Toyota has just presented its Global Technology & Development Award to
Hydro - the
No. 1 supplier of aluminium bumper beams.
DESIGN: Hydro's bumper system utilizes a so-called "gooseneck" design.
Hydro's automotive structures plant in Holland, Michigan, captured the award
for outstanding and innovative work in designing the aluminium bumper for
Toyota's newest vehicle, the Venza.
Managing director Brian Ehler of the Holland plant personally received the
honor from Toyota president and representative director Katsuaki Watanabe during
a formal ceremony at Toyota City, Japan.
"Hydro wants to get closer to customers through innovation," he says. "This
process has been a textbook example."
Innovative, cost-saving idea
Hydro's innovative bumper system utilizes a so-called "gooseneck" design that
eliminates the need for crash boxes and fasteners. This results in less design
complexity and a significant cost reduction - with improved performance -
compared to conventional bumper systems.
The 7000-series aluminium alloy that Hydro utilizes in the bumpers provides
high-strength performance without additional weight penalty.
Toyota had never used such an application before. In fact, this was the
"world premiere" - the industry's first application of a non-resolutionized 7xxx
gooseneck beam in series production.
Hydro began delivering aluminium bumper beams to Toyota in 2003, from its
plants in Raufoss, Norway, and Holland, Michigan.
Hydro is also a long-time supplier of aluminium tubing to Japan-based Denso -
and received awards in 2007 and 2008 for this work. Denso is a subsidiary
company of Toyota and a major supplier of automotive air-conditioning systems to
Toyota and Honda.
Hydro is the leading supplier of extruded aluminium bumper beams, delivering
components for most of the world's largest producers of passenger vehicles.