Micro molding is defined as any plastic injection molded component that has been manufactured with geometric features that are defined in tolerances measured in microns. Micro-molded components can be as small as dust specks and/or have features that small.
Global polymer and thermoplastic micro molding market was valued at US$308 mln in 2012 and is expected to reach US$763.6 mln by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 14.2% from 2013 to 2019, as per Transparency Market Research. Growing demand for micro molded products from various end use industries such as medical, automotive and telecom coupled with cost advantage offered by polymers used for micro molding is expected to drive the market over the forecast period. The rapid development of micro fluidics and micro optics technologies mainly in the U.S. and Europe are also expected to augment the market. In addition, the growing number of MIS (minimally invasive surgeries) which extensively use micro molding is expected to boost the market for thermoplastic micro molding over the forecast period. However, the lack of awareness in developing regions such as Latin America, South East Asia and Middle East is expected to hinder the market growth. Medical and healthcare emerged as the leading market for micro molding and accounted for 35% of the total thermoplastic micro molded products in 2012. It is also expected to be the fastest growing market for micro molded thermoplastics over the forecast period. Automotive application is expected to exceed US$151 mln by 2019. The growing production of automotives across the globe is expected to drive the market for micro molding over the forecast period. Telecom fiber optics and micro drive systems and control are expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 13.8% and 14% respectively, from 2013 to 2019.
North America has been dominating the polymer micro molding market with high consumption of small sized products in several end-use industries and accounted for nearly 44% of the total revenue in 2012. Growing awareness of micro molding and early adoption of the technology in Europe are expected to lead high growth in the demand for micro molded products. European polymer micro molding market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% between 2013 and 2019. The Asia Pacific market is expected to reach nearly US$110 mln by 2019. Rest of the world polymer micro molding market was valued at US$11.9 mln in 2012. North America continued to lead the global market and accounted for more than 48% of the total thermoplastic micro molded revenue in 2012. Micro molding is still in its infancy stage in Asia Pacific with most of the Asia Pacific market being captured by Japan. However, the region holds great potential for growth in the near future and is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 14.8% from 2013 to 2019. European thermoplastic micro molding market is expected to reach approximately US$219 mln by 2019. Germany accounts for almost half of the total micro molding market owing to its growing healthcare expenditure and its leading position in automobile manufacturing. Rest of the world thermoplastic micro molding market was worth US$7.4 mln in 2012. The market for micro molding is mainly situated in the western hemisphere of the world. As per the report, some of the well known micro molders include Accumold, ALC Precision, Micromold Inc, American Precision Products, Makuta Technics, Micromolding Solutions, Micro Precision Products, Precimold Inc, Rolla AG, Rapidwerks, Stack Plastics, Stamm and Sovrin Plastics among others. Micro injection molding is carried out using polymers such as thermoplastics, thermosets and some elastomers. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and Polyoxymethylene (POM) are some of the commonly used thermoplastics to develop several micro parts utilized by different end-use industries. Thermoplastic micro parts find huge application in mechanical parts, optical fibers, packaging, medicines, and other.