AEC Industrial Magnetics Manufacturing

4699 Interstate Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45246

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Rare Earth Disks 300 2The world is demanding more permanent magnets.  A report just published by IndexBox says consumers’ growing appetite for electric cars and electronics is fueling the trend.     

China, permanent magnet supplier to the world, is also one of its biggest consumers. Its New Energy Vehicle, or NEV, Industry Development Plan is expected to account for 20-percent of the country’s total vehicle sales by 2024.  Last year, NEVs comprised less than five percent.  Permanent magnets are a key NEV component, used two to three times more by weight than internal combustion engine vehicles.electric car china

It’s not just cars. Permanent magnet demand is skyrocketing due to the rapid development, and increased use of, wind turbines, consumer electronics and household appliances.  China’s tablet computer production increased by 33% in just January through September 2020 alone.  The highest demand is for high-performance, lightweight neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets. 

“China definitely holds all the cards in permanent magnets,” said Bill Klaus, president of AEC Magnetics. “For one, its government subsidizes the Chinese permanent magnetics market. The U.S. government is trying to subsidize rare earths and permanent magnet industries to reduce dependence on Chinese imports, but China dominates the world’s permanent magnet market.”

China owns $1.5 billion of the world’s permanent magnet market.  The United States is far behind at $866 million, followed by Germany which holds $513 million. These three countries combined hold almost $40 percent of the global market.  The next 10 countries combined represent 34-percent of the world permanent magnet market, as estimated by InfoBox:  Indonesia, Canada, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Viet Nam, Thailand, India and Italy. 

tablet productionThat’s the supply side. The countries who use the most per capita are Germany, with 346 units per 1,000 persons; Canada at 275 per 1,000 and Thailand, 251 per 1,000. 

While China’s spike in NEV production spurs its consumption of permanent magnets, it also looms large as supplier to the world, comprising 51-percent of global exports.  The next highest exporter is Japan at 11-percent share of global exports, then Germany with less than seven percent.   

With demand rising at this pace, AEC’s guidance is for consumers to lock in current pricing, advance orders to ensure availability and to make certain suppliers are accurately representing the product, for instance, substituting lower grade material than promised.  We’ve been dealing with China longer than most anyone in the industry and work daily to maintain relationships with the most reliable suppliers. We know them on a first-name basis, and have trusted them for decades.”

Please check out our thousands of in-stock permanent magnets and permanent magnetic tools, ready to ship today.  And remember, if it’s magnetic, it’s AEC!

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Manufacturers are performing some crazy gymnastics to continue production through the pandemic. Reconfiguring workstations for safe distancing. Re-aligning workflow to compensate for unpredictable attendance. Juggling unpredictable sales and erratic cash flow. Walking a narrowing loss-margin tightrope for re-work, waste and downtime. Balancing the unrelenting demand of continual problem solving and critical thinking skills.   What will calm the erratic turbulence?

Automation is one answer.  

robotic arm graphicManufacturers have a big appetite for industrial automation right now. Just two months into the pandemic, Fortune Business Insights raised its industrial automation market prediction by a hefty $9 billion to $296.7 billion This week, ReportLinker reported the global collaborative robot market alone, valued at $573 million in 2019, will almost triple by 2025.

Why automation? Why robotics? Why the sharp rise?  For one, now is the time to invest.  Automation design-to-install costs are declining and offer a solid return on investment for manufacturers right now.  Global manufacturers are also looking for predictability to temper the volatility.  Industrial automation, especially robots and cobots, bring safety, quality, reliability and dependability factors to the manufacturing floor.  Cobots, a portmanteau of “collaborative” and “robots,” are automation devices used in direct collaboration with humans to accomplish various tasks.  Thus, the human and robot form a team, working together.  Their alliance increases the other’s ability, and ameliorates the other’s limitations, resulting in overall improvement of a task.

AEC Magnetics has been designing and manufacturing robotic equipment, as well as a wide array of automation equipment, since 1961.  Automation clearly benefits from industrial automation solutions. Tens of thousands of cases support this claim. Whether an automation work cell or a complete automation process, the predictability, quality, safety and reliability are measurable values well worth the investment.

0 bill inspecting controls in electric dept in shopAEC always begins its design-to-build process by listening to customers.  “Listening is the most critical phase of designing and building an automation solution,” said AEC Magnetics president Bill Klaus.  “I will take as long as necessary to listen, and completely understand, the client’s goals and concerns,” he said.  “But it goes further. Also critical to me is understanding how the application will fit into the overall picture.  The legacy operations.  Current and future demand.  Unrelated operations, or operations that may piggyback. Smart use of space and power. This dialog is where I can help find value opportunities.”

bill klaus aec magneticsMr. Klaus also says it is imperative customers incorporate AEC into the design process as early as possible in solving an industrial automation solution. “The earlier we’re brought in, the more opportunities I have to find, and incorporate, cost-savings into the solution,” Mr. Klaus explained.   “Integrating automation beyond a single task, and examining the bigger picture, are the differences between an acceptable solution and an exceptional solution. “Any engineering service can build you a cell or design an end-of-arm tool for a specific task. AEC’s tremendous experience, willingness to listen and ask questions throughout the process, and examining the bigger picture bring value to every project.  We are respectful of budget and timeline.  All this, and my personal experience, makes us tough to beat.”  

Mr. Klaus celebrated 38 years of designing and manufacturing automation equipment for AEC Magnetics in 2020.


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china mining aecThe U.S. and Europe are making new attempts to loosen China's tight grip on the world's rare earths market.  

In the United States, two U.S. congressmen introduced legislation offering tax incentives to offset the significant costs of mining and producing rare earth.  Senator Ted Cruz introduced similar legislation in May; both pieces of legislation are designed to reduce reliance on China rare earths.  China currently accounts for more than 80 percent of rare earths compounds and metals, which include crucial rare earth magnets.  Rare earth magnets are used in electric vehicles, smart phones, fighter jets, wind turbines and satellites.

china aec magnetsThe European Union announced plans to form a raw materials alliance by year's end with the goal of becoming less reliant on China for rare earths. The E.U. has become increasingly concerned about its dependence on China rare earths, especially given their importance in key industries like defence and green technology. 

The West is facing significant a uphill climb in creating alternate sources of rare earths production.  "The cost of creating alternate supply chains for rare earths is tremendous," said Bill Klaus, president of AEC Magnetics in Cincinnati, Ohio.  "Access to raw materials, the enormous environmental impact and creating a new infrastructure are all pretty significant hurdles, but is at least one U.S. company actively trying to solve the issue."

Bill Klaus AEC President DeskMr. Klaus is referring to MP Materials, the lone rare earths miner in the U.S.  While MP mines the materials, it ships them to China for final processing, since China is the only nation with refining capability, which still gives China major control of the rare earths market.  

"Because China basically is subsidized from mine to magnet, it has a price advantage as well as the luxury of holding and releasing product as it wishes according to supply and demand," said Klaus.  The E.U. and U.S. moves are attempts to level the playing field.  "U.S.A. Rare Earth is a new group also attempting to loosen our dependence on China rare earths," he said.  "They are developing the Round Top Mountain deposit in Texas.  These tax incentives, which cover mining, reclaiming and recycling of rare earths in the U.S., would definitely give them the support necessary to wrest some dependence on China for critical materials."

Rare earths are not rare.  The 17 elements that comprise rare earths are found most everywhere; however, mining and processing them is harsh on the environment and it is costly.  Because the world's demand for rare earths is increasing so much, the E.U., and the U.S., both say steps must be taken now to establish new channels, quickly.

fanny aec"AEC Magnetics was onoe of the very first companies to import magnets from China," said Mr. Klaus.  "We invested so much in finding, and establishing, excellent suppliers--suppliers that we can truly trust for quality, on-time delivery and the best pricing.  Few can make that claim, as the situation continuallly shifts in China.  The trust and goodwill we've built is incredibly important as the market changes, and we are very glad to offer this to our customers."  

Browse our full line of permanent magnets, electromagnets, magnetic tools and all industrial magnetics.  Give us an opportunity to find a perfect, affordable magnetic solution for your automation needs.  End of arm tooling, automated cells, whatever the application, we can add value.  We have almost 60 years of experience!

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image.jpegBill Klaus is celebrating 38 years with AEC.  His magnetic and automation solutions are in service in factories worldwide.  Bill's message upon serving for 38 years?  "I'm grateful for my customers, employees and family."  In a time when employees spend, on average, fewer than five years with one company, Bill's anniversary is quite an accomplishment.  To read AEC's story, and more about Bill and his lovely father, Richard, our founder, please click here. 

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..with the AEC Magnetics JBT-6M multi-port junction box.  This junction box will simplify your wiring connections instantly.  Its six 8 mm ports combine into one, simple 12 mm run. Try one now and see. Or, include an AEC multi-port junction box early in your design  process to make installing and maintaining wiring easier and safer for the lifetime of your project. For technical information and questions about   the AEC multi-port junction box, please call and ask for Bill.  Bill designed it, and will explain the benefits of simplifying your wire connections with the JBT-6M.

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