As OEMs and suppliers seek lightweight solutions to meet
higher fuel economy standards through multi-material structures, conventional welding techniques are beginning
to give way to new solid-state joining methods better suited
for creating strong bonds between dissimilar metals.
A new magnetic-pulse welding process for joining ferrous and non-ferrous metals is allowing Dana's Spicer Division to create lightweight bi-metallic driveshafts. After seven years of research and development, a fully functional prototype machine is performing well enough that it's only a matter of time before a production version hits the factory floor.
While the world has focused on Chrysler's up-coming merger with Daimler, the company has also focused on its relationship with Brazil. In particular, the relationship between its newly dedicated Dodge Dakota plant and its suppliers, among others.
--By Colleen Dejong, Senior Associate Editor