The German Expert Group for Ceramic Injection Moulding (Expertenkreis Keramikspritzguss), is to organise a series of CIM workshops during 2012 in collaboration with a number of German universities. The aim is to increase awareness of the technology amongst the next generation of engineers.
Dr. Tassilo Moritz, IKTS Dresden, told PIM International, “The marketing committee inside the CIM-Expertenkreis is committed to pursuing the goal of increasing both awareness of the potential of CIM technology and the general level of understanding of the process. The question of how to spread the knowledge about such a powerful production method is a difficult one to answer. Our approach is to plant the seed of knowledge in the next rising generation of engineers.”
The group made a successful start on this mission during 2011 with the first ceramic injection moulding workshop and seminar held at the University of Applied Sciences Koblenz, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, in April 2011. In close cooperation with the university the event, for both students and engineers from regional industry, attracted 120 people. Lectures were given by expert group members regarding the injection moulding process, the equipment used, the parts produced and the potential of the technology. Subsequently the ceramic injection moulding process was presented as a live demonstration on an operating injection moulding machine.
In addition to pursuing technology promotion, the CIM expert group has also been addressing the need to further develop an understanding of specific aspects of the CIM process.
A dedicated committee has been responsible for the establishment of a public funded project, Pro-CIM, which aims to increase the knowledge of non destructive control systems for CIM-parts. A multi-purpose trial mould was developed for testing ceramic feedstocks and their properties, in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the injection process. Models from 3D-simulation software are then verified against this and data collected for evaluation and improvement.
The group has also indicated that the existing supplier market is not currently meeting the specific requirements for CIM technology. CIM part producers, it is suggested, cannot easily maximise the potential of the process because of the lack of suitable suppliers. Specifically, the limited availability of special customer tailored ceramic high-end powders in appropriate amounts at affordable prices, plus appropriately shaped sintering furniture, is highlighted. The development teams inside the CIM Expert Group aim to address these challenges, enabling members to take full advantage of this innovative ceramic shaping process.
The CIM Expert Group was founded in 2008 and its members include both CIM producers and suppliers, as well as ceramic and materials research institutes.