Growing miniature materials demand for several applications in end-use industries such as electronics, telecom, automotive and medical is anticipated to drive the global polymer microinjection molding market growth over the next five years. Polymer microinjection molding process is used to manufacture micro sized tools and parts through a machine comprising fine resolution, injection pressure, and high speed specific molds as per requirements. Some primary polymers used for the process include polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), polyoxymethylene, polyethylene, polylactic acid and liquid crystal polymer. Thermoplastics dominated the global polymer microinjection molding market accounting for over 64% in 2013. Increasing demand for micro materials in electronic and medical industry is expected to bolster the global market over the forecast period. Shifting focus towards substituting polymers comprising phthalate with thermoplastics is anticipated surge the demand for microinjection molding in medical industry. Microinjection molding is used to manufacture parts and tools which require accurate geometries and high precision features such as micro filters, bearing caps and ear implants. Other important product applications include micro gear plate, wheel and operating pin in automobile industry.
Microinjection molding is more advantageous than micromachining. It takes less molding time with high precision and uses low cost feedstock such as PEEK, whereas micromachining uses stainless steel which results in high manufacturing cost. Micro machining also uses ceramic and other metallic as raw materials which reduce efficiency and increase manufacturing cost. Growing applications in end-use industries is expected to boost the global polymer microinjection molding market over the next five years. Less awareness among potential consumers regarding the product advantage over alternative products particularly in developing and under developed countries is anticipated to hinder the global market over the forecast period.
Polymer microinjection molding market is segmented based on applications into medical & healthcare, automotive, telecom fiber optics and micro drive control & system. Medical & healthcare was the largest application segment market accounting for over 32% of the total revenue in 2013. Increasing miniature parts and tools demand in medical industry owing to increasing Minimally Invasive Surgeries (MIS) is anticipated to boost the polymer microinjection molding market growth over the next five years. This market segment is also expected to be the fastest growing in near future due to increasing government concern towards healthcare in various nations. Automotive industry followed medical & healthcare accounting for over 24.6% of the total market in 2013. The automotive segment is projected to grow significantly on account of increasing applications such as mini gears, bearing caps and micro engine parts. Growing mini gears demand is anticipated to foster the application polymer microinjection molding market over the forecast period.
North America was the dominant regional market in 2013 accounting for over 40% of the global market owing to increasing applications in end-use industries such as automotive, medical & healthcare, electronic and telecom. Automotive along with medical & healthcare industry together accounted for over 50% of the market in the region in 2013. Europe followed North America and accounted for over 38% of the total revenue in 2013. Miniature tools and parts manufacturers are shifting towards microinjection molding owing to reduced manufacturing cost. Emerging biodegradable polymers has driven the polymer microinjection molding market growth in recent past. Asia Pacific accounted for over 14% of the global market in 2013, and is expected to grow significantly due to growing awareness towards medical & healthcare services particularly in emerging economies such as China, Indonesia and India over the next five years.
Europe and North America are the concentrated polymer microinjection molding market due to presence of major market players in the region. Major participants follow customization and differentiation as their strategy to sustain in the global market. Makuta Technics Inc is the leading market player based in U.S., the company provides a large variety of products with specialized tools and parts. It also serves prototyping services which minimizes manufacturing time. As a differentiation strategy the company offers services such as complete tool prototyping and rapid prototyping.
Research Support Specialist, USA