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“Powder injection molding (PIM) is booming on a global basis because of its ability to either create unique new products or replace older technologies at significant savings,” according to the introduction to the 242-page analysis. “The process allows design of the very complex, net shapes that are made via plastic injection molding, but in materials-metals and ceramics-that have properties far in excess of plastic.”
The industry must still overcome several challenges, including lack of awareness of the process among design engineers, a weak reputation in some quarters for repeatable dimensional control, high materials prices and lack of standardization, states the report. Aiding development is the substantial move to improve processing technology and materials.
The global ceramic injection molding (CIM) market is expected to be worth $394.5 million in 2009 and $801.0 million in 2014, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2%. Broken down by geographic region, North America captures the largest share of the market and is expected to generate $276.5 million in 2009 and $512.6 million in 2014, for a CAGR of 13.1%. Europe is the next largest CIM segment of the market, worth an estimated $75.1 million in 2009 and $152.2 million in 2014, a CAGR of 15.2%. The third-largest market CIM segment is Asia, which is expected to generate $39.5 million in 2009. This should increase at a CAGR of 24.9% to reach $120.2 million in 2014.
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