HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

DN Insight: What Rare Earth Shortages Mean for Engineers, Part 3

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Kristin Lewotsky
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
Kristin Lewotsky   4/10/2012 7:31:18 PM
NO RATINGS
<<At some point, rare earth elements will be plentiful again...speculators may be shooting themselves in their collective foot.>>

I think they figure that out late last fall, which is why the price started dropping. Prices got so high that more and more engineers at all levels of the food chain started looking for alternatives, Which may demand drop. All of a sudden, The speculators got worried they'd be stuck with a bunch of metal in a warehouse, so they started dumping inventory onto the market.The price of both neodymium and dysprosium are severalfold higher than they were in 2010, even, but they're down 30 and 40% from where they were at the height last summer.


Kristin Lewotsky
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
Kristin Lewotsky   4/10/2012 7:21:21 PM
NO RATINGS
That's a good question, naperlou. I have a query out to one of my motor guys to see what he has to say about it. Obviously, that rule of thumb is likely to be wildly distorted over the past several years, which explains the introduction of the magnet surcharge.

Kristin Lewotsky
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Impact on Motors
Kristin Lewotsky   4/10/2012 7:18:19 PM
NO RATINGS
No question that prices are up. On the motor side, I tend to talk to engineers rather than sales folks, so I don't have exact numbers.Last November, IMS Research analyst Jenelea Howell predicted that the average price of servomotors would jump by 9.3% in 2012. That number may have softened because of stabilizing prices for REEs, but the materials are still up significantly from their price of four or five years ago. In some cases, manufacturers have written the cost into their contracts, along the lines of the fuel surcharge that airport limo services began using a few years ago. Lenze, For example, has a page on their website explaining a fuel surcharge that scales for increasing neodymium and dysprosium prices relative to their March 2011 values.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
Rob Spiegel   4/10/2012 3:32:52 PM
NO RATINGS
That's a really good question, Naperlou. With new sources found in Afghanistan, a mine again active in Australia and working getting down to create alternatives to rare earth elements, it seems inevitable the supply will exceed demand in a few short years.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
Charles Murray   4/10/2012 3:24:49 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Naperlou. And the only way we can get past the adversity is to have lots of competitive projects motivated by a sense of urgency. As a rule, materials innovation doesn't happen in a rush.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
naperlou   4/10/2012 2:54:02 PM
NO RATINGS
One interesting point to remember is that the mines in the US closed down becuase prices had dropped so much.  What happens next time they drop?  Do we become dependent on another supplier that will manipulate the price for their own purposes?

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
Rob Spiegel   4/10/2012 12:38:35 PM
NO RATINGS
At some point, rare earth elements will be plentiful again. Mines in the U.S., Australia and Afghanistan will begin producing plenty of materials. By then, however, alternatives may be available. Speculators may be shooting themselves in their collective foot.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Impact on Motors
naperlou   4/10/2012 9:44:45 AM
NO RATINGS
apresher, that is an interesting question.  Another way to ask that is to ask what is the typical percentage of the cost of a motor that the magnets comprise.  Is there any rule of thumb on that, Kristin?

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: In pursuit of alternatives
naperlou   4/10/2012 9:04:55 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, this is a good example of adversity spurring innovation.  While some of the techniques and technologies may not pan out, they may well lead to new discoveries themselves.  I am especially impressed by the efforts in nano materials that this entails. 

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Impact on Motors
apresher   4/10/2012 8:03:19 AM
NO RATINGS
Kristin, Excellent article.  Any idea how much price premium % the shortage of REEs is adding to permanent magnet motors?  I'm curious how much of an impact the shortage might have in this area. Also, wondering if the performance of the new materials will meet or surpass current performance standards.  Thanks.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Halloween isn’t just a time for creative costumes. Thanks to the element14 online design community, the holiday this year also brings us a number of creative electronic device design ideas aimed at making your Halloween party a unique experience.
On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing that the US would send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. But in order to do so, NASA would first need to ramp up its capabilities through missions directed toward "a series of increasingly demanding targets," i.e. asteroids.
Selfies have already ruined your nights out and your social media feeds. Now they're after your breakfast.
Bigger than an iPhone 6 Plus, but smaller than an iPad Air 2. What am I? If you answered iPad Mini 3, you are correct.
Here are 10 robots that are designed to work effectively and safely with humans.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Nov 3 - 7, Engineering Principles behind Advanced User Interface Technologies
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service