Aisin Develops Ultrahigh-Efficiency Motor Using Soft Magnetic Alloy from Tohoku Magnet Institute 

Nanomet foil development and manufacturing, left, is by Tohoku Magnet Institute. Foil processing and motor manufacturing, right, is by Aisin. 

Aisin Corporation has developed an ultrahigh-efficiency motor jointly with Tohoku Magnet Institute using TMI’s newly developed nanocrystalline soft magnetic alloy, Nanomet. Aisin invested in TMI in June of last year and a prototype of the motor was exhibited at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2023, held recently in Yokohama. Both firms are based in Japan, and each contributed their technical capabilities to the development. TMI is an R&D spinout from Tohoku University where the alloy was invented. 

Aisin’s strengths lie in its motor development technologies for a variety of units for HEVs, BEVs and other vehicles that have been cultivated over the years, as well as its production technologies that leverage its diverse processing know-how, while TMI’s strengths lie in research and development of optimal compositions for motors and technological development of optimal foil manufacturing. The ultrahigh efficiency motor, which is made by processing Nanomet into the motor core and stator, was developed by combining the strengths of the two companies. The technology halves the loss compared to conventional motors for BEVs that use electromagnetic steel plates and is expected to improve the overall electric power efficiency of a vehicle by more than 3%. 

Aisin will further refine the technology for practical use and proceed with testing and evaluation, with the aim of bringing this motor to the market for BEVs by 2029. In the future, Aisin will accelerate development with a view to expanding the technology not only to the mobility field, but also to various other fields where there is a high need for improving power efficiency through the use of ultrahigh-efficiency motors. 

Nanomet is a nanocrystalline soft magnetic alloy that achieves both high saturation magnetic flux density and ultralow iron loss, invented at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University. It is sold exclusively by TMI, a spin-out from Tohoku University. TMI is based in Natori City. 

Aisin e-axles combine motor, inverter and a transaxle that employ new technologies including the optimization of motor magnet arrangement and use of low-viscosity oil for electric units. 

Aisin is a top-tier automotive supplier producing complete e-axles among its powertrain products and an extensive lineup of components and systems for major auto manufacturers. EV and HEV powertrains are a major growth initiative for the company. It plans to sequentially launch new production lines to build a production system for 4.5 million electric units by about 2025. 

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