The Metal Powder Industry Federation’s MIM2010 Conference took place from 29-31 March, in Long Beach, California, USA. The three day event succeeded in attracting a diverse audience, bringing a distinctly international feel to what has traditionally been an event dominated by the North American PIM community.
The conference sessions were preceded by a well attended one-day “PIM Tutorial” presented by Prof. Randall German, San Diego State University. This provided a comprehensive foundation on all aspects of PIM technology, from materials through to processing, markets and financial considerations.
Within the main conference sessions, developments in the metal injection moulding of titanium (Ti-MIM) received much attention, with a number of high quality presentations from Asia and Europe as well as Canada and USA. There was general agreement that whilst the processing of Ti-MIM remains challenging, technical feasibility is no longer an issue and powder availability remains a greater challenge, along with the development of a greater market for Ti-MIM products. German estimated the current value of Ti-MIM part sales to be in the region of $8 million, shared between approximately 17 MIM operations.
The keynote luncheon featured a presentation by Lars Gehlback, VP Global Supply Chain, at Sybron Dental Specialties. Gehlback gave a thorough review of the impact of MIM in the orthodontics industry, citing its advantages over machining and investment casting, and highlighting current trends including the increased use of translucent ceramic injection moulded orthodontic components that offer significant aesthetic improvements for the consumer.
One of the most successful aspects of this conference series, thanks in part to its focused subject area and in part to its size and ‘residential’ type venues, is in the unique opportunity that it offers for networking with fellow industry professionals. Lively breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunches and receptions all offered delegates informal opportunities to meet with both colleagues and almost all the major fginternational equipment and materials suppliers.
The next conference in this series, MIM2011, will return to Orlando, Florida, 14-16 March 2011.
MIM 2010 Exhibitors
AT&M Powdered Metal
Automated Cells & Equipment
Carpenter Powder Products
Centorr Vacuum Industries
Epson Atmix Corp.
Orton Ceramic Foundation
Proton Energy Systems
SCM Metal Products
Smart Metal Powders
Yuelong Superfine Metal