Metal and Ceramic Injection Molding Market 2014 Trends, Research, Analysis and Review Forecast 2020

Metal injection molding (MIM) and ceramic injection molding (CIM) are the technologies used for manufacturing parts with superior strength, complex shapes and excellent surface finish. These technologies also provide high volume manufacturing capability. Metal and ceramic injection molding are a part of powder injection molding (PIM), which combines material flexibility of powder metallurgy and design flexibility of plastic molding. These manufacturing processes are used to produce net-shape metal and ceramic components through injection molding technologies. The process entails mixing of ceramic or metal powders with polymer binders to exhibit properties similar to plastics. These mixtures form feedstock, which constitutes 60% of metal or ceramic, and the remaining as the binder, in terms of volume. Then, it is molded in the machine according to industry requirements. Various types of materials are used in the molding process such as titanium alloys, soft magnetic alloys, low-alloy steels and stainless steels. Stainless steel is used widely in the MIM industry and accounts for approximately half of the production of MIM globally. Components produced by either MIM or CIM technology range from 0.002g to over 100g. Some PIM processers obtain raw materials and manufacture feedstock in their own production units, while some processors procure ready feedstock. For instance, BASF SE’s Catamold and PolyMIM products are sources of ready feedstock. Based on the type of application, metal injection molded components and ceramic injection molded components are used in a wide range of industries such as automotive, electronics, medical, industrial machinery and firearms.

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Demand for powder injection molding is increasing due to rising demand for miniaturization of complex components and high performance materials in various industries. Increasing demand for miniature components is augmenting the demand for micro injection molding in different materials such as stainless steel and silicone. These materials are used to produce medical micro parts, which are used in various medical techniques and procedures, including invasive surgery, advanced drug delivery, IV therapy and vascular therapy. Factors such as rising demand for powder injection molding components in the medical and healthcare industry is expected to boost demand for PIM components during the forecast period. Demand for PIM technology in the medical and healthcare industry is increasing for the manufacture of a variety of components. The technology has become highly prominent; the delivery and quality of metal injection molding processors is assured through several certifications such as QS 9000 and ISO 9002. Furthermore, increase in usage of firearms in the defense industry, particularly in the U.S., is likely to boost the growth of the metal injection molding industry.

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Demand for metal and ceramic injection molded components was the largest from the automotives sector in 2013 and accounted for over 20% of the global market share in 2013, due to substantial investments by manufacturers due to high demand and changing lifestyles through rising disposable income of consumers. Growth in investment in the medical and healthcare industry across the globe is also expected to support the market growth for powder injection molding over the next few years. Electronics and defense are some of the other promising industry sectors where future growth is likely to boost the demand for the metal and ceramic injection molding market.

Metal and ceramic injection molding witnessed the highest demand in Asia Pacific due to the presence of several large-scale industries such as automotive and electronics, where metal injection molding plays a significant role in the economic growth. At the end of 2013, Asia Pacific accounted for over 45% of the metal and ceramic injection molding market. Other regions such as Europe and North America also use this technology, due to growth in automotive and medical industries in these regions. However, Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth rate in the PIM industry in the near future, due to rising industrial activities and growth in the electronics industry in the region.

Major players in the metal and ceramic injection molding industry include Advanced Materials Technologies Pte. Ltd., ARC Group, Epsom Atmix Corporation, Plansee Group, PSM Industries Inc., and Indo-US MIM Tec Pvt. Ltd.

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