Jul 8, 2011

Newman/Haas Racing renews their partnership with CATI for SolidWorks software

Newman/Haas Racing has renewed their partnership with CATI for SolidWorks software, support, and services. “For many years we have been using SolidWorks for all of our design work,” said Brian Lisles, general manager of Newman/Haas Racing, “It has proved to be more than a match for all of the design tasks we have undertaken in developing our Indy cars. In addition, as a small company, we rely on CATI to train our SolidWorks users when and as needed. Whenever we need to train a new employee or increase our SolidWorks expertise, the ready access to the CATI team and training classes are a big help to make sure we stay productive.”

Rich Werneth, president of CATI , states, “Our long standing relationship with the Newman/Haas Racing organization has been very positive. It is clear they value investing in both smart people and innovative technology to win more races.”

The ease of use and integration of the SolidWorks CAD system helps Newman/Haas Racing make rapid progress with the development of their Indy cars.

A typical example was the process for the design, development, and manufacture of the front suspension used at the Indy 500 in 2010. SolidWorks was used throughout the entire process from the initial conceptualization, through the design and manufacture of prototype parts for wind tunnel testing, to the final design for the production parts to be used on the car at the Indy 500.

The process started with the creation in SolidWorks of the entire suspension assembly, including the wheel & tire, brakes, suspension kingpost assemble, steering arms, wishbones, tierod, and pullrod. Once this was done the aerodynamicist then superimposed his test requirements onto the model, including articulation of the suspension through its entire envelope to ensure the proposed test parts did not interfere with one another or any other part of the car. The test pieces were then formed by rapid prototype process directly from the solid models in SolidWorks.

The test pieces, which included several alternate aerodynamic solutions were then taken to the wind tunnel and evaluated against the previous standard suspension. After a series of wind tunnel test runs, the best solution was selected.

The aerodynamicist passed his chosen selection back to the design office who then took the solid models used for the wind tunnel test and using SolidWorks turned them into production drawings for all of the new suspension parts. The drawings were e-mailed to the various suppliers for manufacture of the parts.

“Having SolidWorks as a single solution to our engineering design and development process saves us a lot of time and is very cost effective,” said Craig Hampson, chief engineer of Newman/Haas Racing. “The option to rapid prototype directly from the SolidWorks models, plus the ability to use the same parametric models for aerodynamic test parts as well as the full scale car parts, definitely saves us time; and time is one commodity we cannot buy.”