Feeds

Hitachi spins up 'leccy fan motor sans rare earths

Where's your monopoly now, China?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi has unveiled what it claims to be a highly efficient mid-sized electric motor built without using the rare earth minerals which have become essential to the production of much of modern technology.

The 11kw motor is designed to power pumps or fans in factories and tunnels and should be ready for commercial production by 2014, said Hitachi.

The key design challenge the firm had to overcome was to build a magnet synchronous motor with the requisite energy efficiency and performance without using the rare earth minerals neodymium and dysprosium.

Hitachi said it achieved this thanks to developing its own “iron-based amorphous metal core”, which it has been working on since 2008.

The main drivers for the project were improving energy efficiency to counter global warming and move away from a reliance on rare earth materials which China has a virtual monopoly on.

“From the viewpoint of resource depletion, the need for replacement of recycling of rare earth and other materials is increasing,” the firm said in a press release.

China has come under increasing pressure from the US, Europe and Japan over its hardline stance on rare earths, of which it has a global market share of around 97 per cent.

It has been reprimanded several times already by the World Trade Organisation and is under investigation again after the US, EU and Japan filed complaints alleging China’s export restrictions are unfair and could severely affect the global supply chain for countless products.

While some have claimed China is squeezing exports deliberately to push prices up, the government has argued that this is merely part of its plans to become more environmentally friendly. In fact, it announced a cut back on rare earth mining last month as part of this strategy.

Whatever the reasons, the global supply chain would be a lot happier if either alternative rare earth deposits or alternative ways of manufacturing goods like hard drives and plasma screens could be found.

According to reports, Hitachi plans to develop its home grown technology further for use in cars and home appliances. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Microsoft builds teleporter weapon to send VMware into Azure
Updated Virtual Machine Converter now converts Linux VMs too
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.