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PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Value engineering in MIM


Systematically adding value at every stage of a products development process is
helping industry experts maintain the rise in popularity of metal injection molding
Traditional manufacturing
technologies have begun to
taken a back seat, while new,
innovative methods are carving out
a niche in the industry. Embracing
such innovation is a mantra at IndoMIM, and is at the heart of the
companys future endeavors.
Metal injection molding (MIM)
technology has been accepted by
the industry as a reliable and costeffective production technique, and
is being used in many different and
demanding applications, such as
fuel systems (injectors, pumps and
armatures), powertrains (rocker
arms and hydraulic spools),
gearboxes and turbochargers
(vanes, rollers, spacers, bushings
and rings). As processing
capabilities continue to evolve, MIM
has been providing designers with
the ability to meet demanding
performance and cost goals. The
technology is one of the most
suitable for the manufacture of
small, complex metal parts for
automotive applications.
Value engineering is the process
of systematically improving the value
of a product at every stage of its life.
At the development stage, value
engineering is focused on reducing
product cost without reducing
quality. At the maturity stage, it
involves replacing costly
components with cheaper
equivalents. Improving the value
and quality of the product is key to
value engineering, and is always at
the forefront of MIM application.

The freedom afforded to designers by MIM technology makes a wider variety of product solutions possible for manufacture

Once a problem is designated


and the boundaries are fixed, a
MIM designer is able to develop
innovative solutions, tailored to a
customers specific application.
Over the past 18 years, Indo-MIM
has successfully helped its
customers migrate from producing
complex, shaped steel components
using conventional machining and
casting technologies, to
implementing MIM technology.
Indo-MIMs migration approach
helps customers realize quality and
reliability improvements while
offering major reductions in product
cost. To further refine its value
engineering approach toward MIM
product development, Indo-MIM
regularly uses advanced Six Sigma
and Shainin design of experiments
(DOE) techniques using a strong
advanced product quality planning
(APQP) process to facilitate highly

Indo-MIM has been responsible for the development of over 4,500 components

76 // March 2015 // Engine Technology International.com

robust product development. The


advantages of this approach can be
observed in the relatively troublefree production ramp of many
programs at Indo-MIM. Particular
attention is given to process design,
FMEA and poka-yoke techniques,
as Indo-MIM seeks to find the
optimum MIM production process
for all parts under development.
MIM technology encourages a
school of thought that is the
opposite of conventional wisdom,
enabling designers to experiment
with various complex geometries
and materials, all the time keeping
in mind the ultimate aim of satisfying
client requirements. This allows the
designers to dream beyond
boundaries and move away from
the mundane approach of design
for manufacturing (DFM).
Indo-MIM, a leading developer
based in Bangalore, India, has been

driving the migration of technology


from conventional casting and
machining, toward MIM. The
company has dramatically
increased the global and domestic
awareness of the benefits of MIM
technology by successfully
conducting on-site customer
seminars to train young designers
throughout the world. Indo-MIM has
developed more than 4,500
components in various materials
since 1996.
When customer satisfaction is
high on the agenda, innovative
concepts such as value engineering
offer advantages to manufacturing
companies looking to make it big in
the industry.
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