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Monday - August 16, 2021

Miniature Stepping Motors Support Shrinking E-Lock Designs

The Importance of E-Locks

As you go through your daily life, you might not realize how often you use an e-lock. These are automatic locks you might find on any given door. They allow hands-free, quick locking and unlocking that helps with public health and safety.

It’s worth mentioning that a smart lock doesn’t use traditional mechanics — it uses a specialty mechanism that contains a stepping motor. Traditional locks need a key to be inserted and turned. If the homeowner misplaces the key, they’re locked out until someone arrives to help. A stepping motor allows a user to apply their phone, electronic fob, or swipe card to get through the door instead of a physical key.

Ease of Use of E-Locks

This idea started in hotels, offices and hospitals back in the day, and now you can find the same technology used in Airbnb’s to give remote access to guests. They can also be used in smart homes to make life a little easier. In fact, every application benefits from how easy these locks are to use.

Health and Safety

Besides the ease of use, they’re also a lot safer. For one, it’s not possible for someone to swipe a physical key, make a copy and then break into the room.

In addition, there’s a health advantage. During COVID-19, there has been a surge in touchless solutions. This caused the electronic lock to further expand into the mainstream world. As more people used these e-locks, a major complaint was shared: the stepping motor is often too bulky which makes the lock huge and really noticeable. The best solution to this problem is to opt for a miniature stepping motor.

The Power of a Miniature Stepping Motor

A smaller and less noticeable stepping motor comes with a slew of benefits. To start with, it’s a technology that is equally useful in residential and commercial applications. Even as more features are added to the e-lock, the desire for a small and discrete package still exists.

In the last few years, manufacturers are realizing how important it is to produce tiny stepper motors. As the motors get smaller, so does the overall size of the locks. This means that the same lock can now be used in areas that may not have a lot of space to work with.

At NMB Technologies, we design in stepping motors that are manufactured by MinebeaMitsumi. As one of the leading production companies of tiny stepping motors, they are able to produce several million stepping motors each year while maintaining superior quality and reliability. That means that you can be confident when you work with us — you’ll get a premium permanent magnet stepping motor that will fit into your application.

When you use a stepping motor from NMB Technologies, your final product will be more reliable and higher quality. That translates to e-locks that are safer and highly repeatable. You might also find one of our PM stepping motors in Blu-ray disc drives, camera lenses, or your mobile device.

Mini Stepping Motors Are Easier to Control

Another big benefit of miniature stepping motors is how easy they are to control from a programming standpoint. Other motor technologies require additional sensors and complicated mechanisms that give positional feedback. With these mini steppers, you get the same accurate positioning, low-speed torque, and functionality without the added components. They’re driven by basic microcontrollers which allow designers and engineers to simplify their designs.

The Future of Mini Stepping Motors

This won’t be the last you hear of miniature stepping motors. As the smart home market continues to balloon, you’ll see more novel and unique solutions that use these tiny motors. As long as consumers are looking for high-tech, low-profile, unobtrusive products, mini stepping motors will be around.

Kotaro Torii
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