Center for Industrial Services Has Role in Lightweight Specialty Frame


Leaders across the automotive engineering industry developed the frame together. A lead engineer from The Center, a representative of the MEP National Network, worked with software developer and trusted OEM consultant Detroit Engineered Products (DEP), with additional support from Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and the University of Tennessee, Center for Industrial Services Institute for Public Service for this project.

“The Center’s and DEP’s lead engineers received invaluable support from this team of experts,” said Gregg Peterson, Principle Materials Engineer, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. “Partnering with MEP centers and Manufacturing USA institutes was a new approach for our team and we’re thrilled with the final product. It’s a great example of the breakthrough innovation that can be achieved when working collaboratively.”

In response to requests for purchase, The Center is now pursuing investments to fund low-volume production of the frames, including tooling and testing. The inventive lightweight car frame requires no welding, so the parent material is not weakened during assembly and allows for thinner section material, reducing material cost. It is joined using structural adhesives and mechanical fasteners allowing the adhesive to bond 100 percent of the flange which spreads the loads over a larger area than a typical spot weld. Engineers use morphing software to allow the lightweight frame to fit virtually any body and length. This forward-looking engineering offers a great opportunity for innovation across numerous industries. Project leads are gauging interest outside the arena of car restoration.

“DEP was able to bring our deep expertise in software development, applying our patented ‘MeshWorks  8.0’ morphing software to the lightweight frame, allowing it to be more versatile and fit nearly any vehicle length and width,” said John Gelmisi, Director of Business Development, DEP. “We were proud to join leaders from Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and industry partners who applied advanced engineering to this project, including an innovative combination of materials and joint adhesives, inventing a product we feel is unmatched on the market today.”

To learn more about the lightweight aftermarket frames, visit:

SOURCE Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center

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