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Ceramic Injection Moulding Expert Group met at Arburg
Group's conference focused on the working group reports and new memberships / Company tour and evening event held on the previous day
Ceramic injection moulding (CIM) has achieved a dramatic increase in sales in recent years with a number of interesting technical solutions. Above all, the freedom of design available with innovative new products has brought corresponding dynamism to the sector. This was made possible through the combination of the many options available with plastic moulding and the highquality characteristics of the ceramic materials themselves. Like the MIM expert group, the Ceramic Injection Moulding Expert Group particularly aims to strengthen its position by creating a separate "ceramic injection moulding brand" and by offering increased benefits to the customer. This should result in a strengthening of the global position of the process in the areas of materials, technologies and markets. Other objectives of clustering include the development of expertise and a combined approach to the resolution of complex technical and marketingrelated challenges.
Meetings always hosted by different members
The Ceramic Injection Moulding Expert Group brings together German and European companies, as well as research institutions that use ceramic injection moulding and who have integrated the injection moulding, debinding and sintering process chain in their own production. Arburg is one of the founding members and, as a machine manufacturer, is one of the technology leaders in the area of ceramic and metal powder injection moulding. Now that Oechsler AG, Ansbach and Philips Lighting B.V, Eindhoven/Netherlands have come on board, the expert group now has 17 members. The Technology Development working group reported on the current status of filling studies, material characteristic values and process simulations for the developed test tools on which rods of varying geometries and bores can be produced. This sophisticated tool is the ideal solution for testing joint line and open jet patterns. Of particular interest in this context is the extent to which real conditions can be reproduced in a process simulation.
Practical trials were carried out firstly and were then compared with subsequent simulations. It was evident that there was still plenty of room for improvement in some aspects of the simulation. For example, the open jet formation in the simulation still cannot be reconstructed.
The Technology Development working group will meet again on 6 May to discuss further results of the trials with the test tool and also to discuss the progress of the commissioned AIF ProCIM project - a nondestructive control system for early fault detection in ceramic injection moulded parts -, which is to be approved in either May or June.
Technology Marketing aims to increase the popularity of ceramic injection moulding
The Technology Marketing working group reported its results in the restructuring of the homepage under http://www.keramikspritzguss.eu/ and in the initiation of a series of seminars at various universities. All of these activities should contribute to making the injection moulding of ceramic materials more interesting to different target groups. The seminars are to begin at the College of Technology in Koblenz/Hörgrenzhausen, where the processes, options and opportunities afforded by the processing technology will be dealt with. Another item on the agenda was the report on the Ceramitec 2009 held in Munich in September which was very positive from the viewpoint of the working group.
Great interest in the expert group and in Arburg
The members' meeting at Arburg met with considerable interest from almost all members. Accordingly, the response to the meeting location at Arburg was correspondingly positive. The visitors took full advantage of the opportunity to find out more about their hosts during a company tour held on the evening before the event.
The Ceramic Injection Moulding Expert Group will once again have a showcase on the TASK (Technologie-Agentur Struktur-Keramik GmbH, Dresden) stand at this year's Hanover Fair. This can be found in Hall 5, Stand E40. The next members' meeting is scheduled for September 2010 and will be hosted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technology (IKTS) in Dresden.
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