JPMA: Providing an unrivalled insight into Japan's MIM industry
Company visit: PIM International, Vol.2 No. 1 March 2008, pages 29-32, 1395 words
The Japan Powder Metallurgy Association (JPMA) was founded in 1956 as a trade association for the then fledgling powder metallurgy (PM) industry. Over 50 years on and the association’s membership has broadened to include a proportion of the country’s MIM producers. Crucially, the association collects detailed statistics that offer an unrivalled insight into the growth of Japan’s MIM industry. Nick Williams, Editor of PIM International reports on a visit to the offices of the JPMA as part of a series of features on companies involved in the Japanese PIM industry.
The JPMA is first and foremost the trade association for the Japanese structural PM parts industry, with MIM representing only approximately 10% of total annual PM sales in Japan. As in Europe with the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) and the USA with the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), the JPMA has adapted its core role to encompass new related technologies. MIM is one such technology, related on one hand to PM by the sintering process and use of metal powders, but on the other hand related in many other aspects to the vastly different plastic injection moulding industry. This is reflected in the widely differing industries from which MIM companies have evolved: plastics and investment casting as well as conventional PM. Such diversity may perhaps explain why membership of PM trade associations by the MIM industry is at a level that is not as fully representative as many would wish.
Despite this, the JPMA, together with its sister associations EPMA and MPIF, provide unique and invaluable support to the MIM industry worldwide with services that include technology promotion, the generation of statistics, the development of industry standards and the representation of the industry to national and international government bodies. The JPMA works in all these areas through its 'Committee for Metal Injection Moulding'. It should also be noted that the Japan Society of Powder and Powder Metallurgy’s (JSPM) PIM Committee is also active, though on a more academic remit. It’s Chairman is Prof. Hideshi Miura of Kyushu University. Together the JPMA and JSPM produced the first Japanese Standard on MIM materials in 2001.
The Japanese MIM industry
Thanks to the uniquely detailed statistics produced by the JPMA we have a clear picture of MIM growth in Japan, of the key markets and materials used. Around 30 companies are active in the production of MIM parts in Japan, with anticipated 2008 sales of nearly ¥17,000 million (approx. $157million/€107million based on exchange rates as of 18/2/2008). JPMA expects that recent annual growth in the region of 10-15% will continue in the......
Figures and Tables:
Fig. 1 The JPMA team: Left to right, Hiroaki Itabashi, Secretary General; Tohru Sakuri, Executive Director; Kazunori Arai, to succeed as Executive Director from the end of May; Yusuke Watanuki, to succeed as Secretary General in June.
Fig. 2 Nippon Piston Ring Co Ltd’s development of Rocker Arm parts represents an early success in the Japanese MIM industries efforts to penetrate the automotive sector
Fig. 3 Sales of MIM products in Japan 2002-2008 (Courtesy JPMA)
Fig. 4 Estimated MIM market share in Japan (Courtesy Sumitomo Metal Mining)
Fig. 5 Applications of MIM parts in Japan, based on 2006 data (Courtesy JPMA)
Fig. 6 Main materials for MIM parts in Japan, based on 2006 data (Courtesy JPMA)
For a detailed report of the global powder metallurgy industry please view the IPMD Global Market Review. The 13 page report reviews key statistics in regional and global shipments relating to ferrous and non-ferrous PM products, hardmetals, diamond tools, and powder-based magnets. Additionally, two special insets review PM’s special relationship with the automotive industry and the accelerating global growth in the powder injection moulding sector. ____________________________________