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MIM or CNC machining?

2022/07/06

Modern industry is unthinkable without metalworking. Some level of metalworking is required for the production of a significant part of the most common everyday objects, and industries specializing in more complex structures, such as the automobile industry or weapons production - not to mention space research - could not have been born without technology suitable for the mechanical transformation of metals. The MIM process is relatively young, barely three decades old, so many people do not even know about its existence and think that CNC technology represents the pinnacle of the metal industry.

Features of CNC technology
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) enables production programs to be stored in memory and modifications to be saved. The production process and its possible adjustments are controlled by the CNC software, which works either directly in the machine or on an external computer, and determines the necessary revolutions and displacements. Before the advent of CNC equipment, all workers were forced to change both tools and workpieces themselves. CNC technology also automates tool change and workpiece movement, significantly reducing the time required for changeover. The use of computers also enables movements and work processes that cannot be solved manually. The most modern, automated production systems already cover the entire work process and, thanks to the predictable processing time, greatly facilitate production planning. The technology is very widespread and popular thanks to the high-quality products produced. CNC is best for a low-volume production with relatively simple parts that do not have very complex geometries.

Advantages of MIM technology
Metal Injection Molding, or MIM technology, exceeds the advantages offered by CNC in many areas. One of its most important features is that it is significantly faster, as MIM technology can produce up to 8 pieces of a given product in 30 seconds, which exceeds 20,000 in 24 hours - no other technology can compete with this speed. Another big advantage of MIM, in addition to speed, is that it is possible to produce small parts that cannot be produced with other technologies, and also cheaper and without material loss, which is also important from an environmental point of view. If the complexity of the given part is adequate, MIM can save up to 50-90% compared to CNC, since it is not necessary to carve the product out of a large metal block during a lengthy process, but it is immediately injected into its final shape by the tool in the same way as it also happens during plastic injection molding.

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