AI-developed electric motors and flexible circuits provide manufacturing efficiency and design excellence
Belgium, October 22, 2020 – Industrial start-up and mechatronic pioneer Mirmex Motor today announces the availability of a new method of manufacturing high-power density electric micromotor windings. Seven years of research and development have resulted in the commercial availability of this groundbreaking technology, which completely revolutionizes traditional winding design and manufacturing methods.
Constructed from flexible printed circuits and developed using artificial intelligence (AI), the micromotors feature unmatched performance and maximum precision. They can be up to 50% more compact, 70% more dynamic, with 3 times fewer heat losses and assembled 10 times faster than most of the existing solutions using conventional windings made from copper wire.
An innovation beyond compare
Designed for use in high performance industrial and surgical precision powered tools, active prostheses, aerospace, and robotics, the motors are fully customizable thanks to Mirmex Motor’s proprietary software developed in-house. The motor production is greatly simplified which results in a quicker manufacturing time with reduced tooling costs – an impossible process using traditional copper coils.
Mirmex Motor's technology is primarily applicable to slotless permanent magnet motors, whether used as synchronous machines or as Slotless Brushless Direct Current (SBLDC) machines. These devices have existed for 40 years but have not seen significant innovation since their inception. While traditional high-performance coils are extremely complex to design, manipulate and manufacture, the company's innovation meets the demands of users looking for increased performance and the convenience of compactness.
Flexible printed circuit boards provide new possibilities
Mirmex Motor develops motors differently: instead of winding the yarns individually, never-seen-before winding topologies are created and printed on strips of flexible printed circuit board (PCB) material. These proprietary patterns are designed using AI algorithms and, once wound, the overlapping layers form an electric motor winding, achieving performance far above the competition.
As a result of its research, Mirmex Motor has been able to implement an automated process for the creation of winding topologies and validate the printing on flexible materials of winding patterns that are impossible to reproduce traditionally. The coils made on these flexible circuits provide unparalleled performance to the motors in which they are associated.
These new patterns offer immense possibilities that go beyond the mere shape of the windings. By varying the size, patterns, thickness or interconnections of the conductors, the achievable coils can transcend the capabilities of the micromotors. The design of the ideal motor depends on its use, its environment, and its constraints. The Mirmex Motor software develops the best composition on a case-by-case basis and is easily adaptable to a variety of situations due to the flexibility and high degree of design freedom offered.
University born research and innovation
This new micromotor technology is the result of several years of research which began in 2013 at UCLouvain, Belgium's leading French-speaking university. In 2017, the team founded Mirmex Motor to continue the development of its solution and closed fundraising and subsidies of several million euros from local investors and the European Commission. Mirmex Motor is now entering the ever-growing micromotor market with a production capacity of 100,000 windings per year.
“This represents a huge leap forward for the micromotor industry,” said Cedric Van Rossum, CEO of Mirmex Motor. "Feedback from industry professionals has proven that our solution is well above market standards. We have great ambitions for our micromotors and for our innovative game-changing technology.”
“These days, micromotors are everywhere, from drones to surgical devices and robots. The demand for micromotors continues to grow," commented Pr. Bruno Dehez, Chief Scientific Advisor at Mirmex Motor. “The performance of such motors depends entirely on their copper coils. Their windings are particularly long and tedious to wind in order to obtain the best possible result. Many coils are still assembled by hand in the prototyping phase.
Dr. François Baudart, Chief Technology Officer continued: “The production machines used historically are designed for a particular type of coil or for a single application. This complex process slows down prototyping and manufacturing, making it expensive and inflexible. Since micromotors are mainly intended for areas where innovation and progress are essential, we had to find a better solution.”
About Mirmex Motor
Based in Belgium, Mirmex Motor develops unique and proprietary technology combining DC micromotors and flexible printed circuits. Based on artificial intelligence, this technology enables motors to be more efficient, more compact and designed faster. The windings and micromotors manufactured by Mirmex Motor are fully customizable to meet the specific needs of their customers worldwide.
A university spin-off part of the Sopartec portfolio, Mirmex Motor began its motor winding research in 2013 at UCLouvain, Belgium's leading French speaking university according to the 2021 Quacquarelli Symonds ranking. Thanks to multi-million-euro fund raising, the Mirmex Motor team founded its own company in 2017 to fully support its research and the manufacturing of its micromotors. The company focuses its expertise on a range of areas including high-performance winding production and the creation of fully-assembled motors.
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Mirmex Motor SA received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under number 847955.