Vari-Form Awarded Contract to Produce Second Hydroformed Automotive Front Structure

Oct 16, 2003, 01:00 ET from Vari-Form

    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
     "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
     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 .
     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.

SOURCE Vari-Form