By Indo-MIM Pvt Ltd R&D manager Mr Sachin MalgaveMetal injection moulding (MIM) is an emerging...
In a challenging economy, the manufacturing industry is facing stiff competition, which has made each of the manufacturing industries look at ‘Innovation’ as the way to get a competitive edge in the market place.
Its feature of being able to injection mould complex contours, however intricate they are, gives it a unique status that can be designated as ‘Winnovation’ amongst the crowd of manufacturing technologies. ‘Winnovation’ designates win-win situation amongst the customer and the supplier.
MIM technology has been a value addition technology that has helped automotive designers get their design dreams to reality. Most of the parts having tolerances tighter than ISO 2768(M) have been facing a road block owing to the MIM capability. This is where Indo-MIM, Bangalore in India, has redefined the scope and has started doing parts which are having tolerances tighter than ISO 2768 (M).
Small parts, larger volumes
MIM technology has been used in areas of small parts and large volumes. The renewed capability of Indo-MIM has helped bring on board some parts which call for higher amount of machining post-MIM.
Most of the parts that are being made at Indo-MIM are in materials that are not conventional steels. Now they have capability to make parts out of difficult-to-machine materials like T400, Nimonic, Fe-50% Ni, etc.
In the conventional machining process, such parts were a challenge for global customers and hence it was not possible to mass produce them in a cost-effective manner. Indo-MIM has redefined the rules in this area & hence it has given a chance to the customers to use such materials in their product assemblies. This has improved the life of the components, satisfying customers.
Indo-MIM ensures that the components undergo washing, which is required to control reflective and non-reflective particles. Components that require high level of cleanliness after machining, are washed to remove the finer reflective and non-reflective particles. This high-end washing is done in a dedicated washing machine under high-pressure to remove contamination and Leica micro analyser is used to inspect the quality and quantity of contamination. The washing, cleaning and inspection of the parts are done under pressurized clean room-like environment with controlled atmosphere.
In addition to this, Electro-Chemical Machines compliment the accurate machining to remove the burrs offline and online gauging is implemented to reduce the cycle time and for better dimensional capabilities.
PDS (process data system), an online data management system was initiated by the top management at Indo-MIM to manage the data effectively. One of the main advantages of the PDS is that it is quite flexible and changes at a very fast pace and the data is made available to all the processes. Built by Indo-MIM engineers who worked on the manufacturing system, this makes the software engineers think like a process owner and get into their shoes to build the system.
In the area of post-MIM machining, the process capability of specific operations such as turning, milling, grinding, lapping, etc. has been well-established at Indo-MIM. Following is one of the case studies explaining the process.
Indo-MIM is a Lean Six Sigma company that uses Kaizen as its DNA, and works on continuously improving process capability for all the processes of individual parts that it manufactures at both its plants in Bangalore. The capabilities of the company have also been well acknowledged with getting awarded under three prestigious categories at MPIF 2013, at a function held at Chicago, USA. This was a fitting recognition of Indo-MIM’s endevaour in its march towards continuing leadership in this industry, and provide support to global customers.
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