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The software secrets of Wayne Taylor Racing's success

Wayne Taylor Racing team's Corvette Daytona Prototype was designed and developed with the assistance of NX software

 


The Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) team has enjoyed two podium finishes so far during the 2013 season of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with their Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP). The team believes its success is partly thanks to the NX software from Siemens PLM Software, which it uses in the development and maintenance of the car. The team has been using the software since the team’s inception in 2007.

To create a level playing field, professional auto racing organizations dictate that all teams comply with a formula for each car. In the Rolex Series, DP cars are developed in a tightly constrained environment. As a result, the races are a competition between the teams’ engineering and strategic performance, the cars’ capabilities, and of course, the skill of the drivers.

Siemens PLM Software’s tools provide a serious competitive advantage to teams such as WTR. With NX, the team can easily exchange electronic data with their suppliers – even if they use other computer-aided design (CAD) systems – because NX is built upon open standards that support efficient data exchange.

Brian Pillar, race engineer at WTR, explained, “Our team had used a chassis from a supplier that was entirely designed using NX and we have continued to use Siemens PLM Software’s products.”

“Not only do many racing teams use NX, it is practically a standard for automakers, so it’s very easy and convenient to send CAD data back and forth." Pillar continued, “Because NX is widely used in the racing world, we always ask our vendors about their ability to send us NX files for quick and easy reference.”

WTR has only two users right now: Pillar and his assistant engineer, Adam Banet. “As a small company, we barely scratch the surface of capabilities within the NX software and Siemens PLM Software’s product line,” Pillar said. “During the 2012 Dallara-Corvette DP conversion, NX allowed us to efficiently collaborate with larger motorsport organizations such as Dallara and Pratt & Miller.”


To prepare for the 2012 season, WTR needed to marry the new Corvette car body with the Dallara chassis, which wasn’t designed to fit the Corvette. Considerable design work was needed to fit the body and optimize the Corvette’s aerodynamic package for the Dallara chassis.


“There were a lot of modifications required to the steel frame/roll cage and other systems,” explained Pillar. “We relied heavily on our CAD software to communicate with Dallara for the chassis and Pratt & Miller Engineering for the Corvette body. It allowed us to collaborate with and act as a liaison between the two companies.”

In addition to the conversion to the new body, WTR uses NX in-house to design a wide range of components for various purposes. “We use NX to help us make things run more smoothly, such as the pit timing stand and car setup tools,” Banet said. “NX also helps us increase race car performance in the design of anti-roll bars and damper components, and gain a competitive advantage during pit stops by helping us design wheel gun sockets, a quick-change rear valance, and the new driver blower disconnect system.

“The majority of our in-house fabrication projects are sheet metal-based, which require shaping, folding, welding and riveting,” continued Banet. “These components can be aerodynamic devices, used for mounting electronics and accessories, ducting air, etc. Previously only a couple team members had the ‘craftsmanship’ to work from a drawing to create sheet metal components. Employing the flat pattern function from NX sheet metal software has enabled everyone to fabricate simple sheet metal components.”

WTR is also using NX CAE to help analyze parts in a pre-production, and the company plans to expand the use of NX in conjunction with computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

The company also plans to use Teamcenter software, also from Siemens PLM Software. Pillar said, “We currently generate vast amounts of data during tests and race weekends. Our ability to manage this data with the aid of Teamcenter instead of using Excel spreadsheets will give us important capabilities to improve search times and gain many other data efficiencies such as variants and options, where-used, versioning and more."

 

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