H Y D RO A L U M I N I U M
P U B L I S H E D BY HYD RO A LUM I N I UM – N O. 2 – S E PTE M B E R 2 0 0 3
of the curve
Editor in Chief:
Marianne M. Aamodt
4 > CADILLAC RELOADED
Lynn Brown 6 > DRIVING EXPECTATIONS FOR OPEL
Carl Ludvig Kjelsen
Holger Koester 8 > SUPERLATIVE STRUCTURE FOR FORD
Kari Wangen Ulvin
Kevin Widlic 10 > HOT PROSPECT FOR HEAT TRANSFER
Produced by: 12 > ASTON MARTIN – YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
09.2003 – 43436
16 > RENAULT’S SAFE WINNER
Craig Johnson 18 > SAFETY IS IN THE BAG WITH AUTOLIV
Project Manager: 20 > MINI – A LEGEND REBORN
22 > NEW MODELS ON THE CATWALK
24 > ROLLS-ROYCE – KEEP ON ROLLIN’
Aston Martin, BMW, Euro NCAP,
Ford Motor Co., General Motors,
Lotus Cars, Opel AG, Renault/
Michel de Vries, Rolls-Royce Motor
Cars, Dag Sunnanå, Warner Bros.
Kampen Grafisk, Oslo
Addresses: H Y D R O A L U M I N I U M
Hydro Aluminium Metal Products
Tel.: +47 22 53 81 00
Fax: +47 22 53 79 30
Hydro Aluminium Primary Metal
Tel.: +47 22 53 81 00
Fax: +47 22 53 79 30
Hydro Aluminium Automotive
Ettore Bugatti Str. 4-14
Tel.: +49 2203 890 4000
Fax: +49 2203 890 4890
Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products
Ettore Bugatti Str. 4-14
Tel.: +49 2203 890 4000
Fax: +49 2203 890 4890
Hydro Aluminium Extrusion
Route de Chavannes 31
Tel.: +41 21 621 83 83
Fax: +41 21 621 83 43
Hydro Aluminum North America
801 International Drive,
Linthicum, MD 21090-2245
Tel.: +1 410 487 4500
Fax: +1 410 487 8053
2 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
S U CC E S S
– a two-way street
Aluminium is gaining ground in the automotive our cast products, we deliver engine blocks, cylinder
industry, and Hydro Aluminium is one of the leading heads, inlet manifolds and our range of precision
suppliers of lightweight components to carmakers or tubing products includes drawn round and oval
their direct suppliers in Europe and North America. tubes, extruded round tubes, welded aluminium
Hydro Aluminium Automotive supports its cus- and brass tubes, multi-port tubing, coated tubes and
tomers from conception to volume production. We manifolds. We can also provide the supplier industry
are satisfying the increasing demands for individual with foundry alloys and sheet materials for further
lightweight construction solutions for cars with the processing.
development and production of future-oriented alu- Carmakers are looking to reduce the weight of
minium and magnesium components. These compo- their vehicles while making them safer. Aluminium
nents meet the highest requirements to safety and is one of the best routes to take because the proper-
comfort, they help conserve resources – and are ties of our products, in a wide range of applications,
easily recycled. create value for our customers – and the customers’
Through intensive collaboration with our custo- customers.
mers and active research, we are able to optimize We support our customers so they succeed
processes and products and generate ground-break- – then we succeed. It’s a two-way street.
ing innovations time and time again.
Our Automotive business is a global supplier to
a host of leading carmakers, such as BMW, Daimler-
Chrysler, Audi, GM, Ford, Toyota and Renault .We
also deliver to world-class systems suppliers like
Valeo, Behr, Denso and others. The structural com- Dr. Dieter Braun
ponents we offer include bumper beams, crash President – Automotive
boxes, engine cradles and body structures. Among Hydro Aluminium
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 3
SOUPED UP: The 2004 model of the
Cadillac CTS features a souped-up
engine. Maybe it could even outrun
the bullets that hit its predecessor in
The 2003 Cadillac CTS zoomed through one of Hollywood’s most exciting chase
scenes in the smash hit “Matrix Reloaded,” but the 2004 model sports even
greater performance – thanks to a new generation all-aluminium engine block.
The new “high-feature” 3.6-liter V6 VVT (variable The all-aluminium block is produced by Castech, a
valve timing) engine is the first of a new generation joint venture between Hydro Aluminium and GIS
that General Motors wants to roll out in its cars of Mexico. The plant is in Saltillo – the Detroit of
around the globe. The 2004 model of the Cadillac Mexico, according to Ashley Joy, Castech’s Detroit-
CTS hit the streets in America early in the summer. based commercial manager.
“The performance is outstanding,” says Brian The V6 block project benefited from cross-polli-
Kaminski, the design release engineer on the engine nation with Hydro Aluminium’s European expertise,
block program. It shaves almost a second off the especially with “engine block headquarters” in
0-100 kilometers per hour acceleration (under seven Dillingen, Germany. “We’ve had dozens of Castech
seconds), delivers better fuel economy and lower personnel involved in the project, over there in
emissions, and kicks out 30 horsepower more than Europe, exchanging knowledge and experience,”
the previous year’s model, says the Detroit native. Joy explains. “Our foundry prides itself in its skilled
“The block is really the cornerstone of the whole labor and educated workforce.”
engine. The advantage is that we could cast so many The GM block program will total over 300,000
features into the block. The overall size is phenome- units worldwide per year. Other cars in the pro-
nal. For a 3.6-liter V6, it’s extremely compact. gram will be additional Cadillac models, Buick’s
“I’m impressed by the quality of the block – it’s Regal and Rendezvous, Opel, Alfa Romeo and
the first block without impregnation. Castech figures Australia’s Holden.
that leakage is not a problem. We set a world bench- And who knows? Maybe even the chase scene
mark, a new standard for cylinder bore performance in “Matrix III.”
with this one,” Kaminski says.
4 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN DRIVETRAINS
GLOBAL EXPERIENCE: The all-
aluminium V6 block is produced
in Mexico by part-owned
Castech, building on experience
from our European operations.
Tel. +1 313 556 5000
Tel +49 22 03 89 04 000
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 5
Close cooperation is essential in the competitive global automotive industry.
Opel and Hydro Aluminium work together to find
the smartest solutions – at the lowest cost.
“Opel looks upon us as a very competent development partner order, since only a few suppliers are able to make such beams.
and knows we are able to come up with interesting solutions Mols points out that Hydro Automotive Structures sees one of
when developing components for new auto models. It’s a fact its biggest competitive advantages here, although there are
that competition in the market demands that each new genera- major challenges in keeping costs down.
tion of cars needs to include new technology,” says sales man- For the rear bumper beam system Hydro supplies both the
ager Lucien Mols of Hydro Aluminium Structures Raufoss in beam and the crash box with an integrated towbar system. All
Norway. the profiles are extruded at Raufoss, with beam and crash box
Mols is mainly responsible for maintaining and developing shaping take place at Hydro’s plant in Skultuna, Sweden, while
relations with GM in Europe. He recalls that Opel’s first orders assembly is carried out at Hydro’s plant at Wackersdorf in Ger-
were for the Opel Corsa in 2000, when bumper beams were many.
delivered. “In terms of logistics and volume, there is a big advantage in
Hydro currently supplies Opel with bumper beams, crash assembling the systems close to the customer, which in this
boxes and structural frames. The latter are used on the Opel case is Opel in Rüsselsheim.”
Speedster sports car.
ADVANCED BUMPER BEAM The crash box with its integrated towbar feature has a very
In the spring of 1999, Hydro landed the contract to develop clever design: “Such boxes at favorable costs allow for new
and supply the front and rear bumper systems for the Opel market solutions,” adds Mols, pointing out that there has been
Vectra, Europe’s best selling mid-range vehicle for many years. a greater focus in recent years on lightweight bumper systems
A number of prototypes have subsequently been built, and that are easy to fix and can considerably reduce repair costs.
tested at both Raufoss and at Opel, with the aim of developing “We would very much like to continue our partnership with
optimal bumper systems. GM in Europe, which also includes Saab, to develop new gen-
For the front bumper system Hydro supplies only the beam, erations of vehicles. To do so it is important to cultivate both
which is produced in its entirety at Raufoss. The profile is technical cooperation and personal contacts, the latter being of
extruded on the P65 press and then moved on to the four-sta- particular importance,” says Mols.
tion line, where mechanical shaping takes place. The front
beams are complex in design and include several large impres-
sions that enable items such as Parking Distance Sensors to be
A NUMBER OF CHALLENGES
Lucien Mols admits that such complexity gave rise to a number
of challenges during the trimming phase. But it was the same
complexity that lead to the Raufoss plant landing the Opel
6 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN STRUCTURES AND ENGINES
Hydro Aluminium Structures
WINNER: Sales manager Lucien Mols Raufoss
and an Opel bumper beam. +47 61 15 18 00
Driving expectations for
Cylinder heads for GM platform
Hydro Aluminium’s Castings unit is supplying the majority of 175 horsepower (2.0-liter Turbo Ecotec); 3.2-liter V6 Ecotec
the cylinder heads – for four different engines – for the new with up to 211 horsepower; and diesel engine alternatives
Opel Signum hatchback. (2.0-liter and 2.2-liter DTI Ecotec).
Hydro Aluminium Györ in Hungary is delivering the heads General Motors, which owns both Opel and Saab, uses the
for the vehicle's 155-horsepower direct-injection motor (2.2-liter same turbo engine for the Saab 9-3.
Ecotec), while Hydro Aluminium Motorcast in the UK handles The Signum is the third car to arrive in the Vectra range,
the head supply for the Signum's turbo engine alternative with following the original sedan and the GTS sports version.
The cylinder heads will be used
on the Saab 9-3 (shown) and
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 7
The front end module offers several advantages, chiefly weight
savings, ease of assembly and resistance to corrosion. The mag-
nesium component – die cast by Meridian Technologies Inc. –
replaces many separate steel parts.
Meridian Technologies of Canada, part-owned by Hydro,
helped develop the module and expects to produce around
700,000 of the structures per year. (Teksid SpA, which is owned
by European automakers Fiat and Renault, is the other partner
The structure holds the front end of the body together and
then allows for all components that are in the front end to be
attached to a secure part. Among the major components
mounted on the front end module are the radiator, condenser
and crash sensor.
“Overall, we replaced a 17 stamping/weldment assembly
with a single die casting and a few bridging brackets,” explains
David Reed of Meridian’s Advanced Engineering Group. “These
brackets only served the purpose of allowing us to be com-
pletely transparent to the Ford assembly system (a big plus
when you have three assembly plants).
“Also, the flexibility present in the die casting allowed many
changes to reduce part counts and the use of thread-forming
fasteners by Ford allowed the number of separate
fasteners to be minimized. This allows for a significant cost
reduction, both component costs and Ford’s installation costs.
“The durability, or fatigue life, of the front end was also
greatly increased, both on the front end module (as compared
to steel) and the adjoining sheet metal. The die casting was
also very flexible to tune the stiffness with minimal impact
cost/weight since the design is so flexible as compared to a
8 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN STRUCTURES
The first-ever front end module made of magnesium is
destined for the best-seller F-150 pickup truck from Ford.
The front end module is the first of its
kind made of magnesium.
Ford Motor Co.
Tel. +1 313 322 4111
Meridian Technologies Inc.
Tel. +1 519 246 9600
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 9
Save time in the assembly plant, and you save
money at the end of the day. Hydro Aluminium’s
new patented system of pre-coated heat
exchanger components, Hybraz, does just that.
Hybraz, from Hydro Aluminium’s Precision Tubing plant in
Tønder, Denmark, cuts out a time-consuming step in today’s
production process for such heat-transfer applications as auto-
motive radiators and condensers.
The assembly of aluminium parts for heat transfer applica-
tions requires brazing, or heating the parts to create a metallur-
gical bond that holds them together. This brazing process
requires the use of flux – a salt of potassium, fluoride and alu-
minium – to assist in disrupting the oxide layer on the alumini-
um where they are to be joined. This allows for a better surface
condition for the filler material.
Hybraz PF (for pre-flux) is an aluminium part already coated
with a layer of CAB flux. This eliminates the need for a separate
fluxing operation on the production line, although not the need
for cladding. Hybraz PB (pre-braze) eliminates the need for
both separate fluxing and cladding.
The assembled component is heated to a sufficient temper-
ate to melt the flux, filler and aluminium alloy, but not the alu-
minium itself. The result: a watertight component capable of
withstanding the stresses of today’s high-performance automo-
And Hybraz allows manufacturers to continue using the
same processes and techniques they use today, but without the
unnecessary fluxing steps. Additional advantages are less flux
use in the workplace and less flux residue on the components.
The flux is placed only where it is needed and the quantity can
be more precisely controlled.
The development of Hybraz started in 1998 with an idea
from the Tønder operation. It soon became one of the main
projects at Alunova, Hydro Aluminium’s research and develop-
ment organization. Hybraz was launched in 2002, with precision
tubing supplied by Tønder in coils and ready-cut lengths.
Henrik Nielsen at Precision Tubing Tønder highlights the envi-
10 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN HEAT TRANSFER
ronmental advantages of Hybraz, which removes the need for SIMPLIFIED: Ease of assembly is one of the selling points of the
spraying the surface during the assembly of the final products. new Hybraz concept for heat-transfer applications, which was
This gives a cleaner atmosphere at the work place. three years in the making at Hydro’s R&D unit Alunova, headed
by Bjarke Wolmar.
Another important factor is the cost savings from better
joins and higher productivity. Hybraz has been a considerable
success so far, and customers have appreciated the advantages
of the new technology. For them the simplified processes mean
Product development of precision tubing and the follow-up of
patents are top priority tasks for Alunova, which is based near
Tønder in Løgumkloster, Denmark.
“The concept phase – where we develop a generic concept
– is the greatest challenge,” says Bjarke Wolmar, who is top
manager of Alunova. “You have to be market oriented, and
able to sort good ideas on the basis of what is commercially
“It took nearly three years from the start of work on Hybraz
to the point when the product was ready to be launched. Our
customers are mainly large, solid global companies. To serve
them properly we have to coordinate our resources and utilize
our expertise in the best possible way.”
Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing
Tel. +49 22 03 89 04 00 0
E-mail: precision-tubing@ hydro.com
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 11
YOU ONLY LIVE
12 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN STRUCTURES
The very name is resonant of luxury. At nearly 90 years of age, it is one
of the world’s oldest brands. Yet it’s enjoying a very modern success.
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 13
ince being founded in 1913, Aston many feared that the craftsmanship and As for the Vanquish, Watson says:
Martin has achieved a string of vic- glamour of Aston Martin’s exclusive “Conventional materials and manufactur-
tories at Le Mans and renown for hand-built cars would become extinct in ing techniques would not suffice for a
the most famous car in the world, James the vast automated arena of the global car capable of reaching speeds in excess
Bond’s DB5. corporation, Ford nurtured its acquisition of 306 km/h (190 mph) and accelerating
With the V-12 Vanquish model, the with devotion. The company has pros- from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in
company has added another star to its pered and is now poised on the brink under 5 seconds.”
impressive firmament of breathtaking of a brilliant and exciting future. The advanced aluminium and carbon
vehicles. What’s more, the Vanquish has Aston Martin’s public affairs director, fiber technology developed for the car’s
already regained the favors of Aston Tim Watson, says that Ford has given structure is a world-first, combining
Martin’s most high profile driver. Suitably Aston Martin the role of pioneering new accuracy, durability, efficiency, safety
customized by Q and team for some technology within the group, marrying and superior handling.
extraordinary exploits, the vehicle was much-respected craftsmanship and inno- The Vanquish’s bonded aluminium
featured in the Bond movie starring vation. Combining Aston Martin’s tradi- monocoque is assembled by Hydro
Pierce Brosnan. tional values with space age technology Automotive Structures in the U.K. from
Having changed ownership many and materials to create the Vanquish has 3105 H66 aluminium sheet and 6060
times and teetered on the edge of been a fascinating challenge. The com- 35T5 extrusions.
bankruptcy, the Aston Martin company’s pany has a long history of using alumi- Once the chassis components have
prospects not long ago were less prom- nium, based on construction techniques been assembled, a special epoxy adhe-
ising. The uncertainty was finally lifted emanating from the aircraft industry, and sive is robotically applied prior to the
in 1987 when the last private owners the metal featured in both the DB4 and installation of a combination of bolts and
sold the company to Ford. Although DB5 models. screws, which secure the components
BONDED: The Aston Martin Vanquish
features a bonded aluminium chassis.
14 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN STRUCTURES
and prevent peeling in severe impacts.
The complete assembly is then heat-
cured at 180 oC. Although conceptually
similar to the Lotus Elise chassis, Aston
Martin has taken a further step forward
to cope with the immense suspension of the car.” The PTEC (Power Train sales in 31 countries, the company’s
loadings a 320 km/h-plus car generates Electronic Control) system is capable vehicles are in great demand at the very
and to comply with all foreseeable crash of transmitting information in four one- top end of the market. The majority of
safety regulations. thousandths of a second. PTEC features sales (30% of production) are in the
Product press officer Peter Panarisi full electronic throttle control, or “drive- U.S., closely followed by Germany (25%)
points out another outstanding feature by-wire,” where throttle movement and the Middle and Far East (6-10%).
measures how fast the driver wishes to The entire production process for the
accelerate, and the engine management Vanquish takes six weeks and annual
INFO system does the rest electronically.” production is running at some 350 vehi-
Aston Martin He adds that the Vanquish’s Formula cles. The company is aiming at a target
Tel. +44 1908 610620 1 racing car, paddle-shift gear system is of 500 vehicles per year.
Web: www.astonmartin.com another first. It allows the driver to skip Witnessing the production process at
down gear changes by a simple pull on Newport Pagnell is a fascinating experi-
Hydro Automotive Structures UK Ltd.
Tel. +44 1 885 485 300 the paddle and without the need of a ence because of the unique blend of
Web: www.hydroaluminium.com clutch pedal. space-age technology and traditional
Aston Martin is now looking to ex- techniques. The sight of an expert crafts-
pand. With 81 dealers worldwide and man engaged on final bodywork shaping
and detailing, ensuring a perfect form
and finish with flawless edges, is evi-
dence that skills going back nearly a
century are still thriving. It is a sight that
leaves one stirred, not shaken…!
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 15
CAR OF THE YEAR 2003:
Mégane II has also won five stars
on the Euro NCAP and is best in its
class in the German insurance
rating for low-speed crashes.
READY FOR SHIPMENT: Bumper
beams at Alunord, ready for
Renault shipment to Renault’s assembly plant.
Tel. +33 1 41 04 50 50
CRASH MANAGEMENT PARTNERS:
Hydro Aluminium Automotive
Bertrand Rochette from Renault (far
Tel. +33 2 32 09 32 09
www.hydroaluminium.com right) and Nicolas Giraud from Hydro
Aluminium Automotive have enjoyed a
fruitful partnership on the Mégane II.
16 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN STRUCTURES
Voted car of the year for 2003, Mégane II has also won five stars –
the top score – in Euro NCAP crash tests. Hydro Aluminium Automotive
supplies the crash management solutions.
“The bumper beam solution from Hydro had at ways of designing bumper beams to reduce injury
to perform well at both low and high impact to pedestrians should they be hit.”
at once, which is a complex engineering chal- Originally a very French company, Renault has taken
lenge. Hydro has played an important part in giant steps into the international arena, not only through
helping Mégane II achieve both these key re- its collaboration with Hydro, but also in its partnership
quirements,” points out Bertrand Rochette, who with Nissan.
is head of Body Advanced Design and Structural When asked about cultural differences, Rochette says,
Engineering at Renault, and has worked on the “We find it is more useful to focus on all that we have
Mégane II for five years. in common, on the synergies.” While Nissan and Renault
Hydro has been involved in the development retain their different branding images, they share best
of the bumper systems for Mégane II from an early practice and common platform design.
stage. Rochette sees this as a considerable advantage: “We learn from each other,” he continues. “Nissan is
“We have a long-term strategy of collaboration with strong on short time to market, while we are ambitious
Hydro, which has led to technical exchange and great- with regard to performance levels such as safety. Now
er understanding for both parties. we see that the Japanese are also becoming more inter-
“I would highlight two key benefits of working with ested in safety, and have established a Japanese NCAP.
Hydro: its technical expertise in aluminium structures, Meanwhile we moving towards a dramatic reduction in
and its broad focus and willingness to work beyond the development lead time.”
definitions of the project itself. Looking to the future, Rochette feels the key quality
“We chose Hydro because we liked the whole package Renault will be looking for in its partners will be virtuo-
they offered, and because aluminium gives excellent energy sity, which he defines as “stable top performance within
absorption versus weight.” Weight is an increasingly important a wide variety of challenges.” He believes Hydro will be
factor in cars for the European market, as a lighter car means able fill this role.
lower carbon dioxide emissions.
“Renault is concerned with safety at all levels, also for the
environment,” Rochette adds. “We won the ‘Enterprise et Pro-
gres’ prize for the best company report on sustainability in 2002,”
Safety in Renault now encompasses three main areas – safety
for the driver and passengers, safety for the environment and,
most recently, safety for pedestrians. “We are now looking
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 17
SAFETY STAR: Autoliv supplies airbags and
other safety systems for the Renault Megane,
which won a five-star rating from EuroNCAP,
Europe’s leading crash test program.
SUPPLIER: Hydro Aluminum
North America’s plants in
Phoenix, Arizona, and Guaymas,
Mexico, supply the aluminium
housing shown in this cutaway of
Autoliv Inc., the global leader in Autoliv has been a pioneer in airbag technologies since the
early 1980s, and does about a third of its business in North
the automotive airbag market, America – where Hydro Aluminum North America supplies the
figures that passenger airbags aluminium housings for more than 30 different airbag models.
Autoliv has 20 crash testing facilities in nine countries, with the
reduce fatalities in frontal crashes main U.S. location outside the “motor city” of Detroit. There,
by 20 percent. With more than a Autoliv tests airbag components to ensure that they meet their
quarter million vehicle occupants Crash test dummies are used as passengers in “sleds” made
killed each year in traffic accidents, up to simulate various car models. Engineers employ cameras
that’s a significant figure. with a very high image rate – from about 1,000 frames per
second – to document of the results.
The entire cycle from ignition of the airbag to full deploy-
ment to deflation is less than 150 milliseconds – literally the
blink of an eye, explains Russ Gans, director of restraint sys-
tems engineering for Autoliv North America.
“We test to verify the integrity of the module itself and
then do the vehicle testing,” Gans says. “Aluminum provides
a weight advantage over steel. We use a lot of aluminum.
It’s also quicker to prototype and quicker to market because
of ease of tooling, and there is a recycling advantage too,”
says Gans. It takes three to four years to get a new model to
production, he adds.
The housing for the airbag fabric itself and propellant is
manufactured by Hydro Aluminum North America’s plant in
18 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN SAFETY
TEST TRACK: Russ Gans of
Autoliv puts himself in the
driver’s seat – figuratively
is in the bag
Phoenix, Arizona. The housing is extruded and cut to length Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault,
there, then shipped to a sister plant near Guaymas, Mexico, Rover, Saab, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
for labor-intensive fabrication work – lower labor costs in Autoliv has 80 subsidiaries and joint ventures in 29 coun-
Mexico mean savings for Autoliv. tries, and 20 crash test tracks in nine countries. The company
The finished housings are returned to Phoenix, where they has more than 25,000 employees worldwide, nearly 10 percent
are prepared for shipment to Autoliv’s manufacturing facility in of them involved in research and development.
Ogden, Utah. It’s a just-in-time operation: “Trucks from Autoliv
make pick-ups two to three times a day,” says Bill McCallum,
vice president of sales and marketing for the Phoenix and
Autoliv Inc. was started in 1997 as a merger of Europe’s
leading automotive safety company, Autoliv AB of Sweden,
and Morton ASP (Automotive Safety Products), the leading
airbag manufacturer in North America and Asia.
It is the global leader in the airbag field. In 2001, the num-
ber of frontal airbag units was almost 90 million and the num-
ber of side-impact airbags nearly 40 million. INFO
In the U.S., frontal airbags – both on the driver and the Autoliv
passenger side – are mandated by federal law in all new light Tel. (USA) + 1 248 475 9000
(Europe) +46 8 587 20 623
vehicles. In Europe, Autoliv estimates that currently over 90 www.autoliv.com
percent of the new light vehicles have a driver airbag, and
Hydro Aluminum North America
80 percent also have an airbag for the front passenger. Phoenix
Autoliv’s customers include Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Tel. +1 800 459 3030
BMW, Citroën, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, General www.hydroaluminumNA.com
Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda,
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 19
Remember the Mini from the ‘60s and ‘70s? It’s back with a vengeance – in a
new and highly upgraded version, complete with Hydro aluminium bumpers.
20 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN STRUCTURES
READY TO GO:
BMW project team members have a final
look at the Mini before it is launched on the
market. From left, Michael Brachvogel, BMW,
Carola Fischer, BMW, Martin Jones, Hydro,
and Auranzeb Vorajee, BMW.
launched with the best insurance rating.
For reasons of efficiency, the Raufoss
plant even had a Mini delivered there
to perform crash tests.
“We achieved our aim because we
worked as one team,” says Fischer.
Adds Martin Jones, the Mini project
manager at Hydro Automotive Structures
UK: “It isn’t only a question of changing
the design, you have to make sure it
can be produced, and at the right cost.”
To ensure that the car is in the mar-
ket at the right price is not only the
responsibility of the car producer, but
also of the supplier, Jones says.
“It’s a challenge for us as a supplier
to look for further improvements,” he
says. “Whether in weight reduction
or the manufacturing process, this is
continuous improvement. At the end
of the day, what counts in any business
Although the car looks similar, the Mini able to the BMW 3 Series,” he says. “The is cost and quality, and to achieve the
that BMW launched in 2002 is a vast im- car is equipped with lots of extra safety best possible results, you have to have a
provement over its predecessor, which features, including the aluminium front close partnership between manufacturer
won people’s hearts, not to mention armatures with its advanced crash ener- and supplier.”
many prizes, 40 years ago. gy absorption system.” What is good for the customer, is
“This is a completely new BMW prod- good for the supplier.
uct,” says Michael Brachvogel, the Mini, HALF THE WEIGHT
body and trim project leader at BMW’s Aluminium was chosen, not only in the
plant in Oxford, England. Mini but also in other BMW cars, be-
“What you see is not a retro design, cause of its light weight and excellent
but a very modern interpretation of energy absorption, he says. “To get the
the original design. On the other hand, same performance from steel, we would
the car should be recognizable from have to increase the weight two times,”
all angles as a Mini. It’s a question of adds Vorajee.
making a legend work again.” Carola Fischer, design engineer and
Judging by the response from the armature SE team leader, explains that
market, the legend should have a pro- the actual design of the bumper, such
mising future. The Mini is said to appeal as profile shape, material thickness and
to all kinds of people – men and alloy, significantly influences its crash
women, young and old, from the com- performance.
pany executive to the young student. She also emphasizes the good co-
Months before production start-up, operation between Hydro Aluminium
car dealers had received 5,000 advanced Structures in Norway and England and
orders for the car. Even the small Mini BMW in Oxford and Munich. The front
models disappeared in no time from and rear bumpers are being produced at
the shelves, says Auranzeb Vorajee, pur- Raufoss, Norway, while the production
chaser for bumper and armature systems and assembly of the bracketry is done
at BMW in Oxford. At launch, annual at Hydro Aluminium’s plant in Worcester INFO
production was expected to be approxi- in the UK. BMW Group
mately 100,000 vehicles. Carola Fischer
For a small vehicle, the Mini is DESIGN COOPERATION Tel. +49 89382 31721
extremely safe. Brachvogel points out The close cooperation between the www.mini.com
that the Mini is one of the few small teams in Germany, England and Norway Hydro Automotive Structures UK Ltd.
cars that satisfies the tough American was put to the test last year. With custo- Martin Jones
safety and legal requirements. mer focus in mind, the armature was Tel.: +44 1885 48 5300
“Its crash test performance is compar- redesigned to ensure the vehicle was www.hydroaluminium.com
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 21
New models on the
BMW: The entire front end of the
BMW 5 Series chassis is construct-
ed of high-strength aluminium.
This reduction in mass, combined
with its near-perfect 50-50 weight
distribution between the front and
rear axle, makes the 5 Series one of
the most agile premium sedans in
the world. Hydro Aluminium Auto-
motive is responsible for a number
of the model's front-end structural
components, including its crash
management system – bumper
beams and crash boxes –
MERCEDES. Hydro Aluminium
Rolled Products delivers the alu-
minium used in the back seat bench
of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
VOLVO: Hydro Aluminium Auto-
motive delivers gravity-cast alu-
minium intake manifolds for the
five-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol
engines, both the suction and turbo
versions, for Volvo's XC90 sport-
utility vehicle – the 2003 North
American Truck of the Year. Hydro's
Castings plant in Charlottenberg,
Sweden, handles the supply.
22 ALUGLOBE 2-2003
ALUMINIUM IN AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS
BUICK: The 2004 Buick Regal
(pictured), as well as the new
Pontiac Grand Prix, is built with
extruded aluminium engine
cradles from Hydro Aluminium
Automotive's Structures plant in
MERCEDES: Four longitudinally
seam-welded tubes supplied by
Hydro Aluminium Alutubes form
the basis for the rear subframe
that is used in the popular
CADILLAC: Hydro Aluminium
Automotive delivers the wind-
shield frame for the 2004 Cadillac
XLR from its Structures plant in
ALUGLOBE 2-2003 23
KEEP O N RO LLI N’
h a Rolls Royce
t come s to mind wit conds.
first thing tha . in just 5.7 se
leration isn’t the from 0 to 60 m.p.h
Sparkling acce 2 engine goes
tom ’s 6.75-liter V1
the new Phan
ive is supplyin
Hydro Alum inium Automot new model, produced by
r the stunning Tønder in
spaceframes fo Hydro Aluminium Structures sub-
the BMW grou
p. me parts and
ing the spacefra ingolf-
Den mark is deliver new Rolls-Royce to BMW D
assemblies for BMW’s ng care of as sembly.
y, which is taki nsists of
ing in German me – or body structure – co
Each spacefra inium
inium, with alum
lograms of alum two-thirds of the total.
close to 300 ki t
unting for abou and 3D
extrusions acco ight members as well as 2D
This incl udes stra spacefram e is about 5.3
stretch-formed 2 meters wide.
meters long an tion of 1,000 units is expect inium m spaceframe
l produc s alum vative aluminiu
Annua also deliver G: Hydro’s inno new Rolls-Royce is winning
m Automotive Z8, Opel STUNNIN
Hydro Aluminiu ns for the Lotus Elise, BMW is one of the re
spaceframe so on Martin Vanquish. e North
Sp eedster and Ast e Rolls-Royce recently at th
BMW unveiled th Show in Det roit – and
views. nce of the
received rave re Phantom “captures the esse
BMW says the in an utterly
d, interpreted INFO
mous car bran iding principles
world’s most fa nced by the gu ever ything you do. Rolls-Royce Mot
modern way. In ive for perfection in Tel. +44 (0) 12
ry Royce, ‘Str .When it does emotorcars.co
Hen d make it better www.rolls-royc
Take the be st that exists an um
it.’“ Just over Hydro Alumini
not exist, design tom is now on sale. Its price? Structures Tønd
And the Phan Tel. +45 73 92