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Hydroforming from AP&T to China

FAW invests in advanced process for new automobile model

The Chinese vehicle manufacturer FAW Car Co. Ltd. has decided to invest in hydroforming in order to produce the engine cradle for a new automobile model. Thanks to its high level of cutting-edge technology and successful past collaborations, AP&T was chosen to supply the production equipment.

FAW is not only China’s first vehicle manufacturer, but also one of the largest – with a product range that includes trucks, buses and automobiles. As the plan to produce a new automobile model was finalized, the company decided to invest in advanced technology in order to be able to shape more complex components. The structure that the entire engine is mounted on in the automobile – the engine cradle – can be produced in a variety of different methods, for example by welding together several pressed sheet metal components. However, FAW opted for hydroforming since it offered the following advantages:

Tight tolerance in few operations
“With hydroforming, it is possible to transform a bent and pre-shaped tube into the engine cradle’s final shape in one operation. The material experiences no springback and it is possible to maintain extremely tight tolerances, otherwise known as the ‘net shape’,” says Björn Kinnby who is AP&T’s Asian Market Director. “In addition, it is much lighter and there is considerably less scrap compared to conventional manufacturing – which means both a lower manufacturing cost and a higher quality.”

Complex shapes
Hydroforming involves filling a tube or profile material with fluid, most often an aqueous emulsion. With the increase of the fluid pressure, the material expands and is shaped to match the tool’s mold. Since the fluid’s pressure works perpendicular against the mold’s surface, it is possible to shape components with complex geometries, often in one or two operations. The opportunities to optimize the structure of the components based on their functions thus increase dramatically.

Hydroforming from AP&T to China

Tight Tolerances from Day 1.

The new hydroforming facility on site at FAW produced approved components on the first attempt following installation.

Hydroforming from AP&T to China

Chinese vehicle manufacturer FAW Car Co. Ltd.

Jack Wang, AP&Tís Area Sales manager in China and Liu Qiang, Project Manager at FAW.

No thinning
Typical forming pressures are 1000 to 2000 bars. In order to minimize the thinning of the material during expansion, fluid is injected from both ends of the tube with the help of the mold’s axial cylinders. During the hydroforming process, the mold is held together by a hydraulic press, with press forces of 30,000 – 50,000 kN. The press that AP&T delivered to FAW has a press force of 35,000 kN. The press is of the ‘short stroke’ type – an energy-efficient press with a short cycle time.

Level of technology and previous experiences were decisive
FAW evaluated a number of suppliers before it chose AP&T. The combination of a high level of technology and positive previous experiences with AP&T proved to be decisive.
“AP&T was the only supplier that offered a NC-based system for the control of both the hydroforming tool and the press as a joint forming process, and that means a lot for the level of quality of our products,” says Mr. Liu Qiang, Project Manager at FAW.

Correct from the start
FAW has a 25,000 kN hydraulic press previously supplied by AP&T, which has been used for several years for the testing of conventional press tools for major vehicle components. This press impressed many with its high reliability and low service requirements – and the combination of this with AP&T’s level of technology proved to be decisive. The following nine months consisted of close project cooperation between the parties as AP&T designed, built and tested the hydroforming press according to the time schedule. FAW ordered the hydroforming tool from another supplier, and the first time the mold and the press were tested together was on site at FAW. The result exceeded expectations to say the least.
“The very first piece of material we shaped was close to perfect and was within the applicable tolerances. The reliability of the form is one of the advantages of hydroforming and the tolerance reliability is the result of our servo hydraulics together with the NC control system,” says Jack Wang, AP&T’s Area Sales Manager in China, who is responsible for customer contact with FAW.

For more information, please contact:

AP&T AB, Sweden
Phone +46 325 66 18 00

Hydroforming hit new segment

Samsung’s design engineers were able to produce one of the most remarkable camera designs in the industry with the help of hydro-forming technology for the CL80 and TL240. Hydroforming allows for greater flexibility during the design process and gives manufacturers the ability to produce smoother silhouettes, seamless bonding, and higher quality surfaces with the 0.77-inch stainless-steel frame of the camera. The CL80 and the TL240 are the first consumer electronic products ever to be manufactured using hydroforming technology. introduce Inoxveneta

In recent years and especially now, in the midst of a deep economic crisis with its unseen, fierce competition, innovating companies must consider new, indispensable success factors when developing... [read more]

Fischer Group buys HDE SOLUTIONS

International manufacturer of stainless steel tubing takes over leading European hydroforming supplier – “a sensible and strategic enhancement of the existing product portfolio”

Achern/Menden, 2 October 2007. The Fischer Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of stainless steel tubing, has acquired hydroforming specialist HDE SOLUTIONS GmbH. The takeover of HDE means that the Fischer Group has become one of the world’s leading suppliers of hydroforming parts overnight. The Fischer Group is headquartered in Achern, located in the Baden region, while HDE is based in the town of Menden, which is located in the Sauerland region. [read more]

Vari-Form Acquired by Sun Capital Partners

Automotive Component Supplier Vari-Form Acquired by Sun Capital Partners Mar 12, 2007

Warren, MI – Vari-Form, one of the world’s largest producers of hydroformed structural components for the automotive industry, announced that the company has been acquired from parent-company TI Automotive as a part of the acquisition of TI Automotive’s Industrial Group by a key affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
Stephen Dow, President, Vari-Form said: “The resources of Sun Capital Partners will further strengthen Vari-Form’s leadership position in the metal forming industry as we continue to focus on the advanced technology that our automotive customers need.”
Vari-Form’s patented Pressure Sequence Hydroforming (PSH) process has produced over 50 million parts worldwide since 1990, including front-end structures, roof rails, and other components. Vari-Form’s process out-performs traditional stamping and conventional hydroforming in many applications where part design is complex. Fewer component sections to assemble, reduced part weight with improved structural integrity, and better dimensional control are among the benefits.
Vari-Form has won numerous consecutive-year contracts and awards for supplier excellence from its OEM and Tier One customers. The company operates sales offices in Michigan and Japan, and manufacturing facilities in Strathroy, Ontario and Reynosa, Mexico. For additional information about Vari-Form, see

Hyundai Hysco Hydroforming

Hyundai Hysco starts to enter to Asian market with hydroforming technology

Change the market circumference. Car production in Asia is occupied approximately 34% of global market share. Hyundai-Kia motor group has dramatically progressed in the car industry based on best quality policy since Korean government had to request for liquidity provision from International monetary fund(IMF) in 1997 because exchange rate gave Korean companies more cost merit in the world market. So, at the period, turnover of Hyundai-Kia motor group was sharply boosted so that the company was able to focus on quality issues. This progress is directly influent on its subsidiary company that had to modify their philosophy from quantity base to quality based organization. In addition to this market circumference, light-weight vehicle is the major trend of OEM car makers with regard to demands for fuel efficient vehicle and environmental standards. [read more]

Last Update: 06.06.2013