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Vari-Form Awarded DaimlerChrysler
Hydroforming Contract

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Vari-Form, Warren, MI, has been awarded a contract to produce hydroformed front-end structural modules (FESMs)for a redesigned DaimlerChrysler SUV. Vari-Form will use its patented Pressure Sequence Hydroforming (PSH) process to produce the modules. The PSH process varies water and die pressure to ensure that specified wall thicknesses are maintained throughout forming, even in tight corners, according to company officials. The company also employs its patented in-the-die hole piercing during tubular PSH. Vari-Form also had produced the industry’s first hydroformed FESM, for the 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck. FESM production takes place at the Vari-Form facility in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada. FESMs differ from traditional front-end structures in that hydroforming replaces multiple stamped parts assembled via spot welding, resulting lower assembly weight and improved strength, according to company officials. For more from Vari-Form, visit

Delphi Recognizes Olson Intl. for Lean Leadership

Monday, December 15, 2003
After working with Olson International Ltd., Lombard, IL, during its recent efforts to extend lean manufacturing to its supply base, Delphi Corp. has recognized Olson for excellence in lean leadership. The Delphi Supplier Development team recently spent six weeks with Olson management at Olson’s plant in Matamoros, Mexico, for training and implementation of lean concepts. A high-volume Delphi part was selected for lean improvement at the Mexico plant, and Olson responded with double-digit-percentage improvements related to inventory, productivity and quality. Resulting from that initiative, Olson has lean teams in place at both its U.S. and Mexico plants, charged with eliminating waste and improving productivity, according to company officials. Olson provides precision metal stampings and assemblies to customers in automotive, appliance and electronics industries. For more, visit

Smith West Adds Heattreating Capacity in Mexico

Friday, December 12, 2003
Phoenix, AZ-based Smith West Inc. has added heattreating capacity at its 32,000-sq.-ft. facility in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, where it performs component manufacturing and electromechanical assembly for aerospace and semiconductor industries. “Adding heattreating capabilities at our Mexican facility enables us to serve a wide range of customers, and is a critical step toward establishing a complete assembly infrastructure,” says John Mohnach, Smith West president.


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