Delphi’s SpaceForm Spin-Out Chooses TechTown as HeadquartersNovember 22, 2005
SpaceForm to commercialize innovative Delphi DRW welding technology
(DETROIT) November 14, 2005—Delphi Technologies Inc. (DTI), a Delphi Corp. subsidiary, has started a new welding company called SpaceForm, Inc. It will commercialize Delphi’s innovative Deformation Resistance Welding (DRW) technology within the mobile space-frame market. SpaceForm, Inc. is headquartered at TechTown, Detroit’s only research and technology park.
“New ventures spun out of corporations, based on technologies developed right here in our state, can expand Michigan’s high tech industry and propel our overall economy forward,” says TechTown Executive Director Howard Bell. “I am delighted that TechTown, created to support the innovations of our best and brightest researchers, is successfully fulfilling that role with SpaceForm.”
Funding comes through an award from the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor and from Automation Alley. TechTown collaborated with Delphi to identify the financial resources needed to launch SpaceForm. Delphi’s support of the project will be a DRW license and technology transfer and startup assistance for the new company.
Initially, SpaceForm will seek OEM and Tiered supplier development contracts to confirm, design, prototype and validate DRW for a wide range of mobile applications. The lab is expected to be ready for projects in the second quarter of 2006.
“Welding has not significantly changed in decades,” said Tim Forbes, director, new markets, commercialization and licensing for Delphi Corp. “Delphi changed that by developing DRW as a way to cut costs and improve material performance within its own plants. The key benefits of DRW go well beyond the innovative resistance weld itself. The ability to weld tubes and other configurations and dissimilar materials enables designers to create totally new structural approaches.”
The process creates atomically bonded joints through the heating and deformation of the mating surfaces. With DRW, tubes may be joined with other tubes, sheets or solids in a rapid and highly automated fashion. DRW forms near instantaneous, full strength welds. DRW also allows the use of dissimilar materials to optimize cost and performance. DRW can create leak-tight joints with uniform circumferential weld strength and can be applied to tubular structures and hydro forms used in space frames for automobiles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, bicycles, and wheelchairs.
Delphi’s most recent decision to spin-out SpaceForm is the latest step in DTI’s efforts to commercialize and license internally developed technologies and methods, which also have strong potential benefits for other companies, segments or new markets.
“The formation of SpaceForm is an example of Delphi's strategy to enable the spin-out of promising non-core technologies to venture capitalists, strategic partners, and entrepreneurs committed to building a successful start-up company,” said Jayson D. Pankin, new venture creation specialist at Delphi Technologies, Inc.
Delphi’s Energy and Chassis division, under the direction of Dr. Anthony Ananthanarayanan, the inventor of DRW, is furthering the development of DRW under a $1.3M grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provided through the Michigan Research Institute.
For more information on SpaceForm, visit its website at www.spaceformtech.com. For more information about Delphi and its subsidiaries, visit www.delphi.com.
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