In 2001, the PM industry undertook to chart a bold, new course by publishing the PM Industry Vision and Technology Roadmap document. That document defined a vision for the industry, a view of future customer and market expectations, and the goals designed to meet those expectations, and proposed a technology roadmap that was to serve as a detailed research agenda.
Ten years later, the PM industry, under the sponsorship of the Metal Powder Industries Federation, came together once again to assess and update the technology roadmap. While the vision remains the same—to be the preferred source of net-shaped, metal-based systems—a retrospective look showed that much progress had been made and many changes had taken place in the technology landscape.
Looking ahead to the next ten years, the Roadmap Strategy Group and the other expert contributors re-identified the technical barriers, challenges, opportunities, and priorities that will drive the PM industry's continued growth. They identified high-density PM components, lightweight materials processing, and electrical and electromagnetic applications as critical topics.
The update establishes technology development priorities the industry must focus on as it seeks to capitalize on these coming opportunities. It quantifies the technology advances needed in each case from the perspectives of both materials and processes. And in each case the document attempts a realistic assessment of the challenges that lie in the path to achieving the objectives of expanding PM's opportunities.