Novelis announced the start up of its new aluminium roll forming development line to meet industry demand for a process that can produce large volume high strength auto parts.

Located at the company’s Automotive Customer Solution Center in Novi, Michigan, the development line gives the supplier the claimed unique advantage of conducting full scope, year round research and development on roll forming in house.

Round the clock access will expedite the process to ensure complex, high strength aluminium roll forming is developed, and process robustness is proven more swiftly.

As the automotive industry moves toward electrification, it is demanding faster production of lighter, greener parts. With the roll forming process, strips of aluminium are incrementally formed in a continuous fashion to form a desired shape having various degrees of detail and strength. Offering a process that is scalable and customiaable, aluminium roll forming provides significant opportunities for production of high strength aluminum at scale. While roll forming is not new to the industry, its ability to produce complex high strength parts has yet to be fully developed and will require innovation and investment to maximise its potential.

Novelis’ introduction of its own roll forming development line is a critical step to moving the technology forward. The shift to the mass production of aluminum-intensive vehicles is a natural next step as the industry prioritizes electrification and sustainability, as well as other benefits of aluminum, such as increased safety, reduced risk of corrosion and improved performance.

Jamie Zinser, VP, global automotive, Novelis, said: “We are introducing this development line to accelerate research and development, not to become a roll forming company. Our goal is to work with our automotive and Tier I [customers] to innovate and develop aluminium sheet technology that will support the electrification movement.”

Novelis claims to be the first aluminum company to invest in its own roll forming development line.