Electric Motor Technological Trends of Major Automotive Manufacturers

Motor-related patent application trends of Toyota, Suzuki, and NTN

2019/08/27

Summary

 This report created by MarkLines focuses on a number of technical topics surrounding the automotive industry, and is based on patent information obtained from the "Technical Information Distribution Service-swimy" information service provided by Toyota Technical Development Corp. (TTDC). The two business areas of TTDC are in the fields of intellectual property (IP) and measurement control solutions. The intellectual property (IP) side of TTDC is involved in the collection and analysis of information on automotive technology developments globally, and provides services such as consulting for research planning, applying for patents in foreign languages, and technical translation.

 This report presents the technological trends of various motors such as general-purpose motors, vehicle drive motors, and actuator motors based on the status of patent applications filed by major automotive manufacturers such as automakers and automotive component suppliers.

 By country, the greatest number of patent applications filed for electric motors by major automotive manufacturers are in the order of Japan, China, the U.S., and Germany. Looking at the number of patents filed by applicant and country, Toyota has filed numerous patents in China and the U.S., followed by Germany. Denso has filed numerous applications in the U.S., and an equivalent number of applications in China and Germany. Bosch has filed the largest number of applications in the order of China, EP, and the U.S. In terms of the number of patents filed by applicant, Mitsubishi Electric and Toyota have filed the greatest number of patent applications, followed by Bosch and Denso, which submitted an equivalent number of applications. Looking at the number of applications for each development item, the number of applications submitted was the largest for Toyota Rotary Motors (Development Group 1), followed by Suzuki Rotary Motors (Development Group 2), and NTN Electric Actuators (Development Group 1). Toyota's development items: Toyota Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 1) developed technologies related to issues such as the suppression of eddy current loss and securing geometric tolerances by transposition. Suzuki's development items: Suzuki Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 2) developed technologies such as high torque output even in the low-speed range of the rotor. NTN’s development items: NTN Electric actuators (Development group 1) developed technologies such as being able to offer electric actuators that are low cost and suitable for series production.


トヨタテクニカルディベロップメント株式会社

 Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/
 This source (TTDC) has extensive content related to automobiles. Graphs can be created for contents of interest with a single click. The database also supports the detailed display and download of intellectual property related information.


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Trends in patent applications related to various types of motors

Extraction conditions:

表


 The number of patent applications filed for motors by major automobile-related manufacturers are in the order of Japan, China, the U.S., and Germany. Mitsubishi Electric has the largest number of applications in the order of China, the U.S., and Germany.

自動車関連主要メーカーの各国への出願件数
Figure 1 Number of patent applications filed by major automotive manufacturers in each country

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


 Looking at the number of patent applications filed in each country outside the home country by applicant, Mitsubishi Electric has filed the largest number of applications in the order of China, the U.S., and Germany. Toyota has filed an equivalent number of applications in China, and the U.S., and numerous applications in Germany. Denso has filed numerous applications in the U.S., and an equivalent number of applications in China and Germany. Bosch has filed the largest number of applications in the order of China, EP, and the U.S.

自動車関連主要メーカー各社の各国への出願件数
Figure 2 Number of applications by major automotive manufacturers in each country

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


  Looking at the number of patent applications by applicant, Mitsubishi Electric followed by Toyota Motor have filed the greatest number of patent applications, followed by Bosch and Denso, which submitted an equivalent number of applications.

自動車関連主要メーカー各社の出願件数
Figure 3 Number of applications filed by major automotive manufacturers

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


  Looking at the number of applications for each development item, the number of applications submitted was the largest for Toyota Rotary Motors (Development Group 1), followed by Suzuki Rotary Motors (Development Group 2), and NTN Electric Actuators (Development Group 1).

自動車関連主要メーカー各社の開発アイテム
Figure 4 Development items of major automotive manufacturers

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/

 



Toyota: Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 1)

 Toyota’s development items: Focusing on the changes made by Toyota Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 1), in 2015 the issues were simplification of fixation, suppression of resin scattering, suppression of eddy current, and prevention of coil movement. In 2016, the issues were insulation, suppression of electric corrosion, estimation of coil temperature, and torque. In 2017, the issues were suppression of cogging torque and torque ripple, suppression of torque characteristic degradation, and suppression of eddy current loss.

トヨタ自動車の開発アイテム
Figure 5 Toyota’s development items: The issues change made by Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 1)

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


  Toyota's development items: For example, Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 1) has developed the following technologies (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application* No. 2017-060326).

*Note: An unexamined Japanese patent application is published in 18 months after its earliest priority date (laid-open); often phrased as, i.e. Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2017-060326.

 The stator of a rotating electrical machine includes a stator core 24 and a stator coil 26 configured by laminating annular electromagnetic steel plates. The magnetic steel plates constituting the stator core 24 are connected to each other by a plurality of caulking portions 25 that are equally arranged in the circumferential direction. Each caulking portion 25 is formed at a circumferential pitch that is an integral multiple of a central angle α formed by two magnetic poles 22 of the same polarity adjacent to each other in the circumferential direction in the rotor 12 with respect to the rotor rotation center O. The stator core 24 has a plurality of fixed portions 40 that protrude from the outer peripheral surface and in which the insertion holes 42 are formed at an equal pitch in the circumferential direction. The number of the caulking portions 25 is an odd number, and the fixing portions 40 are formed at a circumferential pitch equal to or equivalent to the circumferential pitch of the caulking portions 25 with respect to the rotor rotation center O.

 This technique can be used to suppress eddy current loss and ensure geometric tolerancePatents for this technology have been filed in 11 countries/regions (Japan, USA, EP, China, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, India, Korea, Russia, and Thailand). Of all the patents filed, applications for this technology has been filed in more countries/regions than any other development item.

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Figure 6 Chart of Japanese patent 2017-060326

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/

 



Suzuki: Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 2)

 Suzuki’s development items: Focusing on the changes made by Suzuki Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 2), most of them were developed in 2015. In 2015, development topics centered on low cost, downsizing, effective use of magnet torque, magnetization of low coercivity magnets, stable drive, improvement of torque density, improvement of mechanical strength of outer rotor, prevention of coil protrusion, prevention of magnetic interference, prevention of insulator disengagement, torque ripple smoothing, improvement of diode holder strength, and improved of robustness and maintainability. In 2016, the topics were variable magnetic flux and high torque output. In 2017, the topics were rotor drive during vehicle turning, decreased inverter efficiency and control complexity, suppression of copper loss, and high torque output in the low-speed range of the rotor.

スズキの開発アイテム
Figure 7 Suzuki’s development items: The issues change made by Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 2)

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


  Suzuki's development items: For example, Suzuki Rotating Electrical Machines (Development Group 2), has developed the following technologies (Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2019-080375).

 The rotating electrical machine 1 includes a stator 10 having an armature coil 11 and a rotor 20. The rotor 20 includes a rotor core 21 having a plurality of salient pole portions 22 formed at predetermined intervals in the circumferential direction, and on the stay 10 side a rotor coil 23 that generates an induced current by the interlinking of generated harmonic magnetic flux has a diode that rectifies the induced current flowing through the rotor coil 23. The salient pole 22 is provided with a permanent magnet 30, and the rotor coil 23 is wound around the first salient pole 31 and the second salient pole 32.

 Using this technology, high torque can be output even in the low-speed range of the rotor.

 Patents for this technology have been filed in five countries (Japan, Germany, China, France and India). More patents for this development item have been applied for in more countries than any equivalent development item. Also, this technology is the most recently published application of all equivalent development items.

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Figure 8 Chart of Japanese patent 2019-080375

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/

 



NTN: Electric Motor Actuators (Development Group 1)

 NTN development items: Focusing on the changes made by NTN Electric Motor Actuators (Development Group 1), most of them were developed in 2016. In 2016, development topics centered on efficient use of the space inside the rim, low cost, series production, operational accuracy, durability, versatility, assembly, common use of basic parts, compactness, improved design flexibility, mountability, reliability, planetary gear built-in motor, responsiveness, quietness, and weight reduction. In 2017, the company targeted reducing the axial dimensions, reducing the space required to install the rotation angle detector, valve opening/closing accuracy, stable operation of output shaft, and reducing the number of components.

NTNの開発アイテム
Figure 9 NTN development items: The issues change made by Electric Motor Actuators (Development Group 1)

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


 NTN’s development items: For example, NTN Electric Actuators (Development Group 1) has developed the following technologies (Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2019-080375).

 The actuator 2 is comprised of a motion converter 3 that converts the rotational motion from the actuator 2 into a linear motion in an axial direction parallel to the output shaft of the actuator 2, a driving force transmitter 4 that transmits the drive force from the actuator 2 to the motion converter 3, and a motion converter support area 5 to support the motion converter 3. The actuator 2 includes a drive motor 10 and a motor casing 11 that houses the drive motor 10. The driving force transmitter 4 includes a gear mechanism 28 that transmits driving force from the actuator 2 to the motion converter 3, and a gear housing 29 that accommodates the gear mechanism 28, and supports the motion converter 3. The motion converter support area 5 has an electric actuator with a support bearing 40 that supports the motion converter 3 and a bearing casing 41 that houses the support bearing 40. The actuator 2 and the motion converter support area 5 are configured to make it possible to connect and separate the driving force transmitter 4.

 This technology can used to offer a low cost electric actuator that is suitable for series production.

 Patent applications for this technology have been filed in 4 countries/regions (Japan, USA, China, EP).

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Figure 10 Chart of Japanese patent 2019-080375

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL:http://www.toyota-td.jp/business/ip/swimy/


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Keywords
TTDC, patent application, Electric, Motor, Stator, Rotor, Actuator, Toyota, Suzuki, NTN

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