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February 1, 2002

2 Min Read
A new alliance promotes PIM to designers

IPIMA is the International Powder Injection Molding Alliance, a new promotional and marketing agency captive to the PIM industry. It pools the resources of U.S., European, and Asian PIM industry leaders to create greater global demand for the complex metal and ceramic components PIM can economically produce with a front-end pull-marketing campaign targeted at the design decision makers (DDM) who drive the business. 

PIM has grown substantially over the last decade. But, according to the founder of the IPIMA, more than 80 percent of the potential market for an emerging technology like PIM lies beyond an adoption chasm--a chasm any new technology must cross as it moves beyond visionary early adopters (Figure 1). 

Virtually all metal and ceramic parts today are designed to avoid PIM's biggest advantage, namely the ability to produce complex net-shape components. Traditional processes emphasize simplicity to reduce machining costs and long lead times. The DDM are conditioned to avoid complexity. PIM is fighting to change the status quo. 

No single member in the PIM value chain has the resources to bridge the adoption chasm all on its own. Yet they all rely on the DDM to create complex PIM part designs and to stick to their guns as the design is scrutinized under the magnifying glass of the modern corporate review process. That's why the IPIMA's founder says the time is right for such an alliance. 

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Figure 1. IPIMA is a strategic alliance of PIM industry players who understand how to help emerging technologies cross the adoption chasm.



Changing Minds 
The goal of IPIMA is to change the prevailing mindset of the DDM and to inform them of the complexity advantage PIM provides. With its member firms, IPIMA will educate the DDM on the PIM process and the nature of the PIM value chain. Then it will assist the DDM in getting over the hurdles encountered as they attempt to gain approval for the use of PIM. 

The alliance plans to accomplish its goals through the use of advertising and an information portal website (www.complexshape.net). Informational/sales support services and materials also will be provided, as will consultations and seminars. 

IPIMA member companies can spend less energy on upfront sales activities, such as educating and persuading designers. The sales prospects IPIMA generates for its members reportedly will be more informed and better qualified. 

Prior to founding IPIMA, Steve James was the executive vp and coo of Injectamax Corp. (Escondido, CA), a major MIM house. A career DDM himself, James says, "The DDM are busy people who use only what they understand. PIM technology astounds many of them. Our alliance will harness the latent potential of PIM and leave conventional technologies struggling to explain why they can't meet the demands of modern product design. The time has come to cross the chasm." 

Contact information
IPIMA
Carlsbad, CA
Steve James
(760) 535-1556
www.complexshape.net
[email protected]

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