The global market for Metal Injection Molding is projected to reach US$6.4 billion by 2024, driven by growing move towards near net-shape fabrication and green technologies in industrial manufacturing processes.
Powder Injection Molding (PIM), comprising Metal Injection Molding (MIM) and Ceramic Injection Molding (CIM) techniques, is an innovative near net-shape (NNS) manufacturing process used in the manufacture of high volume, high precision, and complex components. Key benefits with MIM and CIM include ability to process intricate geometries, high-volume production, and cost efficiency. Growth in the market is primarily driven by increasing demand for high-quality mechanical parts in various end-use markets including medical devices, aerospace & defence, telecommunications and automobile sector among others. The Metal Injection Molding (MIM) market is further driven by growing inclination towards advanced metalworking processes, in which wastage of material remains minimal or zero. MIM process offers economical cost solutions along with superior surface finish, and weight savings, for several applications compared to investment casting or machining, and improved mechanical properties in comparison to other net-shaping techniques such as zinc or aluminum die casting.
Technological developments in the metal and ceramic injection molding industry in recent years have expanded its use in several end-use applications, including aerospace, medical devices and consumer products. New technologies such as the plasma atomisation process allow precise control of powder properties required to meet the demands of a wide range of MIM applications. Smartphone applications have emerged as a major area of growth in recent years with companies introducing various prototypes of smartphone frames and backplates that have extended its usage beyond manufacture of small and complex components. Currently, Ti MIM materials are gaining traction in biomedical, dental, complex 3D structures, and Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) and other MIM specific applications. Micro metal powder injection molding is further gaining adoption in manufacture of micro components for micro electrical-mechanical systems such as gears and motors, microfluidics and smaller medical devices. In the automotive sector, the ongoing trend towards complex part designs that integrate multiple functions and sustained focus on high-volume production to gain from time-to-market benefits create further opportunities for MIM technology. Future growth opportunities for Ceramic Injection molding is expected to stem from increasing uptake of smartwatches and wearable devices which is driving the demand for complex interior components.
Asia-Pacific represents the largest and the fastest growing market worldwide. The growth in the market is led by factors such as accelerating growth in the industrial and manufacturing sector and growing focus on production of quality and sophisticated components.
Major players in the market include Advanced Materials Technologies, Akron Porcelain & Plastics Co., ARC Group Worldwide, Inc., CMG Technologies, CN Innovations Holdings Ltd., Epson Atmix Corp., Form Technologies Company, GKN plc, Indo-MIM Pvt. Ltd., Nippon Piston Ring Co. Ltd., Parmatech Corp., Phillips-Medisize Corp., Polymer Technologies Inc., PSM Industries Inc., Smith Metal Products, SSI-Sintered Specialties Inc., and World Class Technology among others.