A Formula 1 race begins long before the cars reach the starting grid.
“The first race is at the factory – it’s a race backstage that nobody sees,” says Ian Goddard, head of Technical Partnerships at Renault
In this extremely fast-paced world, parts are often needed with only weeks or days for design and manufacturing.
“Even when the freight leaves to go to a race, the research and development machine continues to produce innovation,” Goddard explains. “It’s not unusual for the last person who travels to a race event to carry several suitcases of extra luggage.”
To remain competitive with such short lead times, Renault
“Effectively, if you manage to make the process shorter and more efficient, it adds competitiveness to the operations because you are freeing engineering, design, and manufacturing time that can be reinvested in more innovation,” says Mick Bennett, the team’s computer-aided design (CAD)/product data management (PDM) manager.
Renault partner Elysium, a Japanese company, develops interoperability solutions for digital design and product lifecycle management markets. Its tools help Renault
In F1’s compressed development cycles, engineers need to quickly and reliably convert data between various CAD and CAE formats. Built-in
Patrick Sergent, Elysium’s Europe engagement lead, makes a twice-yearly trip from Elysium’s European headquarters in Paris, France, to meet with Renault
“We want to stay very close to them and make sure they are using our tools as efficiently as possible,” Sergent says. “Renault
Elysium started working with Renault
“The first component to be translated to CATIA was a complete gearbox, but the engineers were spending so much time having problems with
Throughout its development cycle, from concept to production, Renault
At the aerodynamics concept stage, CADdoctor sends data to external partners in industry-standard codes, such as IGES, STEP, or Parasolid.
“In the aerodynamics and the wind-tunnel design departments, we use the software for visualization of complex geometries and refine or clean up the models. There can be some very advanced conceptual surfaces in this area so the contribution to data quality is very valuable,” Bennett explains.
Once in the full-size design environment, models move back and forth between CAD and finite element analysis (FEA). File sharing can be complicated as the engineering team’s stress analysts use a variety of tools – Abaqus, Patran, Nastran, a range of Altair tools, and others.
“The choice is based on the analyst’s experience and the requirements of the particular case. If we need linear, nonlinear, composite, or metallic analysis, we’ve got particular applications suited to each,” Bennett says. “CADdoctor supports this process by providing a reliable, efficient, and trouble-free mechanism to transfer the data between the relevant formats.”
Team engineers also use CADdoctor to simplify parts and remove selected features so they can more easily load a complex assembly into FEA for meshing and analysis.
In the design and manufacturing process, it is also useful to convert models between CAD versions, effectively downgrading models where features such as filter radii, or the tangencies of surfaces might not translate properly.
“We are currently working with Elysium to implement an automated export process to allow our CAM users to easily transfer CAD data to new machine tool controllers for NC programming. This will exploit (Elysium’s) Asfalis tools that complement the interactive CADdoctor software,” Bennett adds.
“There is also a fast-growing market for CAD migration where Elysium is very active. We provide unique solutions that help many large and smaller companies to preserve the full design intent for future engineering change orders (ECOs) and reduce the amount of manual re-mastering.”
“In an industry where performance improvements are typically measured in fractions of a second, the substantial time-savings and improved reliability that CADdoctor provides throughout our processes free up our engineers’ time to carry out more design iterations and deliver more improvements to the track,” Bennett says.Dassault Systèmes
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