Lou Kren Lou Kren
Senior Editor

Great Designs in Steel Twenty Years

January 25, 2022

The 2022 edition of Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) is set to return to a live format, May 18 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI. GDIS, presented by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), celebrates its 20th year in 2022 as the signature North American event where automotive engineering, design, technology and academic leaders provide insight on the latest trends and material applications on new cars and trucks. MetalForming magazine and the Precision Metalforming Association are once again proud to serve as a GDIS media sponsor.

2-GDIS 5-19Attendees will find a roomier atmosphere in 2022, as GDIS relocates to the Suburban Collection Showplace, a much larger venue that provides more space for exhibits and/or vehicles. At this location, presentations will take place on the second level in large breakout rooms dedicated to specific tracks.

Added Focus on Sustainability

3-GDIS 5-19Designed for OEMs, Tier-One and other suppliers, R&D departments and academia, GDIS—reportedly the longest-running automotive-materials conference in the world—features an all-day, multi-track program with topics focused on advanced high-strength steels (AHSS), future mobility, automotive advancements and manufacturing technologies. Offered throughout are the lightweighting and durability benefits of steel. Expect in-depth discussion on AHSS and ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS), as well the stamping, welding and body engineering of these new steels in automotive applications. And, new in 2022 is a special AISI presentation on the sustainability benefits of steel.

1-GDIS 5-19“The opportunity to see people live, reconnect and network has been a very valuable part of GDIS over the years, and we’re looking forward to coming back live in 2022,” says John Catterall, vice president, AISI Automotive Program. “GDIS, a very focused conference, allows attendees to get up to speed on steel in a single day.”

As to the sustainability presentation, “we’ve heard about efforts toward zero-carbon steel, for example, which shows that sustainability is a key area of work in the steel industry,” Catterall says. “So, we’ll present on this topic, which includes OEM expectations regarding sustainability and how material and part suppliers have to meet these needs. We’ve already seen the shift toward electric vehicles, but then there’s the sustainability in the manufacturing of the product. And, we think that steel is well positioned to rise to those sustainability challenges.” 

Excellence Honored

GDIS also presents its annual Automotive Excellence Award, which recognizes individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community that embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive market. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar, with candidates rated in several categories, including challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; and implementation in production. 

During the virtual 2021 GDIS event, Ford Motor Co. earned the Automotive Excellence Award for its innovative use of AHSS in the 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga. Michael Kozak, global body structure manager at Ford, received the award for his GDIS 2019 presentation, The All New 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga. The presentation detailed how Ford leveraged an efficient, scalable platform to deliver a global nameplate optimized for each market’s needs. The application of AHSS and UHSS allowed for optimal strength-to-weight that delivers National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 5-Star safety ratings with an exciting driving dynamic, according to Kozak. Optimized engineering sections and joints maximized occupant space for improved accommodation and usage, ensuring comfort for passengers and their gear. Regional tailoring of critical structural members avoided any scar mass or cost not necessary for unique market requirements. 

Free, But Sells Out Quickly

GDIS debuted in 2002 with 545 registrants, and since then has grown in attendance and scope. The last live event, in 2019, boasted more than 1500 attendees. In 2021, a virtual GDIS, following the COVID-related cancellation in 2020, attracted more than 1200 registrants. Hugely popular, GDIS is a no-cost, first-come, first-served event, so be sure to visit the GDIS site for registration details. MF

Industry-Related Terms: Breakout
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: American Iron & Steel Institute, American Iron and Steel Institute

Technologies: Management


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