March 31, 2014
Vari-Form, a hydroformer in Troy, Mich., has retired a press that the company says was the first machine to hydroform an automotive structural part almost 24 years ago.
Production of instrument panel beams on this machine for Chrysler S body minivans (Dodge® Caravan®, Chrysler® Town & Country®, Plymouth® Voyager®) began in July 1990. Over time the press was used to produce structural parts for several subsequent generations of these vehicles. Dubbed “Old Faithful” by Vari-Form engineers, the press peaked at more than 700,000 units per year in 1996. During more than two decades of active use, its output was nearly 10 million units.