Vari-Form Awarded Contract to Produce Second Hydroformed Automotive Front Structure
WARREN, Mich., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Vari-Form, the leader in hydroforming technologies, was awarded a contract to produce a hydroformed Front End Structural Module (FESM) for the redesigned 2004 model year DaimlerChrysler Sport Utility Vehicle. Vari-Form was contracted to design and produce the radiator closure assembly for the current model of the vehicle. The component is similar in design to the industry's first hydroformed FESM, produced for the 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck, utilizing Vari-Form's patented Pressure Sequence Hydroforming (PSH) process. Vari-Form's unique PSH technique varies water and die pressure as necessary to ensure that specified wall thicknesses are maintained during the process, even in tight corners. This capability, as well as Vari-Form's patented in-the-die hole piercing, is especially critical in the production of highly complex hydroformed parts, such as those in the Dodge Ram front structure. "The hydroformed FESM is another Vari-Form first-to-market application, and we are pleased to be working with DaimlerChrysler," said Doug Viohl, Vari- Form's Director of Sales & Engineering. "Once again, we are taking the tubular hydroform process to a new level in vehicle applications." Produced at the company's Strathroy, Ontario manufacturing facility, the hydroformed FESM is a major shift from traditional vehicle front-end structures, which are assembled from spot-welded stampings. Compared to conventional stamped front structures, the hydroforming option reduces costs, provides improved strength and durability, and dramatically reduces assembly weight. A highly innovative feature of the manufacturing process involves the welding of tube-to-tube joints, which reduces the number of stamped brackets typically needed to join components. This results in reductions in overall cost and weight of the hydroformed assembly. Additional hydroforming information is available from Vari-Form at (586) 758-4511 or by visiting the company's web site at www.vari-form.com . About Vari-Form The originators of hydroforming in automotive structural applications, Vari-Form began volume production utilizing the PSH process in 1989, and currently manufactures more than 5 million parts every year for the automotive industry. With over 30 million parts produced to date, Vari-Form is the market leader in automotive hydroforming. Based in Warren, Michigan, Vari-Form is part of TI Automotive Limited, a privately held U.K. company. TI Automotive Limited is one of the world's leading fluid storage, transfer and delivery companies and employs over 20,000 people at more than 150 manufacturing and customer-service facilities in over 28 countries.
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