Dana Corporation and GKN have been jointly selected by Land Rover to supply full hydroformed frames for an “important new mid-sized vehicle platform” (expected to be the next Discovery).

Dana and GKN have established a 50-50 joint venture to manufacture and supply the structures, co-designed and developed by Dana and Land Rover, which will be manufactured using Dana's patented Robo-Clamp hydroforming process.

GKN is responsible for supplying prototypes and the business will represent Dana's first hydroforming activity in Europe.

In working with Land Rover to design and develop the structures, Dana utilised its Virtual-Time Engineering capabilities, whereby engineers at centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India shared information around the clock to speed the development process.

In order to be more closely aligned with its customer in developing the solutions, Dana also located engineers at Land Rover's facility in Gaydon, England.

In order to maximise the utilisation of existing assets, the structural products will be manufactured at GKN's facility in Telford, Shropshire, using advanced robotic assembly techniques, as well as Dana's patented hydroforming process.

The facility currently produces full frames for the Discovery and chassis components for Range Rover vehicles.

Hydroforming is a process where water or other fluids are injected into a steel tube placed within a closed die that replicates the final external shape of the chassis member. The fluid is pressurised, and the steel expands to take on the required shape.

The Robo-Clamp process is specifically designed to cost effectively extend the attributes of high-pressure hydroforming to high-tonnage long-bed applications by reducing equipment investment, tooling investment, and running cost.