Early reviews of the 2014 Jeep(®) Cherokee have given the automotive press, fans, enthusiasts and consumers a first look at an all-new mid-size SUV. Among the essential components of the much-anticipated vehicle, which combines Jeep’s legendary off-road prowess with the comfort, fuel economy and amenities demanded by today’s buyers, is the upper cross member manufactured by Vari-Form using proprietary Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming technology.
“We are proud to be a part of the Jeep Cherokee,” said Vari-Form director of sales & engineering Doug Viohl. “The cross member is part of a highly-engineered front end module that possesses a complex architectural form and provides a weight reduction solution.”
The intricate contours within the cross member facilitate integration of other front-end module components, including the hood seal, latching, wiring harnesses, headlights, and mounts for the cooling system. The Vari-Form tube hydroforming process is uniquely capable of providing these formations.
“Our patented Pressure-Sequence Hydroforming produces the thinnest hydroformed tubular part,” pointed out Mr. Viohl, explaining that the part is produced using 0.8 mm steel. The resulting structure is very lightweight. “Vari-Form technology stretches the limits of thin wall hydroforming, staying within finite tube thickness limits. I’m pleased to say this is something that competing hydroforming processes simply cannot do.”
Vari-Form delivers the hydroformed upper cross members to be integrated into a front-end module for the Cherokee by Bayloff Stamped Products.
Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, with production facilities in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada; Reynosa, Mexico; and Liberty, Missouri, U.S.A., Vari-Form originated the concept and application of hydroforming body, chassis and other automotive structural parts. Vari-Form’s 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.