Titanium Metal Injection Molding (TiMIM) is a well-developed metal shaping procedure that uses injection molding hardware to manufacture net or near-net shape components. This process has received increased attention over the last decade as a promising technique for the manufacture of small and intricate titanium parts for a range of applications in biomedical, aerospace, automotive, electronics, military, and other industries. Among these, aerospace is considered to be one of the few industries that have recognized the advantages of titanium MIM. There are many metal injection molded titanium parts that are already being used in production quantities in aircraft. According to the fact sheet produced by Boeing Company, on average, there are 600,000 parts in a Next-Generation 737 airplane. Conventionally, aircraft manufacturers have used other fabrication processes, including plastic molding, precision machining, and powder metallurgy to produce these parts, but a comparison unveils several advantages associated with MIM. This method provides an alternative and better processing method for the high production of latches, fasteners, screws, seatbelt components, hinges, bushings, and many more components. The parts produced by titanium metal injection molding are proved to be the imperative possibilities for cost savings, lightweight, enhanced durability, and improved cosmetic appearance. Titanium MIM, which is efficient to produce intricate parts through an unseamed process, is thus gaining attention in the aerospace industry.
Moreover, the increasing number of airplanes across the world will foster the growth of the titanium metal injection molding market. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the number of air passengers is estimated to touch 8.2 billion by 2037. Moreover, to cater to this meteoric rise in aviation activities, the industry requires more and more planes and aircraft. As per Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) unveiled by Boeing on June 17, 2019, the airline industry will need more than 44,000 new commercial airplanes by 2038. Therefore, the high surge in demand for new airplanes is considered to be a significant factor in creating growth opportunities to the titanium metal injection molding market.
As of 2018, the titanium metal injection molding market size was evaluated to attain $139 million, and the demand in the market is poised to propel at a standard CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period 2019-2025.
Titanium parts produced by MIM technology are utilized across end-user industries owing to the benefits associated with the technique. TiMIM process is a relatively cost-effective method as compared to other traditional fabrication processes, since it makes use of 100% of the metal powder, eliminates the need for secondary operations, and produces unlimited components with a better tolerance level. Moreover, this technique can produce better surface finishes, higher complexity, greater production volume, and thinner wall sections and imparts greater metal density and high fatigue strength to the molded parts. Thus, the titanium metal injection molding market is steadily gaining growth as the end-user industries started exploiting the great benefits and applying them into the product portfolio.
Titanium Metal Injection Molding Market Leveraging Key Application Segment; Medical Sector—
On the application, the titanium metal injection molding market is segmented into medical, aerospace, automotive, military, electronic, chemical processing, power generation, offshore industry, luxury goods, and others. Out of these applications, the medical sector is perceived to be the key application that is alluring maximum profits to the market. This is attributed to the fact that medical technology companies are exploiting the titanium MIM method to manufacture intricate products such as vascular access ports, orthodontic brackets, tissue ablation electrodes, drug delivery devices, joint replacement equipment, small surgical instruments, and various implant parts. In the past recent years, there is an increasing trend for smaller, intricate devices, especially laparoscopic instruments, for minimally invasive surgeries. Metal injection molding has furnished the design deliverance to be able to produce such parts with minimal cost.
Moreover, titanium metal has biocompatibility and corrosion resistance properties that make it suitable for manufacturing permanent implants. These factors led to the development of titanium MIM as a leading manufacturing method for many medical-device OEMs. Thus, the key application segment is poised to propel at standard 10% CAGR through to 2025.
Titanium Metal Injection Molding Market Gaining Traction from End-use Industries in APAC Region—
Geographically, APAC is estimated to be the most lucrative marketplace for the titanium metal injection market with a demand share of 36.8% in 2018, and the dominance is expected to continue throughout the forecast period. Rapid industrialization in emerging economies such as India, China, and Japan is presumed to fuel market development in this region. The growing trend for miniaturization of metal parts across the end-use industries is expected to be the significant factor driving the market growth. The automotive industry in China and India has emerged as a major consumer of titanium injection molded parts. Owing to the fact that high strength and high complexity parts are used in engines, gearboxes, turbochargers, locking mechanisms, steering systems, and electronic systems, there is hefty demand from the automotive industry for precision auto parts with high performance and even higher reliability at a competitive cost, which can be met by MIM. Thus, the burgeoning automotive industry is expected to fuel the growth of the regional market. The demand in APAC automotive industry can be easily fathomed from the bulk production of automobiles in China and India, which were estimated to produce around 33 million motor vehicles cumulatively, in 2018, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).
Additionally, the electronics industry is another significant consumer of Titanium MIM parts. Connectors of complex geometries and the miniaturization of electronic devices which calls for even smaller parts with better performance at a lower cost is the main aspect considered by the electronics industry. This is where metal injection molding is proving its strength. This technique is used for the production of thin-wall fiber optic parts, cold plates, heat sinks, and connectors. Thus the thriving electronics industry is considered to be contributing significantly to the regional market. Wherein, the growth in APAC electronics market can be assimilated from the statistics provided by the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), according to which the Indian electronics products demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41% to reach $400 billion by 2020. Thus, it can be reckoned that the rapidly growing end-use industries have rendered APAC with the maximum market share.
Titanium Metal Injection Molding Market Company’s Strategies—
Major companies that are continuously striving to gain a niche in the titanium metal injection molding market are Praxis, Hitachi Metals, Smith Metals, CMG Technologies, OptiMim, Real Technik, Epson Atmix, Finemim Tech, Tekna, Carpenter Technology, Fraunhofer, Taisei Kogyo, and IndoMIM. The primary developmental strategies adopted by these companies include new product launches, expansions, collaborations, acquisitions, and partnerships. The companies adopted these strategies to enhance their product offerings and customer base as well as to gain a competitive edge over their peers in the market. They are also focused on investing in research and development activities to introduce new and cost-effective materials to keep up with the changing consumer needs.
In May 2019, Indo-MIM, has announced its agreement for a strategic partnership with Desktop Metal. This partnership is intended to provide the metal injection molding process closer to companies demanding for speed, cost, and quality benefits. With this step, the company will facilitate customers with a one-stop resource for the production of complex precision components and sub-assemblies with MIM.
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