Sigmasoft® Virtual Molding reduces costs in PIM

August 18, 2014

Sigma Engineering GmbH, based in Aachen, Germany, has developed innovative technology to virtually reproduce the moulding of green parts for the Powder Injection Moulding (PIM) industry. Sigmasoft Virtual Molding, states the company, is a revolutionary software tool that has been introduced to the PIM market to identify as early as possible quality issues in the green part and thus increase final sintered part quality, minimise scrap production during start-up, improve the stability of production processes and shorten the time-to-market for new parts.

Sigma has worked for over a decade to understand and solve the moulding problems specifically associated with PIM processing and several specific models have been integrated to reproduce the unique rheological and thermal behaviour of PIM feedstocks. With the Sigmasoft Virtual Molding approach, the moulding process of green parts now takes place “virtually” on a computer, to assess the performance of a given mould configuration and to identify possible quality issues during the mould design phase. From the start, states the company, early technology adopters have profited from the benefits of using its software and the global community of successful PIM users has grown significantly in recent years.

Sigmasoft believes that the PIM industry faces several challenges. On the one hand, the complexity of the parts and the production versatility is increasing, whilst on the other hand PIM processors need reliable and timely data in order to design efficient moulds. Quality problems in green parts must be identified early and fixed. At the same time, robust and stable production processes are required. Depending on the available sintering equipment, the processor must be able to easily switch from one feedstock to the other, to shorten start-up times for new products with a minimum of scrap, as well as ensure consistently high green part quality in order to run continuous sintering equipment efficiently. A complete understanding of the moulding process is therefore essential in order to be successful.

Sigmasoft states that its technology provides PIM producers with the information required to make sound decisions about mould configuration, including questions regarding the right positioning of the gating. Mechanical weakness or undesirable aesthetic marks due to the poor positioning of welding lines, particle segregation associated with high shear rates or possible voids are all visualised on screen as they would appear in the moulded part. The relevance of these issues increases proportionally with part complexity, states Sigmasoft, as previous experience may not be enough to ensure a smooth and profitable production.

The company also suggests that producers are able to more securely assess up-front the feasibility of a part, as the process and moulding costs, cycle time and the moulding complexity can be fully understood, thus increasing the ability to make decisions about engaging in new projects.


Spring 2023 issue of PIM International magazine

In the latest issue of PIM International…

Download PDF

Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Visottica Group: Integrated workflows and the value of Metal Injection Moulding in eyewear and beyond
  • In MIM’s post-smartphone era, where is China’s Metal Injection Moulding industry going?
  • Ceramic AM at scale: The story of how Steinbach AG scaled production to 12,000 parts a year for Da Vinci Surgical Systems
  • MIM F75 (Co-Cr-Mo) for high-volume production: The impact of sintering conditions on microstructure and properties
  • World PM2022: Research into the Binder Jetting of aluminium, Ni-free stainless steel, hardmetals and metallic glass

The latest news from the MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM industries

Don't miss any new issue of PIM International, and stay up to date with the latest industry news. Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free-to-access PIM International magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


    Browse the archive


    Looking for suppliers of materials, production equipment and finished MIM, CIM or sinter-based AM parts?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PIM International.

    • Metal powders
    • MIM, CIM & AM parts producers
    • Binders & feedstocks
    • Feedstock mixers
    • Furnaces & furnace supplies
    • Atmospheres & gas generation
    • HIP systems & services
    • Injection moulding machines
    • AM technology
    • Debinding systems
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap