Metal injection molding is an advanced metalworking technology, which combines of injection molding and PM sintering in MIM parts manufacturing process. It is most suitable for precise, complex parts with high volume quantities. There is no limitation of MIM material selection, any metal or alloys cannot be applied in MIM process, while they are not capable for die casting. Machining, as traditional production method, process with metal material remove to final desired metal geometry. It is a alternative way to create parts which cannot be produced by die cast.
However, consider of the parts size and complexity, there are lots of limitations in machining technology. Too small size and complex geometry are difficult to achieve in reason of machining need cutting tools to mill or turn materials, which will give rise to warping for small size parts and insufficient space for complex design.
In similarities, MIM is able to produce finished components with same mechanical properties as machined parts. Typically, MIM parts can be applied in same area as machined parts, such as medical, electronic, industrial and automotive. In special cases, MIM parts has similar surface appearance as machined parts.
However, MIM provides more advantages and benefit for precision metal parts than machining technology.
MIM can satisfy unique geometry and complexity capability requirement in any MIM parts. In addition, parts consolidation is widely used in MIM design process to produce one single part with desired features. By contrast, machining only can provide limited intricacy, design freedom and flexibility. It is difficult to produce complex structure, the cutting tools need sufficient working space for interior features. As we know, complex parts structures will need more machining time, which will no doubt increase total cost. While MIM is the most cost-effective way, its cost will never affect by parts geometries.
Strength and Performance
Although MIM and machining both can produce high strength metal parts with excellent mechanical properties, we should notice that MIM parts never need to endure induced stress or internal pressure in manufacturing process. For special design parts, these stress and pressure will result to parts deformation and failure. MIM parts are molding by conventional ways, then sinter in oven, finally create a solid strong metal components. Its process will never create any stress or pressure to final parts.
In MIM production process, complexity of parts are always determining mold investment. Complex parts design requires indeed molds with complex insider cavities, in order to satisfy molding parts formation. Molding cost is a upfront cost before manufacturing process. With machining method, the main factor affect cost is process time, any complexity of parts will increase process time, and finally increase extra cost.
In machining way, the removal metal material form block is obvious material scrap, and this is inevitable because of its manufacture way. MIM will never create any material scrap in process, so you can save cost in total.
Machining need long time to produce complex parts, once you need high volume capacity, the only way is buying more CNC machines for more production. With MIM, we have the most effective way to increase capacity without any new machines purchase. Just need plan our MIM parts production process in high volume production schedule.
Excellent Benefit of MIM
Compare to Machining, there are some additional benefits of MIM in manufacturing process.
As machining produce parts in each separate process, every part has its own actual dimensions, normally, these parts can reach normal accuracy. Once you need high tolerance requirement, it will encourage amount of manpower work to achieve. While in MIM, with multiple cavity technology, it is easy to control our MIM parts with high accuracy.
In machining process, design complexity determine producing time, it will increase significantly with high complex geometries. While in MIM, there is little affect on complexity, MIM parts with same materials have similar cycle time, no matter how complex the parts are.
MIM technology can create parts with consolidation of various sections, which will simplify manufacturing process. In addition, there is no extra cost in budget and impact in performance.
Less secondary operations
MIM parts surface roughness can reach 0.2 µm, and its properties are similar as raw material alloys, for functional parts, there is no need of secondary operations.
MIM is the most cost-effective for precise applications compare with machining, especially in your high volume and complexity requirement projects. ZCMIM can produce high accuracy, complex geometries components with no post operation for your special applications. We also significantly reduce your associated cost in secondary operation ahead, while increase production rate.