Speaking of inductors, the specific portfolio from Panasonic Industry is widely associated with coils tailored to the requirements of automotive applications – and designed to function immaculately under the typical, rather harsh conditions inside a car: The impact of high temperatures, shocks, vibrations, dirt and grease demands a lot from the electric components’ characteristics in terms of robustness, safety and longevity.
So, the automotive sector has become sort of a supreme discipline for the employment of passive components over the last decades – even more in the light of automotive applications lately being expected to be designed as powerful, multifunctional and miniaturized as never before.
Image 1: An increasing number of automotive applications has become the domain of Panasonic's inductor portfolio - a blueprint for other contexts?
That’s why it is worth a look, whether the experience and success of Panasonic Industry’s optimized range of passives in car environments could be a blueprint for a wider field of applications.
To some extent simplified, the requirements towards components in other areas and products are different - and in many cases less demanding than in the automotive industry. But doubtlessly, the broad knowledge gained from the “conditions under the hood” is a solid base for successfully equipping new fields of products with suitable passive components.
E-Bikes, drones and even garden robots would be considered prototypical for those “new types of things” that have emerged as popular consumer goods in our neighborhoods. And indeed, these markets have grown significantly and steadily over the past years and are expected to keep doing so.
Image 2: General circuit of a DC/DC-converter - Panasonic Industry inductors can be positioned both in filters and the DC/DC part.
For both, e-bikes and drones, inductors may be used in DC/DC-converters and input-output-filters for power actuators, battery charging or ECU controllers. Here, the Panasonic Industry inductors stand out with a high power efficiency of their inductors, which leads to an increased battery lifetime of the device. The metal-composite SMD-type coils save space and therefore suit the trend of miniaturized designs: Due to the increased magnetic density (compared to ferrite inductors), space-savings of up to 50% are achievable and ease the life of every designer who has to fit his circuit into a certain limited mounting-space. Panasonic Industry offers inductors ranging from case sizes of 4x4mm, up to 12x12mm. The smallest height in the portfolio is 2mm, allowing to fit the inductor into low installation space.
Image 3: The inductor's inside: Robustness thanks to metal composite core and monolithic molding structure - and just half the size of ferrite types
Image 4: Smaller than conventional THD-types: Panasonic Industry inductors are available as SMD-types, thus saving circuit space.
Coming back to inductors functioning reliably under harsh automotive conditions: They have turned out to be the perfect choice when it comes to dealing with vibrations and shocks on an e-bike, a drone or a garden robot. All of them require miniaturized components for an altogether lightweight product design – and inductors like the ones of Panasonic inductors that are able to withstand 10-30G, some even 50G.
Image 5: Low center of gravity: A constructive concept for withstanding vibrations the best way possible.
The reason for withstanding up to 50G can be found in the terminal structure. In comparison to conventional designs, the Panasonic high-vibration-resistant series has the lead wire leaving the core at a lower level. Therefore the self-resonance frequency drops, which decreases the swinging - as illustrated in the follwong simplified animations:
So neither rugged mountain bike-tracks, permanent robot shakes while mowing or crash-landing a drone will cause harm. At least not on the inductor of Panasonic Industry.