CMG Technologies, Suffolk, UK, has forecast a bright future for Metal Injection Moulding in the medical sector, with exciting growth opportunities available to manufacturers as the result of continued demand for new products enabling an ageing population to manage their health conditions.
According to CMG’s report, Rachel Garrett, Managing Director, believes there is scope to develop the sector even further using MIM. Metal Injection Moulding is already popular for use in keyhole surgery, in devices used to manage diabetes, in implantable devices and in fracture/fixation applications. “Over the past 25 years,” stated Garrett, “MIM has become an increasingly important manufacturing technology for the medical device industry due to its ability to produce high volumes of precision components to net-shape. Early applications were endoscopic instruments and a huge range of both simple and complex surgical devices, but the next generation will see medical robotic systems and implants with unique properties developed.
“Guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are insisting that more and more medical devices are single use,” she added, “and this is where MIM really comes into its own, because it is a much cheaper option than machining and I believe there will be a growth in demand for popular applications such as keyhole surgery and devices used to manage diabetes.
“The precision capability of our MIM process has already facilitated our close working partnerships with a number of leading medical device manufacturers, including Swann Morton and DTR Medical, who rely on us to provide complex parts that cannot be manufactured using traditional methods due to prohibitive costs or design issues.
“The medical sector is our largest market and, throughout the world, companies are becoming more aware of MIM’s capabilities.”
CMG reported, however, that growth in MIM for the medical sector is currently being prevented due to the difficulty in obtaining medical approval for MIM titanium, which is subject to stringent regulations and testing for increased use. As the medical sector seeks to overcome increasing financial pressures and the demands of a growing global population, CMG hopes that more manufacturers will work in collaboration with medical testing boards to speed up the approval of metal injection moulded materials.
Visiongain’s latest report predicts that the global medical devices market will reach $398 billion in 2017. This is a market which presents significant opportunities for growth in the coming decade, driven by the introduction of innovative devices into the market and the demand generated by illnesses associated with an ageing global population.
“Cardiac and respiratory diseases generally affect people above the age of 65 and, with the global over-65 population expected to rise up to one billion by 2020, devices used in the treatment of age-related illnesses will see significant growth,” continued Garrett. “MIM is a very attractive proposition for many of these devices because it has so many benefits, especially the fact there are no scrappage costs. Costs are key as the medical sector seeks greater efficiencies to market products that are affordable.”
In our March 2017 issue, Powder Injection Moulding International published an in-depth report on MIM in the medical sector, reviewing its continuing development with a specific focus on market trends, applications and materials, both regionally and globally, and exploring some of the current challenges to further growth, with industry insight from experts in Asia, Europe and North America.
PIM International believes that Metal Injection Moulding producers are well positioned to take full advantage of the trends and demands of the medical sector and that producers have the opportunity to be first to market in a field which promises a high stability of order volumes. Our report highlights the factors giving industry leaders cause for optimism, alongside the need for continued technological development in response to market requirements.
The 15-page report, entitled “Metal Injection Moulding: Building on solid foundations in the medical sector”, is available to read for free by downloading the digital edition of PIM International (Vol.11 No.1), or in print with the purchase of a year’s subscription.