In all types of electronic systems, parts are either considered to be active or passive. An active part changes or alters the power going through the part, creating a desired variation in the system. A passive electronic component does not make a change to the current going through the part, but rather stores energy to provide a consistent current level through the part.
An inductor is a perfect example of this type of passive electronic component. It does not produce or increase the power, but rather it stores energy by the use of a magnetic field. These components can be standard, or there can be a need for custom inductors in specific systems.
Both standard and custom inductors are designed using a ferromagnetic, ceramic or sometimes a plastic core. Around this core is a winding, and it is through the movement of the current through the winding that the magnetic field is created and then maintained. If there is a change in the current through the winding, a subsequent voltage change occurs, which is corrected by a release of the energy stored in the magnetic field.
In this way, the inductor maintains the voltage through the component. The different options in standard and custom inductors address the different needs of systems and electronic components.
Standard inductors work with standard systems and standard current and voltage requirements. They tend to be uniform in size and shape, but they may not be ideal for all configurations, even if the system or device uses common components and there is no need for special current and voltage considerations.
The shape of the core, the material in the core as well as the windings are all factors that are considered in custom designs of inductors. As the calculation of these custom components is very specific, working with an experienced company is always recommended.