Posts Tagged Ford

Hydroformed Components Make Trucks Stronger, Faster, and Better

Hydroformed Components Make Trucks Stronger, Faster, and Better

We’ve talked in length before about how hydroformed components used in the automobile industry have helped to change the entire process.

Every few months or so, we like to update our readers on some vehicles that have reaped the most benefit from hydroforming. We do this for several reasons, but most of all we are proud of our contribution to this ever-growing industry, one that is literally “re-shaping” how the auto industry functions.

It’s a large, more macro example of what some experts have called: ultra low-cost car market.

Several cost reduction factors are taken into consideration while designing an ultra low-cost car… for space and weight saving [there is the]… absence of radio, air conditioner and passenger side mirror, seats with integrated head rest… and extensive use of hydroforming and roll forming…

So while major auto manufacturers like Ford and Chevy aren’t quite in line with eliminating just about everything from their “features” list, what they are doing is utilizing innovative techniques like hydroforming to make their trucks better and easier to assemble.

Heavy duty trucks like the F-150 and the Silverado HD both share in common a wide use of hydroformed parts.

For example, one of the countries best-selling trucks in the country, the Chevy Silverado, has extensive hydroformed framing and roll forming. Both of which improve weight, steering, handling, security, and comfort while contributing to torque and towing capability. Meanwhile the Ford F-150 contains hydroformed components throughout.

In both cases, to some small degree, hydroforming is contributing to the “low-cost car market.” Not only is it allowing manufacturers to pay less to design and execute, it passes that savings to the vehicle purchaser. It’s just another way innovation changes our world for the better and makes our lives easier.

For more information on how hydroformed products are changing the world’s industries, or how we can help you, please contact us any time.

Hydroformed Components Still Huge Part of Manufacturing

Hydroformed Components Still Huge Part of Manufacturing

We have long highlighted how hydroformed components are integral to manufacturers. From the kitchen sink to sports cars, hydroformed parts continue to lead the charge of innovation, and change how the modicum of industry performs.

Here are some of the latest examples of hydroformed parts making waves.

Kawasaki Ninja H2

The Kawasaki Ninja was one of the first street motorcycles to break speed records, and with recent launch of the $50k H2, Kawasaki is hoping to retain that relevancy and move into the future.

The hydroformed components: The exhaust system. “The entrance to the header pipes is oval to match the two exhaust ports per cylinder. Partly formed by hydroforming, each header pipe tapers from an oval to a round cross-section. The collector pipes are also hydroformed.”

Intense Tracer T275

The cycling industry has benefited greatly from hydroforming. Including top-of-the-line beasts like the Intense Tracer T275 to bottom of the barrel department store models.

The hydroformed components: The seamless top tube. This means that the frame weighs less because there are fewer parts involved with keeping the bike together. Resulting in a lighter, tougher frame and a smoother ride.

2015 Ford F-150

The automobile industry uses hydroformed parts daily. This includes large, multi-national companies like Ford. So when it was announced that the new F-150 would have hydroformed parts, we were both excited and relieved that they would be carrying on the tradition.

The hydroformed components: For increased bend-resistance, Ford’s F-150 has a heat-treated body and cab. “The cab’s structural cage is hydroformed and joints and seams are riveted and glued rather than welded. There’s more structural reinforcement between the inner and outer box and weight loss allowed Ford to up-gauge panel thickness as much as 65 percent.”

For more information on hydroforming and how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

Aluminum Hydroforming Leaves Its Mark

Aluminum Hydroforming Leaves Its Mark

As automotive and mountain-biking companies begin to roll out sneak peeks at their 2015 lineups, it is becoming increasingly apparent just how much new advancements in hydroforming aluminum have affected both industries overall. This is pleasing because since aluminum is lighter than carbon and stainless steel, the use of hydroformed aluminium in car parts has opened new vistas of possibilities for increased effectiveness and decreased weight.

Take for example the 2015 lineup from the German biking company Merida. According to a recent article, next year’s lineup boasts more aluminium than ever, including a new Reacto aero bike featuring a very special frame:

The frame in question is made from hydroformed triple-butted 6066 aluminium with a tapered head tube and an integrated seat clamp like you’ll find on the carbon models. It looks like a high-quality piece of work in a very good grade of alloy (road.cc).

Looking beyond the world of cycling to the automotive realm, we see that Ford has certainly taken advantage of new opportunities provided by aluminum hydroforming.

Proof of this can be easily witnessed in their new 2015 line, which includes an all-aluminum body for its new F-150. In fact, the new F-150 was a recent spotlight by Ford’s purchasing chief Hau Thai-Tang, citing that the vehicle is the the first pickup with an aluminum body. As a result, it is on average about sixty pounds lighter. The F-150 still incorporates a steel frame, however, for improved rigidity (Auto News).

With new advancements being made all the time in the area of aluminium hydroforming, we look forward to many more companies taking advantage of these techniques to provide vehicles and machinery that are not only lighter and more durable but are also more cost-effective.

For more information about this or anything else, please feel free to contact us.

Advancements in Metal Stamping

Advancements in Metal Stamping

Hard on the heels of the announcement that General Motors has opened a new metal stamping plant in Arlington, Texas, comes further information regarding how the opening of this new plant has impacted the overall economics of automobile production.

According to the Wall Street Journal, with the decision to open a metal stamping plant right next door to its assembly line, GM not only shortens its supply chain and saves money in shipping, but it also puts added pressure on its competitor Ford to keep up with the resultant boost in output.

“We want to be ruthless about waste. Whether it is a part design, packaging or shipping, we don’t want it,” GM purchasing chief Grace Lieblein told the [Wall Street Journal]. “It may be a few thousand save here or few million saved there but it adds up.” (Metal Miner)

But the effects of this move could be much more far-reaching.

With auto makers around the world still refining the same basic mass-production techniques pioneered one hundred years ago by Henry Ford, competition to develop the best and most efficient manufacturing and assembly techniques is strong.

With GM moving its metal stamping closer to its assembly plant, Ford compensates with “advanced manufacturing technologies [that] include lower-cost, faster stamping processes that reduce the time it takes to produce sheet-metal parts. It also uses three-dimensional drawings to create prototypes of components that can be tested in days rather than months.”

With metal stamping and hydroforming both integral components in automotive production, it will be fascinating in the days to come to watch market forces drive further development in these technologies.

For more information on further developments in metal stamping and hydroforming, please feel free to contact us.