Companies across the world are working hard around some export restrictions that China has imposed when it comes to rare earth minerals. China supplies the world currently with 90 percent of all rare earth elements and with the restrictions growing and prices always on the up, the wise way ahead for manufacturers would be to replace the use of these elements where ever possible. Most high efficiency industrial motors use Neodymium magnets and since this contains rare earth elements, Hitachi is developing new motor that will no longer depend on Neodymium.
Hitachi aims to bring out these new high efficiency industrial motors that are on par with those using Neodymium by 2014. For those unaware, a motor consist of the stationary core, which is called the stator and the rotating part that is pretty appropriately called the rotor. Instead of using the the current magnet Hitachi is using an amorphous metal for the iron core. This is combined with a ferrite magnet for the rotor part of the motor. The combination gives a motor that is as energy efficient as the one which currently uses a Neodymium magnet for the rotor.
By changing the method of processing the amorphous metal used in the core of the stator and by altering the design of the motor at large, Hitachi and Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems have devised the perfect combination that will not waste power and will help producing cheaper motors since they do not have to worry about the rare earth metal usage anymore. The efficiency of the newly developed motors is IE4, which is an indication that they are indeed as efficient as any other on the planet today.