The increasing social demands for sustainable mobility have also reached the shipping industry. All over the world, people are working on designs that meet high environmental standards, reduce emissions during operation and increase the efficiency of engines. In one of the most modern cruise ships in the world, a pioneering pod drive has now been installed in which powerful neodymium-iron-boron magnet assemblies are used within a permanently excited synchronous motor.
The particular challenge in the construction of motors for pod drives comes with the installation of very large, corrosion-protected systems in the already magnetized state of delivery. This requires not only excellent magnet and coating qualities, but also manufacturing competence in the fabrication of magnet assemblies. The individual magnets with a volume of more than 30 cm3 (1.8 in3) are positioned with the help of robot technology and thus with the highest precision in provided carrier parts. A total magnet volume of over 2,000 cm3 (122.2 in3) per system is used, 128 magnet systems with a volume of 0.26 m³ (9.2 ft3) magnetic material are built in per ship with two drives. The automated production enables the 100 % documentation of the magnetic characteristic data, which achieve a high homogeneity.
“The positioning of magnets with maximum precision and the very high forces associated with large-volume magnetized parts make the assembly of magnetic assemblies a demanding task. For this process, we use our extensive experience in the design and construction of assembly tools and our know-how in the selection of a suitable bonding process,” says Michael Putz, Product Management Permanent Magnets. “We are proud to have been selected in this trailblazing project for next generation pod drives.”