Environment hardened inductors for industrial robotics applications

06 April 2022

Figure 1. Car assembly line. Source: Salman2/Adobe StockFigure 1. Car assembly line. Source: Salman2/Adobe StockInductors are essential electronic components, used to support proper operation in a wide range of devices. TAIYO YUDEN, a manufacturer of electronics components with a 70-plus year history, produces the MCOIL™ LBEN and LBCN lines of metal power inductors for the automotive and industrial markets. These inductors have been proven out over many years in North American automotive applications, as well as European and Asian industrial automation, and can provide an optimal and rugged solution for robotics systems.

In addition to robust industrial/automotive components, TAIYO YUDEN’s expertise also extends to inductors for consumer markets. Their consumer grade inductors are designed for optimum magnetic performance, while their industrial components feature enhanced reliability that is able to withstand the rigors of challenging environments.

In order to provide high reliability, and balance high performance with enhanced insulation specs, LBEN inductors use an iron-based amorphous alloy, coated with thermally stable oxides. Even with such enhanced features, these hardened industrial components feature DC resistance ratings that are still comparatively low, even at high inductance levels. DC bias saturation characteristics are also excellent compared to competitors.

Typical consumer grade inductors feature a single connection point on each side of the surface-mount component. To facilitate enhanced connection integrity, MCOIL™ LBEN and LBCN inductors instead feature electrodes on five sides. This allows for a greatly increased solder contact area, and correspondingly increased overall bonding strength.

Harsh industrial robotics environments may include elevated temperatures, and LBEN inductors perform very well here. This component’s insulation is designed to break down slowly, taking 500 hours at 200ºC (392ºF) to degrade from higher values to a single megohm (MΩ) of resistance. Consumer grade inductors take around 50 hours to degrade well into the single-MΩ range, and at 100 hours they show degradation to .01MΩ. With insulation breakdown comes inductance loss, and a corresponding decrease in power supply efficiency.

The performance difference compared to competing thin film type inductors is even more stark, as this type of component will break down into the sub-MΩ range in under 20 hours. LBEN inductors are also very durable when exposed to electrostatic discharge (ESD), with a high survival rate, even up to nearly 1000 volts. Thin film type inductors rarely survive ESD testing, even at lower voltage ranges.

MCOIL™ LBEN inductors feature a metal resin composite structure, containing enameled flat copper wire that forms the inductive element itself. MCOIL™ LBCN inductors are formed using a multi-layer screen printing process, allowing for an extremely flexible case size. LBCN inductors implement a proprietary TAIYO YUDEN metal formulation, as well as silver internal and external conductors. This structure and metal material produces greatly enhanced inductive performance versus similar ferrite-based alternatives.

MCOIL™ inductors have long been used and proven out in the North American automotive sector and are already broadly applied in European and Asian robotics and industrial automation markets. TAIYO YUDEN stands ready to help specify and fulfill inductor needs for industrial automation in North America. You can get in contact via TAIYO YUDEN’s website for more technical information on TAIYO YUDEN’s inductor offerings.

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