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Development status of metal injection molding MIM in North America(2018)

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According to data provided by MPIF at POWDERMET2019 this summer, metal injection molding MIM industry in America was described as "positive and determined". It is estimated that the U.S. metal injection molding parts market grew by 5-10% to $440 - $460 million in 2018. It is also estimated that American consumption of MIM-grade fine powder (domestic production and imports combined) increased by 10 per cent to 3,500 tonnes in 2018, including fine powder used in "MIM-like" additive manufacturing, but demand in this new field is low right now.

MPIF's PM industry trends survey shows that stainless steel products account for 48% of shipped metal injection molding parts by weight, the remaining products mainly made of low alloy steel (20%) and soft magnetic alloy (21%).

The medical and dental market is expected to account for 30 per cent of MIM production by component weight in 2019, while metal injection molding components in vehicles have risen to 11 per cent. In past year 2018, the light weapons market has leveled off, accounting for an estimated 33% of MIM production, with other important markets including general industrial (12%), electronics (7%) and dental (3%). It is worth noting that although dental products account for only 3% of MIM shipments in the USA by weight (due to component weight is only 0.02 g), product price is very high and globally the dental industry is estimated to account for about 16% of MIM sales by value.

MPIF said practitioners are generally optimistic about market expectations for 2019. MIMA survey showed that 72% of respondents predicted an increase, while 28% predicted a "more stable" level. The survey also revealed that the industry believes the most important challenges facing metal injection molding technologies include shortening development cycles, expanding capacity, improving yield and developing new materials. At the same time, MIM is also actively considering the integration of additive manufacturing processes.

Keywords in the article: MIM metal injection molding
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