In the powder injection molding market, the ability to mold multiple parts into a single one has proven successful for growth of powder injection molding. Technological limitations in production of molded parts is intensifying competition in the powder injection molding market, and leading to continuous innovations in the manufacturing process, technologies used, and product development at a high rate; and collectively promoting market growth.
The Powder Injection Molding market is expected to reach $3,639m by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 9%. The powder injection molding industry is largely being driven by growth in the electronics, and aerospace & defense industries. In particular, the Asia-Pacific and North America regions are expected to witness rapid growth owing to high demand for electronic products and automobiles, fueled by the presence of the largest consumer base and manufacturing units.
Metal powder injection molding (MIM) is a shaping technology that has garnered scientific support. A recent increase in MIM sales has generated a need for new equipment, spurred by simultaneous investments into R&D. Many leading manufacturers invest an average of 10.5% of sales revenue into increasing capital expansion and research. The MIM market is widely dominated by the electronics industry with 23% share, followed by the automotive industry among end use industries. Apple Inc. has utilized metal injection molding technology to create its trademark lightning connector and related parts. Apple’s new lightning connector system, featured on iPhone and iPad Mini, has given the international MIM industry a considerable boost. China is the global production hub for Apple products, and recorded a total production volume of over one billion units of lightning connectors in 2017.
Key Insights on Powder Injection Molding Market
- R&D continues to be the key driver for the metal powder injection molding market. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and AP&C, a GE Additives company, have jointly developed a way to test the quality of metal powders using X-ray micro-computed tomography (microCT) and 3D image analysis. This technology will help in production of stronger, cleaner, safer and more reliable parts for aerospace and medical devices.
- Cost and performance continue to be key drivers for the powder injection molding industry. Powder injection molding offers significant cost savings, increased precision in design, and flexibility of materials. Powder injection molding is preferred for mass manufacturing of small, intricate geometric components of a variety of materials, as it can achieve 95% to 98% of its theoretical density at a much lower cost than comparable machined components. Maetta Sciences Inc. offers low production costs and efficient prototyping with regards to small production volumes. The PIM system developed by Maetta allows for prototyping through lower pressure molding with lower cost mold systems.
- There is also a growing trend for innovating in the powder injection molding industry, in order to address challenges of variable density and impurity on the injection molding process. Research has found that titanium metal powder injection molding (Ti-MIM) with high quality alloy powder has the ability to remove impurities which can’t be achieved through sintering.
- Growth in the powder injection molding market is majorly contributed to by the electronics segment, followed by the aerospace & defence segment, with the electronics application segment growing the fastest at a CAGR of 9%. Under the Electronics segment, the mobile phone lightening connector application held the major segment share of 27% of the global powder injection molding market.
- The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region accounted for the largest market share, with a revenue of $986m in 2018. Moreover, the North American market held a regional share of 26% in the global market. In Asia Pacific, the Chinese metal injection molding market has grown rapidly at a CAGR of over 30% annually since 2011. Metal injection molding has been widely incorporated to produce electronic devices, which comprises 75% of the overall MIM products market. Sales of MIM parts in China reached $890m in 2018, majorly because of smartphones which account for 66% of the MIM market. In China, BASF is the biggest metal injection molding feedstock supplier which supplied approximately 3000-3500 tons of MIM feedstock in 2017.
- Globally, there is increasing demand for micro-MIM parts in the powder injection molding sector. Currently, micro sacrificial plastic mold insert metal injection molding is used in micro-MIM parts applications.
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There are many products in the market utilizing this technology. Capacity expansions by leading vendors including ARC Group Worldwide Inc., Morgan Advanced Material Plc, Epson Atmix Corporation, ARBURG, GKN Plc, and others will fuel market growth during the forecast period. Powder Injection Molding manufacturers are investing in R&D activities to enhance core competencies by attaining the capability of manufacturing mold part through nickel based and cobalt based superalloys, produced by PIM, to gain a foothold in markets.
The growth in Powder Injection Molding market is supported by rise in demand for small precision components by electronics industry; and industry accounted 4% growth during 2016-2018. Moreover, R&D in processing of low thermal expansion materials for microelectronic packaging will boost powder injection molding in the electronics industry. The cost of PIM parts are mostly dominated by the feedstock price. The influence of feedstock price may hamper the powder injection molding market. Globally, the electronics market will continue to demonstrate growth in 2019, which will be as strong as that in 2018.
Mr. Venkat Reddy
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