Over the years, FloMet has had the privilege of working on a wide array of projects, including many that pushed the limits of metal injection molding technology. We’ve been recognized as an industry leader, a company that introduces innovation to expand the capabilities of MIM. Below are some of the awards and patents we’ve received over the years.
Click on an award below for details.
- 2016 MPIF P/M Award of Distinction in the Medical/Dental Category
- 2014 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award "Grand Prize" - Electrical/Electronic Components
- 2014 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award "Grand Prize" - Medical/Dental
- 2013 FloMet, LLC Wins VMA Award For Continuous Improvement
Description: FloMet, LLC, an ARC Group Worldwide Company, has been awarded the Best Practices in Continuous Improvement Award from the VMA (Value-Added Manufacturing Alliance). VMA is a premier manufacturing alliance located in Florida. The VMA was founded in 1980 by manufacturers and is the voice of over 400 local manufacturers providing information, education and opportunities to help manufacturers grow and succeed. This year marks the 8th Annual Manufacturers Showcase held by the VMA and FloMet, LLC will be awarded the Best Practices in Continuous Improvement Award. This distinguished award is given to the company who has displayed the most successful efforts in continuous improvement and has achieved the greatest results from their manufacturing operations.
- 2013 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award "Grand Prize" - Medical/Dental
Description: The award was given to a 17-4 PH stainless steel jaw used in a Raptor™ grasping device. Made via MIM, the jaws merge into one design the features of both a “rat tooth” jaw and an “alligator” jaw, combining the functions of a grasper and a retrieval forceps that surgeons use to retrieve foreign objects in the body during minimally invasive procedures. The component design is enormously complex due to its small size, thin-wall requirements (0.010 in.), and features required to achieve full functionality with the sharp talons and teeth at net shape. The parts have >7.5 g/cm³ density, 130,000 psi ultimate tensile strength, 106,000 psi yield strength, 6% elongation, and 27 HRB hardness. Only minimal secondary processing—coining to help maintain the alignment of the jaws—was needed, as other geometries and tight tolerances were achieved in the as-molded condition. Alternative processing methods could not have achieved the part’s intricate geometries at a reasonable cost: MIM is estimated to have saved more than 60 percent over die casting or machining the parts.
- 2012 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award "Grand Prize" - Aerospace/Military
Description: The award was given to a very complex 17-4 PH stainless steel rotor made by metal injection molding (MIM) and used in a hand-emplaced munitions device. The intricate design is demonstrated by its four holes on two perpendicular planes, two angled slots with square corners, and numerous internal and external radii, flats, slots, and cutouts. All of these features require very tight tolerances: 0.0025 inches to 0.005 inches. Moreover, the square bottom-hole could only be formed by MIM because prior attempts with other fabrication processes, including machining, proved unsuccessful. It is estimated that the machined version of the part could cost as much as five times that of the MIM design. The rotor is made to a density of 7.5 g/cm³ and has an ultimate tensile strength of 75,000 psi, yield strength of 25,000 psi, a six percent elongation, and 27 HRB hardness.
- 2011 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award “Grand Prize” - Medical/Dental
Description: The award was given to a housing cup and lid used in an audio device with magnetic shielding capabilities. This application is the first of its kind in the high-power audio device sector. The anti-magnetic MIM material with high nickel content provides an electromagnetic interference, or EMI, shield, preventing interference from other electronic equipment. While the cup has four thin walls for proper assembly, the new lid design must fit securely into the cup opening; this is to prevent moisture and/or foreign matter from entering the housing, as well as to maintain the EMI shielding capability. Manufactured to 8.30 g/cm³ density, the parts have an ultimate tensile strength of 84,000 psi, yield strength of 32,000 psi, and a 40 percent elongation. Alternative manufacturing processes such as deep drawing, casting, and machining would have required multiple components. Combining these multiple components through the MIM process provided significant cost savings, in addition to eliminating up to 40 percent scrap loss.
- 2010 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award “Grand Prize” - Aerospace/Military
Description: The award was given to a safe and arm rotor used in an explosive device made for a Department of Defense application. Produced by the MIM process, the 316L stainless steel part is formed to a density of 7.6 g/cm³. Its significant properties include an ultimate tensile strength of 75,000 psi, yield strength of 25,000 psi, 50 percent elongation, 140 ft.·lb. impact strength and 67 HRB hardness. The complex shape features numerous outside radii and angular surfaces. At least 12 functional features and surfaces are geometrically controlled by concentricity, profile, and true position tolerances. The part is assembled into a housing to provide the two-stage safety for the explosive device. It replaced a zinc die casting whose mechanical properties were ultimately not consistent enough to pass validation testing.
- 2009 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award “Grand Prize” - Hand Tools / Recreation
Description: The award was given to a 316L stainless steel compressed-air nozzle. Fabricated via the MIM process, the hollow nozzle consists of top and bottom halves, molded separately, which, after debinding, are sintered together into one piece. The nozzle’s design required that air flow capacity be tightly controlled to ensure optimum use of compressed air, and at the same time complying with U.S. and European Union machine device noise regulations. It can withstand high ambient temperatures and corrosive environments, and meets the hygienic requirements of the food-processing industry. The complex part has a density of more than 7.6 g/cm³, an ultimate tensile strength of 75,000 psi, a yield strength of 25,000 psi, and a 50 percent elongation. After sintering, the seams where the two sections join together are laser welded for a leak-free seal.
- 2008 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award of Distinction - Electrical/Electronic Components
Description: The award was given to a hearing aid can receiver made by metal injection molding. The thin-walled part is made from a nickel–iron–molybdenum alloy material that provides the magnetic shunt effect required in the hearing aid to separate the internal receiver signal from the telecoil signal. The previous part which the MIM part replaced was deep drawn and required several interim annealing steps to achieve the necessary depth, as well as to form the internal undercuts. Choosing the MIM manufacturing process provided a 50 percent cost savings over the previous process as well as yielding improved performance.
- 2007 Volusia Manufacturer’s Association “Best Practices” Award
- 2007 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award “Grand Prize” - Medical/Dental Division
Description: The award was given to three parts—bracket, slide, and removable drop-in hook—used in the Damon 3MX self-ligation orthodontic tooth-positioning system. One bracket and one slide go on each tooth with the hook an option for about five percent of the teeth. The very tiny, intricate parts are made by metal injection molding from 17-4 PH stainless steel powder to a density of 7.5 g/cm³. They have impressive physical properties: a tensile strength of 172,000 psi and yield strength of 158,000 psi. All of the parts are made to a net shape. The customer tumble polishes them and performs a brazing operation before assembly.
- 2005 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award of Distinction - Metal Injection Molded
Description: The award was given to a Damon3 Molar Buccal Tube system used in orthodontic braces. The system consists of multiple parts made from 17-4PH stainless steel. The parts have an ultimate tensile strength of 120,000 psi and a yield strength of 104,000 psi. Elongation is 10% and the heat-treated hardness range is 38–42 HRC. The heat-treated ultimate tensile strength is 185,000 psi and the heat-treated yield strength is 160,000 psi. The tube system was first introduced in the all-metal Damon self-ligating orthodontic appliance. When in full production, this application will total more than 12 million parts annually.
- 2001 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award of Distinction - Metal Injection Molded
Description: The award was given to an 11-piece automatic biopsy instrument made from a 316L duplex alloy to a minimum density of 7.52 g/cm³. Properties include an ultimate tensile strength of 503 MPa (73,000 psi) and a yield strength of 296 MPa (43,000 psi), a 40% elongation and a HRB hardness range of 70-80. The parts are molded in a single-mold base with five interchangeable modules of two parts each, in addition to a complete mold for the housing the 11 parts, adding only rods, screws and springs. The instrument can be operated easily with one hand, allowing procedures with ultrasound guidance. The product was designed for metal injection molding which is estimated to cost 50% less than machined parts.
- 2000 MPIF P/M Design Excellence Award of Distinction - Metal Injection Molded
Description: The award was given to a disposable unit consisting of scissor blades, a clevis, and an actuator used in endoscopic Metzenbaum surgical scissors. The scissors are used for cutting, cauterizing, and coagulation during minimally invasive cardiac surgery, general surgery, and plastic and reconstructive surgery. Made from 17-4PH material, the parts have a minimal yield strength of 140,000 psi, a minimum ultimate tensile strength of 155,000 psi and a minimum density of 7.5 g/cm³. The blades are molded and sintered flat and then formed to the desired curvature by the customer using a toggle press. The actuator and clevis require a single coining operation to set leg width. The blades are curved in pairs and sharpened by the customer. Both threads on the clevis are molded. Metal injection molding replaced parts previously machined from 303 stainless steel.
- 1998 MPIF P/M Design Competition “Grand Prize” - Metal Injection Molded “Outstanding Application of Powder Metallurgy”
Description: The award was given to "pivotal" laparoscopic surgical scissors with cauterizing capability consisting of a helical gear and two separate scissor blades. Made from 17-4PH stainless steel, the parts have a density of 7.5 g/cm³. The small 20-tooth helical gear is produced via an unusual "floating cavity" mold allowing standard ejection of helical parts. The blades are made flat and coined as pairs in a single strike, thus producing mating blades with correct pre-load, relief angle and curvature. The blades are heat treated and aged; blade sharpening is done by the customer. Metal injection molding provided a cost savings of more than 80% compared to machining the helical gear.
Metal Injection Molding Patents
- Metal Injection Molded 316L Duplex Stainless Steel
- Metal Injection Molded Nickel Free Stainless Steel