Aichi Steel Corp. has developed a way of mass producing magnets used in electric motors without using the rare earth metal dysprosium.
The international price of dysprosium increased 7.5 times over the past year due to restrictions on production introduced by China, which controls almost all of the world's supply of the heat-resistant material.
Aichi Steel, a Toyota Group company, said Sept. 29 it had started producing magnets for electric tools at its Seki plant in Gifu Prefecture in September.
Current production is about 30 tons per month, but Aichi Steel plans to increase that to 50 tons per month in a year's time. The magnets will be used in car motors and air conditioners.
The new method is expected to relieve the concerns of Japanese companies struggling to secure supplies of the rare earth element.
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