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Metal Injection Molding market to reach $3.7 billion by 2017


6th Jan, 2012

The world metal injection molding and ceramic injection molding market is forecast to reach $3.7 billion by the year 2017, according to a new comprehensive report by US market analysts Global Industry Analysts, Inc (GIA).

In the recession period, an increased productivity and capacity requirements in key end-use markets will push demand for metal injection molding (MIM) and ceramic injection molding (CIM) parts as manufacturers begin channelling investments for global competitiveness.

As a metal-forming process, Metal Injection Molding brings together the design flexibility of plastic moulding and material flexibility of powder metallurgy. Even intricate shaped parts require just minor finishing treatments. The Metal Injection Molding process offers economical cost solutions for several applications compared to investment casting or machining, and improved mechanical properties in comparison to other net-shaping techniques such as zinc or aluminium die casting. It also offers high-volume production, part to part consistency, high performance, excellent surface finish, weight savings, close porosity, surface finish, and high final density, among others.

The business prospects of the metal injection molding and ceramic injection molding industry is closely tied to the consumer, telecommunications, electronics, dental, medical, automotive and aerospace industries, among others. While the industry flourished in US and Europe early in the decade, it was affected by economic recession, global reduction in manufacturing output, and volatility in end use markets. Falling cost of ordering and stocking MIM parts, and pricing pressures have brought down profit margins for market participants.

In particular, the information technology, mechanical, and medical/healthcare industries, which traditionally have been the hot bed for metal fabricators, has significantly cooled down as a result of the recession, while the slumping automotive industry, has impacted opportunities in this application market in North America. Pressure from the recession has forced growth to slow down in the medical/healthcare industry.

However, the growing trend towards miniaturization, and the quest for developing newer components with greater mechanical strength, mean that opportunities will grow such as MIM and CIM, GIA says. In the upcoming years, growth in the Metal Injection Molding industry will stem largely from developing markets such as,Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico and India, where the rapid pace of industrialization represents the prime factor turbo-charging growth in these markets.

Currently, Europe and Asia-Pacific accounts for a major share of the global Metal Injection Molding market revenues, while the United States is the largest market for CIM. Rapid technological advancements and industrial development in Asian countries provide a fertile environment for growth of MIM and CIM parts in the upcoming years and less impacted level of economic activity in developing countries has propped up the manufacturing sector at large. For instance, automobile production in China and India registered a quick recovery following a temporary deceleration in growth. In terms of end-use, automotive represents the largest contributor to global market revenues of MIM.