The coated hot stamping steel Usibor® 1500 is a mainstream automotive steel solution for enhancing light-weighting and safety in Chinese automotive industry.
With the objective of being transparent and traceable to the customers in the process of taking current and future decisions in adopting Usibor® 1500, VAMA has made a decision to implement this policy of announcing base price.
VAMA has also decided, due to increase in raw materials costs, to set the standard price of Usibor® 1500 in H1 of 2017 as RMB 8,350 / ton Basis Price Ex Work VAMA Factory. Extras will be added for different spec and logistics upon delivery point.
Aiming to be the best light-weighting solution provider, VAMA is to provide the price logic for Usibor® 1500 and the most cost effective solution to customers.
10 January 2017, Loudi, Hunan, VAMA board of directors met with general secretary of Loudi CPC Li Jianguo and Loudi municipal government mayor Yang Yiwen and shared steady development in product homologation, market sales increase through replacing imports and auto parts for running and new car models. With continuous support and commitments by Loudi government in building world class infrastructure, VAMA is positioned as premium automotive steel brand and world class enterprise that will be new pride of Hunan province.
As an example of implementing “supply side reform” in the steel industry, VAMA’s stable development in 2016 laid a solid foundation for its ambition of becoming the most recognized provider of automotive steel solutions in China. VAMA is focusing on taking HRC as input, which is in excess capacity, and transforming into high end automotive steel, which is in shortage and relies on imports.
As of today, VAMA have passed the very strict audits by almost all the major automakers and completed homologation of mild steel, DP600, Usibor®1500 with key customers such as DPCA, Ford, BAIC, GAC FCA, Daimler, Geely, etc. VAMA has made significant progress in achieving stable production and market supply of high quality automotive steel grades including AHSS and patented products such as Usibor®1500.
Governments’ support in helping VAMA to build up necessary infrastructure and establish favorable surrounding environment carries on. The support allows VAMA to provide customers with stable supply of quality products and leading solutions. Hunan government and Loudi municipal government have supported timely implementation of infrastructure necessary for the project such as road network around VAMA, 220Kv substation, and construction of industrial gas pipelines and natural gas.
Loudi government reiterated during the meeting its continuous support to VAMA, including helping VAMA to build world class infrastructure by committing to undertake construction of railway and 50 meters greenbelt area around VAMA facility. Meanwhile, Loudi government supports VAMA to build into a world class factory, becoming a benchmark factory in Hunan even in whole China.
Aiming to bring the latest and most comprehensive advanced steel solutions to the automotive industry in China, VAMA has being equipped with capabilities of providing customers added value service because of strong support from ArcelorMittal for EVI service and readiness of downstream network GONVVAMA. Working together with GONVVAMA, VAMA can serve Chinese OEMs with expertise like LWB, the door ring solutions and new coating solutions.
Automotive customers acknowledge and value the unique position of VAMA being able to supply the full range of automotive products for car bodies, along with engineering support and tailored products obtained on GONVVAMA downstream lines. VAMA is now a reliable partner of Chinese automotive industry to take on challenges coming from increasing demand for quality vehicle, stricter emission regulation and more stringent safety requirements.
Visiting VAMA board of directors were consisted of ArcelorMittal Executive Vice President, Brian Aranha, Valin Steel General Manager & VAMA Chairman Yan Jianxin, ArcelorMittal CEO of China & India Sanjay Sharma and Valin LYS CEO Xiao Zunhu. VAMA CEO Fernando Teixeira and CPC Secretary & COO Jiao Guohua participated in the meeting.
Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive Steel Co., Ltd., is a joint venture between Hunan Valin Group and ArcelorMittal with 50% and 50% held by Valin Group and ArcelorMittal respectively. The company is headquartered in Loudi, Hunan with a distribution network throughout the country. Sales and service centers in Changsha, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing ensure close proximity to customers. With more than 700 employees throughout China, VAMA is committed to providing light weighted automotive steel products with high quality for the growing needs of the domestic automobile industry in China.
New grades will help automakers achieve mandated lightweighting targets and promote more sustainable lifestyles.
8 November 2016 – ArcelorMittal is expanding its global portfolio of automotive steels by introducing a new generation of advanced high strength steels (AHSS). These innovative steels include the launch of new press hardenable steels (PHS) Ductibor® 1000 and Usibor® 2000 – both of which are already available for OEM qualification testing in Europe – and martensitic steels MartINsite® M1700 and M2000. The company is also preparing to expand its family of third generation advanced high strength steel (3G AHSS), which currently includes Fortiform® 1050 in Europe, starting in 2017. Together, these new steel grades will help automakers further reduce body-in-white weight to improve fuel economy without compromising vehicle safety or performance.
“The launch of these steels aligns with our Action 2020 program, a strategic roadmap that aims to achieve targeted financial improvements for the company by 2020,” said Brian Aranha, executive vice president, global automotive, ArcelorMittal. “Action 2020 efforts include cost optimization and steel shipment volume increases, as well as an improved portfolio of high added value products. These products ensure ArcelorMittal is best positioned to meet customer requirements via a strong technical and product portfolio.”
ArcelorMittal is now able to provide samples of Ductibor® 1000 to customers for qualification testing in North America. Ductibor® 1000 is a high-strength press hardenable steel that offers good energy absorption capacity. Typical applications for Ductibor® 1000 include energy absorption parts such as front and rear rails and lower B-pillars.
Usibor® 2000, an aluminum-silicon coated PHS and stronger than its predecessor Usibor® 1500, enables automakers to fabricate parts with complicated geometry at a very high strength without formability or springback challenges. Typical applications for Usibor® 2000 include strength-critical passenger compartment parts such as rockers, pillars, roof rails and cross members. Usibor® 2000 is currently available in Europe for OEM qualifications and will be available in North America in early 2017 with commercial production expected in late summer 2017.
“Usibor® is our key product in hot stamping and has been a major commercial and technical success in the global automotive industry,” said Mr. Aranha. “Looking ahead, the scope of hot stamping products in vehicles will continue to increase with the release of more advanced products like Usibor® 2000, which offers 10 to 15% weight savings when compared to existing hot stamping solutions.”
Usibor® 2000 is compatible with standard press hardening technologies and processes. Combining Usibor® 2000 with Ductibor® 1000 or other PHS into laser welded blanks (LWB) offers several significant advantages. These advantages include weight saving, improved crash behaviour and cost savings through material and manufacturing optimisation.
ArcelorMittal is also expanding its MartINsite® family of products to include MartINsite® M1700 and M2000, joining currently available MartINsite® M900, M1100, M1300 and M1500.
“MartINsite® is a very strong family of steels which are perfect for anti-intrusion parts such as bumper and door beams,” explained Mr. Aranha.
ArcelorMittal will have MartINsite® M1700 and M2000 available for OEM qualifications by mid-2017. The grades will be available for commercial production in early 2018.
All MartINsite® steels, Usibor® 1500 and 2000, and Ductibor® 500 and 1000 are all patented by ArcelorMittal.
ArcelorMittal is also investing in AM/NS Calvert, its joint venture with Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metals Corp. in Alabama, USA, to produce 3G AHSS cold-stamping steels in North America. Currently available and branded as Fortiform® in Europe, these High Formability (HF) steels provide strengths similar to the strongest dual phase steels, but with higher ductility and cold formability.
ArcelorMittal will produce cold-rolled and galvanized/galvannealed versions of HF 980 and HF 1180 in North America, targeting OEM qualifications by mid-2017. Commercial production, beginning with the cold-rolled grades, will occur in late 2017. Thanks to their excellent mechanical properties, these HF grades are particularly suitable for components limited by energy absorption, such as front and rear rails and upper motor compartment rails.
In Europe, an investment program is underway at ArcelorMittal Gent and ArcelorMittal Liege in Belgium, to increase ArcelorMittal’s annual European production of 3G AHSS.
Globally, ArcelorMittal boasts some of the most technologically advanced automotive steelmaking operations and incorporates a range of modern steelmaking technologies. Approximately 30% of the company’s global R&D budget – $227 million in 2015 – is for automotive research. Half of ArcelorMittal’s 1,300 researchers focus on automotive.
"ArcelorMittal's current and emerging catalogue of automotive products and solutions supports carmakers in optimising vehicle weight and cost, while meeting stringent safety standards. We are also committed to manufacturing products that advance sustainable lifestyles. Steel helps cars to be lighter, which reduces carbon emissions, but it is also infinitely and easily recyclable. Additionally, compared to competing materials, steel has a significantly smaller environmental footprint.” concluded Mr. Aranha.
– VAMA committed to becoming a shining example of Sino-foreign joint ventures
On 18th October, the acting governor of Hunan province Xu Dazhe, paid an official visit to VAMA.
At VAMA，Xu Dazhe visited the PLTCM, CGL and CAL lines as well as communicated with the management team,praising the advanced production facilities. He stated that as a sample of the reform of supply front in steel industry,VAMA should absorb the advanced technologies from ArcelorMittal to actively implement the innovation-driven strategy and explore the high end automotive steel market. Xu Dazhe expected VAMA to make contributions to the development of the automotive industry cluster and the new-type industrialization in Hunan.
VAMA is a joint venture between Valin Group and ArcelorMittal, targeting at the high end automotive steel market, as a provider of the most advanced products and solutions， helping create lighter, greener and safer vehicles. VAMA has an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons automotive steel products, thanks to the quality hot rolled coil supply from Valin LYS and the advanced technologies and knowhow from ArcelorMittal.
VAMA is a result of seamless cooperation among partners. GONVVAMA, the joint venture between VAMA and Gonvarri, has brought to Chinese automotive industry the advanced technology and service like LWB and door ring. Gonvarri is a world leading steel processing service provider, obtained recognition from a wide range of international OEMs.
On August 30th, VAMA & GONVVAMA Roadshow finished the first stop in Beijing. Later on September 20th, the Roadshow was staged in Shanghai, bringing latest lightweight automotive steel solutions to the local auto industry and helping to face multiple challenges of environmental protection, safety improvement and crash management.
VAMA & GONVVAMA Roadshow attracted extensive attention from the auto industry in Beijing and Shanghai area. In Beijing, over 110 customers attended this event, including important guests from OEMs such as BAIC, Daimler China, BBAC, and Changfeng Leoppaard as well as Tier 1 suppliers Lingyun. Shanghai event attracted over 140 customers from OEMs like SAIC, SVW, SGM, Geely and Chery as well as tier 1 suppliers such as COSMA and Gestamp.
Technical experts from VAMA & GONVVAMA and ArcelorMittal Global R&D team brought keynote speeches to the roadshows, regarding the latest automotive steel solutions, new coating solutions, ultra lightweight car door solutions, GONVVAMA downstream service and the laser welded technology application on hot stamping steel.
Meanwhile, the roadshows also demonstrated:
■ ArcelorMittal latest lightweight automotive steel solutions and progress of developing the 3rd generation AHSS and new hot stamping steel
■ Development of VAMA full range of products and production of Usibor®1500 and Ductibor 500®
■ GONVVAMA downstream service solutions, including LWB, ablation and door ring technology
Door ring technology was the focus of attention. In exhibition area, a door ring sample applied on Chrysler Pacifica illustrated implementation of this technology and relevant keynote speech also introduced the specialties of door ring.
At Beijing event, Jiao Guohua, secretary of the party committee and COO of VAMA, addressed the welcome speech and noted that “We look forward to strengthening the interactions with customers and seeking hand in hand relationship with Beijing automotive industry to realize weight reduction and improve car safety in order to build a brilliant auto life in the future together.”
Pedro Raiser, director of sales and customer technical support of VAMA, stated in his welcome speech for Shanghai event that VAMA would share the latest products, technologies and solutions with Chinese auto industry to face the multiple challenges in terms of weight reduction, cutting emission and safety improvement.
Jean Marc Butin, CEO of GONVVAMA, said that ArcelorMittal would provide the latest advanced automotive steel solutions to China through VAMA & GONVVAMA. He also welcomed customers to develop exchanges and cooperation with VAMA & GONVVAMA.
VAMA & GONVVAMA Roadshow will approach to other automotive industry clusters in China.
Changchun, the cradle of Chinese automotive industry, is also the place where the first press hardening production line in China starts to run.
Dating back to 10 years ago, the first press hardening production line went into operation in Changchun, ushering the press hardening market in China. A decade later, the one hundredth line will possibly locate in Changchun as well, witnessing the rapid development of the alive market.
On August 10th, VAMA&GONVVAMA along with AP&T staged the Press Hardening Technology and Material Cooperative Seminar to Changchun.
A variety of topics were presented in the seminar, such as the analysis of production facilities like multiple-layer furnace, the production of press hardening materials, the application of LWB technology on press hardening steel, the door ring concept and the future tendency of the press hardening technology. This seminar introduced not only practical solutions to technological problems but also innovations of new applications and ideas.
Over 140 representatives from local OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers such as FAW-VW, FAW Group, FAW-CAR, Bentler, COSMA, Gestemp and Fufeng, participated in this seminar.
“A hundred press hardening lines represent an annual production capacity of 200 million components with a weight reduction of over 400,000 tons. The weight reduction will decrease fuel consumption and limit car emissions, helping bring back green environment. Additionally, vehicles will become safer than before.” Li Fang, Head of CTS from VAMA stated in the beginning of the seminar.
Jurgen Cobbaut, CTO of VAMA; Li Fang and Yang Zheng, head of VAMA CTS; Ma Jieli, ArcelorMittal global R&D engineer and Yin Qingdong, GONVVAMA CTO, separately introduced the development of press hardening steel products and solutions, ArcelorMittal lightweight automotive steel solutions, services and networks of GONVVAMA and technological advantages as well as safety of the Door Ring concept.
On 27th to 28th of June, over 150 experts and professionals joined the China Lightweight Vehicle Summit 2016 in Shanghai, sharing their research and exploration in terms of industry policies, AHSS/VHSS, new materials and new technique as well as the prospect of lightweight vehicle and application of lightweight technology on new energy vehicles.
As a lightweight automotive steel solution provider, VAMA participated in this event together with GONVVAMA, the downstream service network, bringing new materials, new techniques and new concepts.
Mr. Yang Zheng, VAMA head of CTS, gave a keynote speech about the company, development of Usibor 1500 & Ductibor 500 and technical solutions of hot stamping steel.
Mr. Yannick Yin, CTO of GONVVAMA, promoted the concept and application of Door Ring by introducing the advantages of cost, weight saving and crash management. Besides, the laser welded blanks of coated hot stamping steel also attracted attention from the audience.
The door ring sample applied on Chrysler Pacific car model
The Door Ring is created on the basis of hot stamping steel and the laser welded blank technology, which has been applied on two car models in North American market, bringing a significant advantage on crash management.
The video below illustrates IIHS small overlap test of a car model with door ring. The door area can be seen not deformed and the door is still able to be opened after the crash.
On the afternoon of June 1st, led by Governor Jan Briers, a six-people government delegation of East Flanders Province, Belgium paid a visit to VAMA.
East Flanders is located in the west of Belgium, with a population of about 1.5 million and an area of 2,991 square kilometers. The capital is Ghent, an important economic city of Belgium where many international business giants such as ArcelorMittal and Volvo have established factories there.
VAMA CTO Jurgen Cobbaut, CAO Eduardo Brito and CMO Babs Verhoosel met with the delegation, introducing the background profile and the development of VAMA.
Jan Briers (middle), the Gonvernor of East Flanders met with VAMA
After the meeting, the delegation made a visit to VAMA factory. During the visit, VAMA CTO Jurgen Cobbaut introduced the series of advanced facilities and equipment of VAMA as well as explained the questions raised by the delegation. The delegation praised VAMA‘s achievements as an example of the international cooperative development.
On this visit to Hunan, the delegation officially met with Mr. Chen Xiangqun, the executive deputy governor of Hunan provincial government and signed the agreement of intent of the interprovincial amity relationship. In the future, East Flanders and Hunan will enhance the economic and trade contact as well as cooperative communications.
On the afternoon of 21st April, the first VAMA Management Development Training (MDT) successfully finished the 6-month course. VAMA CEO Mr. Fernando Teixeira and CTO Mr. Jurgen Cobbaut attended the commencement, summarizing the MDT program and awarding the outstanding trainees with certificates and souvenirs.
The first VAMA MDT was initiated in October of 2015, lasting 6 months. 90 mid-level managers and onsite headmen from COO\CTO\CMO\CAO\CFO departments were invited to participate, with the guidance of tutors from Krauthammer, an international professional training institution.
A diversity of training methods were implemented in the MDT. 90 trainees were divided into 6 groups to have keynote lectures, seminars, role play simulations and presentations, accomplishing a training volume of 540 man days. 6 study modules have been integrated into the training and 40 work projects have been initiated according to the training.
After 6 months of study and tests, from 29th to 31st of March 2016, all the trainees reported their projects to VAMA senior management. 2 tutors from Krauthammer and 16 VAMA managers evaluated the performance of each group and eventually 5 groups were awarded for their outstanding achievements.
On the commencement, 5 awarded trainee Zhou Huanneng, Zhong Zhen, He Jinlei, Liu Jianhui and Chen Ya gave presentations to the leaders and all other trainees to share their accomplishments and gains. VAMA CEO Mr. Fernando Teixeira appreciated the HR department for organizing this program and summarized that:
“VAMA is positioned to manufacture the first class products and the cultivation of talents is part of the company’s long term strategy. MDT is a good start and VAMA will invest more resources, through appropriate methods, to train more qualified managers in order to establish a customer orientated managerial culture."
The Management Development Training (MDT) is initiated by VAMA HR department with the purpose of enhancing the managerial abilities of onsite headmen or junior/middle level managers, to improve their ownership and leadership efficiently.
The training includes 6 study modules:
■ Project Management
■ Problem Solving
■ Action Planning
■ Authorization and Control
■ Conflict Management