TROY, Mich., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vari-Form, the industry leader in Pressure Sequence Hydroforming, today announced the results of an in-depth engineering study that shows hydroforming achieves 11 percent piece cost reduction, 14 percent tooling cost reduction and 7.3 percent weight reduction compared to state-of-the-art stamping/welding processes. These cost and weight reductions are leading automakers from around the globe to consider hydroforming for a variety of structural applications.
"With escalating emphasis on improving fuel efficiency and safety, while controlling costs, automakers are constantly on the lookout for new technologies and processes to help achieve these goals," said Dean Gericke, Engineering Manager. "The hydroforming process is particularly applicable to manufacturing load bearing structural parts that need to withstand rigorous safety and durability testing without adding weight to the vehicle. Many automakers from around the globe are beginning to recognize the benefits of the hydroforming process and incorporating more hydroformed parts into their vehicle designs."
The concept is called "Hydroform Intensive Body Structure" (HIBS), and the new study will be presented twice this spring:
- May 9 & 10 at the International Automotive Body Conference (IABC) in Frankfurt, Germany
- May 16 at Great Designs in Steel 2012 in Livonia, Michigan
The Vari-Form Study analyzed hydroformed structural parts including front end, body side, and rear floor structures. The structural integrity of each system was measured against an equivalent stamped system.
In a simulated EURO NCAP Off-set Front Barrier Crash test, the hydroformed parts achieved an equal rating to the stamped parts, but outperformed the stamped parts in several areas, including
- 10.7 percent weight reduction,
- piece cost reduction of 12 percent
- tooling cost reduction of 31 percent.
In the FMVSS 216A Roof Crush analysis, the hydroformed parts outperformed the stamped parts while achieving a 6 percent weight reduction, 9 percent piece cost reduction and a 7 percent tooling cost reduction.
In the FMVSS 301 Rear Impact analysis, the hydroformed parts and stamped parts both achieved minimal door deformation and maintained good fuel system structure. However, the hydroformed parts achieved 7.5 percent weight reduction, 11 percent piece cost reduction and 4 percent tooling cost reduction.
"Clearly, when hydroform structures compete against stamped parts, there are advantages that are realized, from manufacturing, assembly and throughout the vehicle life," Gericke said. "This study was implemented for us by a highly-regarded engineering services firm, and confirms our strategy that hydroforming will reduce vehicle weight, bring down part and tooling costs, and contribute to greater fuel efficiency. More important, the hydroformed parts perform well in terms of safety and, ultimately, that probably matters most to car and truck shoppers."
Visit the Vari-Form web site at www.vari-form.com and click "What's New."
Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, with production facilities in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, Reynosa, Mexico, and Liberty, Missouri, Vari-Form is the originator of structural automotive hydroforming, Vari-Form's technology is used to manufacture more than 6 million parts a year worldwide. Vari-Form began volume production using their patented, production-validated Pressure Sequence Hydroforming (PSH) process in 1990. Vari-Form is the industry leader, with more than 85 million parts produced to date.