NASCAR’s digital twin

NASCAR’s digital twin

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from TIME magazine on “One Nation Under Data” series on how Siemens technology is driving enterprise digital transformation and taking manufacturing to the next level. To read the full series, visit TIME


Siemens isn’t exactly a household name among the NASCAR faithful. But through a 20-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, the engineering powerhouse has helped NASCAR’s legendary racing team stay ahead of the pack, powered by technology that’s transforming the car manufacturing process and, with it, helping drive the future of the sport.

Located a few miles from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsports complex is a state-of-the-art car-and-engine manufacturing facility composed of a series of buildings where Siemens digital technologyand automated manufacturing techniques are employed in preparation for race day. Siemens Teamcenter software tools are used to access, manage and share all of the product information tied to the lifecycle of each vehicle, engine and individual component. 

“In a sport increasingly driven by data, Teamcenter is the information management engine Hendrick Motorsports relies on to accelerate their entire production process,” said Jim Wall, Director of powertrain, at Hendrick Motorsports. The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Manufacturing building on the Hendrick Motorsports campus houses 39 manufacturing cells or tooling stations where engine parts are cut from single blocks of metal. 

Inside each cell, robotic arms follow preprogrammed machine control commands generated by Siemens NX software, tooling the parts that will be used in 600-plus engine assemblies. As code sequences scroll down the computer screens, precision engine parts gradually take shape inside each cell. Using the NX platform, Hendrick Motorsports engineers can also run analyses based on previous modifications made during the lifecycle of a given engine component, apply that information to design changes being made to the current part, and serialize those changes to each new assembly in a matter of minutes.

As the technology driving NASCAR continues to evolve, so does the relationship between Siemens and Hendrick Motorsports. New applications of Teamcenter are already emerging to help expand the production process (like front-loading requirements data to facilitate a requirements-driven design process), while new collaborative tools have begun to extend the use of the NX platform beyond engineering functions, to accelerate rule-change implementations by controlling workflows, etc. Ultimately, though, the 20-year partnership between Siemens and Hendrick Motorsports is about winning.

“ Without our relationship with Siemens, their tools, and everything the company has done for us throughout the years,” said, Jim McKenzie, engineering applications manager, at Hendrick Motorsports.

Siemens offers unmatched clarity and vision to lead you through the challenges of digital transformation, helping you expand your business’ capability and performance to attain new levels of value and opportunity. Digital transformation means you will be able to do things that you have never done before—click here to learn how.


Published On: August 17th, 2018