The Japan Powder Metallurgy Association (JPMA) annual report for 2015, published at the end of May contains details of PM industry and association activities in Japan during 2015, as well as a summary of production levels in other Asian countries.

In his opening remarks, JPMA Executive Director Mr. Takashi Saito noted that Japanese production of PM machine parts (PM structural parts) and PM bearings in 2015 declined 5%, in line with the domestic output of automobiles, which fell 5.1%. PM production in Japan is very largely for the auto industry. He also referred to the activities of the JPMA, which this year celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of its founding in April 1956.

As well as a review of PM industry statistics in Japan and the rest of Asia, the report contains details of JPMA organization: board and technical committee memberships, events, awards and prizes. Japan hosted the third APMA (Asian Powder Metallurgy Association) International Conference on PM in Kyoto in 2015. The 4th APMA conference is scheduled for 2017 in Taiwan, and the 2018 PM World Congress will take place in Beijing, China.

Japanese PM production

From statistics provided by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), the output of PM products in Japan for 2014/2015 is shown in Table 1. Performance results differed by application area, with the predominant sector of PM structural parts declining 5.0% in 2015 to 86,287 metric tons, while PM bearings at 6284t and friction products at 660t fell by 6.6% and 4.6%, respectively. In contrast, PM production for electrical contacts rose 10.9% to 71t. The total PM production in Japan declined 5.1% in 2015 to 93,302t. In other figures provided by METI (Table 2), the volumes of PM structural parts and bearings consumed by the automotive industry also declined in 2015 to 81,200t (−3.8%) and 4018t (−4.2%), respectively. Consumption in other applications fell more steeply, with structural parts dropping 21.1% and PM bearings down 10.4%.

This article appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Metal Powder Report.

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