BCC Research studied this market twice in the past, first in 2005 and then in 2008. In 2004, the global market size for MIM was reported to be US$382 million, with expected growth to US$571 million by 2009. However, in 2009, the market size for MIM was actually US$985 million, with expected growth to US$1.9 billion by 2014.

Now the market researcher reports the global MIM market to be US$1.5 billion in 2012 with expected growth to reach nearly US$2.9 billion by 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4%

The market crash in 2008 and 2009 has had its share of repercussions in the MIM industry as well. With automotive sales dropping significantly across the world, the specific application market for MIM also felt serious damages, with several smaller companies concentrating only in the automotive industry falling into financial trouble, and later closing down or getting acquired.

Weathering the storm

However, larger companies have weathered the storm and have grown stronger and larger in the meantime, BCC Research avers. The diversification into other applications such as medical and dental, aerospace, electronics and communications, and luxury products, have been beneficial to such companies in weathering the storms in one industry.

Growth in the cell phone and other handheld products and electronics have been a boon to the MIM industry for the last decade, and this has also resulted in the industry shifting its base slowly to emerging markets and Asia, where most of the electronics manufacturing takes place.

This shift is also helping open up new applications and markets for the technology, as the original technology and markets were developed in the US and were focused in the dental and automotive markets.

Million mark

Another interesting change happening in the industry is the size of the largest players starting to cross the US$50 million mark. The first two MIM manufacturers to break this barrier are the ARC Group, due to its acquisitions of Advance Tooling Concepts and Thixoforming in April, and Indo-US MIM. BCC Research expects that there could be five to 10 players crossing the US$50 million mark by 2018, and several crossing the US$100 million mark as well. On the supply side also, there would be several players enjoying US$50 million in sales from MIM industry in the next few years.