machining efficiency while ensuring high precision and reliability. And it can guarantee the cleanliness of the site and not pollute the environment.

The traditional magnet cutting machine needs to process magnets one by one, so the efficiency is particularly low. But this multi-wire cutting machine can produce the same size magnets in large batches at a time. The production efficiency of a multi-wire cutting machine exceeds 30 slicers.

  • Automatic Plating Production Line

Continuous Vacuum Sintering Furnaces for magnet manufacturing

Continuous Vacuum Sintering

Multi-wire Cutting Machines for magnet manufacturing

Multi-wire Cutting

According to certain electroplating process requirements, the electrical control device, power supply equipment, filtration equipment, heating and cooling device are combined to complete the entire electroplating process automatically through electromechanical equipment. On the premise of ensuring the stable magnet coating quality, it not only saves manpower and time, but also greatly improves magnet manufacturing efficiency.

  • Automated Inspection Equipment

Using non-contact dimensional measurement method, it can quickly carry out comprehensive inspection of the size and appearance defects of NdFeB magnets.

This equipment solution can not only greatly improve the accuracy and efficiency of the magntet inspection, but also greatly save the magnet detection cost.

The amount of NdFeB used in mobile phone parts (such as handsets, ringers, vibrators, cameras, and speakers) is very large, coupled with different types, odd shapes, and different sizes, resulting in certain limitations of traditional manual testing.

The automatic magnet inspection equipment can detect up to 200-400 pieces/minute (depending on the shape and size of the magnets). Detectable magnet shapes include discs, rings, squares, squares, runways, sectors, etc.

The detectable magnet size range is 2-20mm in diameter, length or width, and the highest detection accuracy can reach 10 microns.

At the same time, it can effectively identify the appearance of defects such as cracks, scratches, material residues, hole residues, work residues, knurling, etc.

From manual feeding to the material box, the equipment automatically discharges the material and automatically sorts the inspected magnets.

It also can automatically store and count the product testing data, and then generate reports to facilitate quality traceability and control.

manual testing for disc ndfeb magnets

Manual Testing

Automatic Inspection Machine for magnet manufacturing

Automatic Inspection

Advantages of Automated Magnet Manufacturing

  • Cost reduction

Previously, a single worker operated a machine where feeding, loading, scraping and picking up were all done manually. But by converting the machines to automation, one worker operates multiple machines at the same time, and the machines automatically do the loading, scraping and picking up, product costs are significantly reduced.

  • Improved quality

Compared with manual production, automated machine production has the characteristics of high repeatability and high precision, so that the production of products with good consistency and high pass rate.

After the automatic transformation of the rare earth NdFeB permanent magnet production workshop, the powder is pressed and formed by the fully sealed automatic forming machine, which changes the dust pollution and waste caused by manual pressing in the past, and improves the molding density, uniformity and yield of the product.

And the fully automatic CNC internal slicer can automatically adjust the cutting speed. It cuts products with good consistency and precision.

  • Productivity enhancement

China Magnets Source Material Limited has invested heavily in advanced equipment in the field of neodymium magnet processing, such as multi-wire cutting machines and automatic inspection equipment. These magnet processing machines have helped the company increase its rare earth NdFeB processing capacity and delivery speed by more than 50%.

  • Environmental improvement

With the fully automatic barrel plating production line, workers just need to program on the computer, touch the control button, the production line will automatically complete the pre-treatment, plating, post-treatment and other processes, and automatically control the humidity, electric flow, speed, coloring rate according to the specific situation. Due to the implementation of closed production, the painted site floor is clean and bright, without odor, and meets the national environmental standards.

In addition, the process of handling, dilution preparation and process preparation of raw materials such as nitric acid is also closed and fully automated. This ensures that the site environmental standards, so that people’s impression of plating enterprises dirty, messy, smelly image has been completely changed.

In addition to the above four points, automation equipment also plays an important role in improving safety, working efficiency and reducing labor intensity. China Magnets Source Materials Limited will continue to strive to improve the level of automation and provide customers with high quality magnets at affordable prices. If you are looking for an exceptional rare earth magnet manufacturer that will listen to you and deliver what you expect, email us, we are ready to serve you.

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