Technology

Low-Volume Forming Technologies for Structural Components

Metalsa designs and manufactures structural solutions for the mobility industry (light & commercial vehicles), including highly engineered chassis frames for pick-up trucks, which provide body-on-frame vehicles with towing, loading and off-roading capabilities and side rails for heavy trucks made to contribute with their durability and strength to carry high loads.

New vehicle platforms are demanding forming processes and materials that allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to be more volume flexible. Traditional investments for stamping presses demanded the industry to commit to high volumes long before breaking even.

To provide closed-section forming for low-volume demands, Metalsa is looking for collaboration partners to propose technologies able to form long sections without jeopardizing the structural characteristics. Specifically, processes and technologies that may bend closed-sections without collapsing the cross-section during the process.

Overview

The automotive industry has been revolutionized in the last decade with the incorporation of startups and the rise of new OEMs. These new players are creating a supply and demand for niche vehicles, most of them electrified. As these new vehicles are launched to the market, their initial demand is of very low volumes.

Automotive operations have traditionally used capital-intensive manufacturing equipment which although very reliable, makes cost unviable for its use for the low-volume OEMs. Stamping presses traditionally require a high-cost tool or mould for each component which increases the breakeven point for a new OEM to manufacture customized chassis components.

Some chassis frame components have been migrating from C-sections to closed-sections. These sections are designed a level of curvature across its longitude. Squared and rectangular hollow closed-sections enable automotive designers to optimize how a structural chassis frame component is designed.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on September 30, 2020.

About the Seeker

Metalsa is a private company and a subsidiary of Proeza Group. We manufacture tier 1 and tier 2 structural components for the light and commercial vehicle markets. Our portfolio includes light duty frames, space frames, suspension modules, body structures, safety systems, transmission modules and fuel tanks for passenger cars and light trucks as well as chassis frames, side rails and cross members of heavy trucks and buses.

Source: InnoCentive


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