The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) conducted the 14th Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) seminar on May 13. Established in 2002, GDIS is the premier event for the latest trends and applications in automotive steel technologies. This year nearly 1,300 North American vehicle manufacturers, tier1 suppliers, equipment suppliers, university representatives, steel makers and reporters attended the seminar to learn about new steel designs including weight reduction, safety, repairability and manufacturing technologies.
Our keynote speaker, Ralph Gilles, head of design, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. reminisced about his passion for cars as a young boy. His first love was the Dodge Charger from the Dukes of Hazzard, which is when he decided that he wanted to design cars. One of the themes Gilles mentioned was exceptional styling made possible with steel. With today’s manufacturing limitations falling away, Gilles said that “we’re not only learning technology, but we’re pushing ourselves.” While showing us some cars of the future, you could see Gilles had inspired FCA designers to look beyond current technology and get excited for what was next to come. He ended the presentation by charging the audience “Please let’s work together and inspire an absolutely beautiful future.”
Gilles did a great job of setting the stage for an exciting, educational day. You can relive all of the excitement by checking out the various GDIS presentations here.
During the lunch break, SMDI President, Larry Kavanagh, presented Nissan Motor Co. with the Automotive Excellence Award for their innovative use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) to reduce mass in body-in-white structures while reducing manufacturing cost.
Paul Villemonte, senior materials engineer, accepted the award on behalf of the Nissan Technical Center, and his colleagues, Masahito Katsukura from Nissan Motor Co., Japan Materials AE Department and Takaaki Kondou from the Nissan Technical Center, Europe. Villemonte delivered the award-winning presentation, “1.2 Gigapascal (GPa) Tensile Strength High Formability, Conventionally Stamped Steel” at GDIS 2014.
One of the highlights of the seminar was the exhibit hall featuring vendors and vehicle displays. Showcasing vehicle skeletons (or the body-in-white as engineers call them) and cutaways, you really get an idea of how advanced high-strength steels are used in vehicles today. You can see how AHSS impact lightweighting and safety. Check out some of the vehicles that were on display in our new video:
Overall, GDIS 2015 was a great success and we couldn’t be more excited to see what 2016 brings. In case you missed any of the live updates from GDIS 2015, you can still catch them on Twitter at #GDIS2015 Tweets.
What inspired you from this year’s GDIS seminar?