Vari-Form, the industry leader in Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming, continues to expand the art and science of automotive body structures through technical innovation, joint venture partnerships and an expanding manufacturing footprint.
"Automotive communities worldwide are increasingly excited about the benefits of our proprietary Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming in meeting mandates for cars and trucks that operate more efficiently and cost less to produce," stated Stephen Dow, president of Vari-Form. "We're gratified at the dynamic expansion of our business plan in North America, Europe and Asia. An essential element of our strategy is collaborating with a network of global partners that shares our passion for breakthrough-thinking about how to build better vehicles."
In Europe, Vari-Form is working with joint-venture partner EMARC SpA of Piemonte, Italy to design innovative automotive solutions while benefitting from EMARC manufacturing facilities in Europe.
A strategic agreement with German firm Deussen Acquicon is introducing the advantages of hydroforming to European manufacturers with the goal of increasing the portfolio of business on the continent. New product launches are expected soon, and Vari-Form continues to look at additional opportunities for mergers, acquisitions and collaborations.
The Vari-Form presence extends to Asia, with new projects emanating from both indigenous companies and Asian locations of European and American companies. A partnership with UltraParts, Inc. aids Chinese manufacturers by providing technical support and door-to-door supply between North America and China. A new Vari-Form manufacturing facility on the mainland will be announced later this quarter.
Auto companies in North America are increasingly recognizing the benefits of Vari-Form Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming. Business with both Tier I suppliers and new OE manufacturers is accelerating, as are invitations to collaborate during the upstream design phase of future vehicles. Orders are up in Mexico, as well, and additional manufacturing capacity is close to fruition.
Supporting businesses around the world are technology developments like the use of aluminum and advanced steel materials that permit the manufacture of parts with ultra-thin walls that reduce weight without sacrificing strength or stiffness. Adding to Vari-Form's diversity are strategic partnerships exploring non-hydroformed part technologies, specialized stamping and the use of steel and aluminum in roll-formed and stretch-bent parts.
Looking further ahead, the Hydroform-Intensive Body Structures (HIBS) initiative is redefining the way automotive manufacturers and Tier suppliers view the vehicles of the future. According to Mr. Dow, "With HIBS, Vari-Form is leading the way in demonstrating that large components and systems can be hydroformed rather than assembled from stampings. We have just completed our third phase of HIBS, which will debut simultaneously here and in Europe later this year. HIBS III focuses on applications, demonstrating real-world concepts that can significantly increase safety and structural integrity, while lowering tooling complexity and cost."
He continued: "Thanks to our expanded presence in Europe and Asia, in just over two years, Vari-Form has become the worldwide supplier of choice for Pressure-Sequence Hydroformed parts and components. We expect that pace to accelerate as vehicle manufacturers realize that hydroforming offers the sophisticated lightweighting solutions they need now and into the future."
Vari-Form is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, and has production facilities in Canada, Mexico, Italy, China and the USA. Vari-Form originated the concept and application of tubular hydroforming to body, chassis and other automotive structural parts. Vari-Form is the industry leader in hydroforming, with more than 100 million parts produced to date. Looking forward, the Hydroform-Intensive Body Structures (HIBS) initiative from Vari-Form is redefining the way automotive manufacturers and tier suppliers view the vehicles of the future. HIBS is leading the way in demonstrating that critical components and systems can be hydroformed rather than assembled from stampings. The benefits are substantial, significantly increasing safety and structural integrity, while lowering tooling complexity, weight and cost. The company began volume production using its patented Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming (PSH) process in 1990.
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