Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

TUMAPOS Report Summary

Project ID: 698606

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TUMAPOS (Using TUnnel Magneto Resistance Technology for MAgnetic POSition MeasurementTUMAPOS)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

BOGEN Electronic GmbH, a German company with a 60-year history, is recognized as an internationally leading magnetic production specialist for information recording and measurement. The overall aim of this project is to improve BOGEN’s position in the magnetic measurement field and increase turnover, create new jobs and increase profit.

The project objective is to bring a new magnetic measurement solution to market that will extend the applicability of magnetic measurement in two directions:
– Enter a new business area, where customers request bigger reading distances between scale and sensor
– Improve accuracy of magnetic measurement, especially to compete with optical measurement systems with a cheaper magnetic solution

The development of the new measurement solution requires three parts:
– Improve the MR elements reading magnetic scales to read the scales at a bigger distance,
– Improve the inductive writing methodology to write pole pitches smaller than 250 microns,
– Replace the existing MR elements in the current sensing heads with the new MR elements and finalize the product.

With the results of the project, BOGEN can increase the reading distance to for several industries, where the accuracy is secondary to the reading distance.

This will provide access to many measuring tasks that can be measured only with other measurement technologies today and open a market potential of € 600 million. The combination – using new MR technology and smaller scale increments – will lead to magnetic measurement solutions with higher accuracy at lower cost than other technologies. The new MR based solution has been successfully improved during the project work so far. BOGEN has a lot of experience in sensing head design and magnetic scale production, with a patent covering the most effective method to produce the smallest scale increments. The project work is organized to bring the solution from technology readiness level 6 to 9.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project has focused in the first twelve months at an intensive customer development activity to validate many hypotheses for the new product range. The results from the intensive customer dialogs were confirming the functional requirements. To the project team surprise, the customer had very specific geometric requirement, which were not aligned with the original plans. A survey conducted online with a lot of participants highlighted that key requirements are smaller size and higher accuracy.

Based on the customer development outcome, the project results have been newly specified and efforts have been started to achieve the form factor, the customers require. The different targets have been reprioritized and the first iteration focus now on improving size and accuracy. This led to a new product architecture which in turn had a major impact on the elements of the products design. BOGEN was able to steer the development to fulfil the new requirements and hired two new development engineers that are now active in pursuing the new, more aggressive product goal.

The development work has been focusing on three parts:
• Scale development
• MR technology development
• Sensing head development

The scale development has made great progress but had several challenges to overcome. The scales with smaller pole pitches can be produced without problems, but all quality measurements will need to be replaced now. The project team selected new visualization tools to be able to view the smaller pole pitches. The build-in measurement equipment is not able to read the small pole pitches, so several approaches were tested for being able to achieve the required measurement. It was necessary to create a new sensor for reading the scales in production, which has given the first results, but more improvements have been identified to achieve all the scale reading that we need, in order to measure the accuracy and be able to impact the production accuracy.

MR technology development progressed very much as well. While the initial TRL6 prototype only achieved 40% of the expected performance, several rounds of improvement have led to achieving 75% and more of the required performance. Despite some long lasting integration problems, we have achieved the first working sensor samples that can successfully be integrated into sensing heads. The development of further improvements to achieve the targeted performance is well under way.

The sensing head development progressed quickly to develop an analog read head that was requested by some customers for very high accuracy. A new sensing head was developed with a smaller footprint than originally specified. Based on the feedback from the customer development, the second iteration was redesigned to be smaller than originally planned. Furthermore, the development for the third iteration has been pulled forward, as the next steps will require a smaller product than originally envisioned and this required a lot of additional work.

So for the technical side, a working prototype was achieved that was working with a much smaller pole pitch than the existing magnetic encoders work with. The target was defined with 80 µm pole pitch for this iteration and a sensing head that reads this scale has been achieved.

In the last three months, a lot of effort has been spent on the product launch of the new product line. BOGEN decided to use the X-class name for the product and is preparing the official launch on the SPS fair in November 2016.

Overall, the project is fighting with some challenges that arose during the project work. For all major challenges, a solution has been found or several solution alternatives are being tested. The project team is committed to deliver the project results expected.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Technical progress so far has been
• Scales with much smaller pole pitches have been successfully written and read with new MR technology.
• MR technology has been developed to read the scales with the smaller pole pitch.
• New sensing head has been created and validated.
• The three elements work together and will be demonstrated at the SPS 2016 in a demonstrator.

The expected potential impact has been reviewed. The key impact of this action will be a new encoder technology that will provide engineers with novel capabilities:
• Higher accuracy with magnetic encoder will enable new products, enhance existing products and bring new technologies
• Applying the magnetic encoders in environments, where other encoding technologies require energy-intensive support technologies, will reduce energy consumption significantly and reduce the carbon footprint.
• The expected outcomes of the new encoder technologies will allow measurement at very different applications and with very different approaches than today.
• Smaller sensing heads and scales will lead to smaller products that can fulfill more tasks. Smaller position feedback will reduce installation space requirements and overall product structural design, leading to more resource efficient products, since they can become smaller and or thinner and use less material.

To achieve this impacts, the project needs to fulfill its challenging charter and deliver the products in the next 12 months of project activity.

Related information

Record Number: 196341 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29
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