TROY, Mich., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — On Monday, April 7, a delegation of twenty visitors from prominent Chinese auto producers and tier suppliers visited Vari-Form design and manufacturing facilities in Strathroy, Ontario. Members of the SAE of China delegation were welcomed by the Vari-Form management team. Doug Viohl, director of sales & engineering, briefly presented latest developments in the company’s proprietary process for hydroforming structural components that reduce vehicle weight, lower material and production costs, while maintaining critical safety characteristics.
After the presentation, the delegation toured exhibits in the Technical Center, and visited one of Vari-Form’s manufacturing plants in the area. One highlight of the plant tour was a visit to the hydroform production cell that manufactures frame rails for the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The visit to Strathroy was facilitated by Roger Liu, CEO of Ultra Parts Inc., Vari-Form’s exclusive supplier sales agency for China. He introduced the twenty managers and engineers representing leading Chinese automotive producers and their tier suppliers, including Dongfeng Motor Corporation, FAW Car Co, Ltd, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, Great Wall Motor Company, China Automotive Technology and Research Center, Maanshan Iron & Steel Company, Ltd, and others.
The tour was spearheaded by Wang Zhiwen, Director for SAE of China, as part of a week-long visit to the Detroit area exploring advanced automotive technologies. Through an interpreter, Mr. Wang thanked Vari-Form for sharing automotive processes and ideas that were new to many in the delegation. After the tour, the delegation participated in the SAE 2014 World Congress and Exhibition in downtown Detroit.
“Opportunities for hydroformed parts are ramping up in China, and Vari-Form is at the forefront, ready to demonstrate the unique performance and cost advantages of hydroformed assemblies,” said Mr. Viohl. “Visits like today’s help solidify important relationships between Vari-Form and our customers and prospects in China. The inherent advantages of our hydroforming process, in terms of reduced weight, per-part cost and tooling costs, are already delivering significant benefits to manufacturers in China and other customers around the world.”
Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, with production facilities in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada; Reynosa, Mexico; Kunshan (Shanghai), China; and Liberty, Missouri, Vari-Form originated the concept and application of hydroforming body, chassis and other automotive structural parts. This technology is used to manufacture more than 7 million parts a year worldwide. The company began volume production using its patented, production-validated Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming (PSH) process in 1990. Vari-Form is the industry leader and has produced more than 100 million parts to date. For more information, go to www.vari-form.com.