No one seems to agree in NASCAR what’s more important – a great driver or a great car. As an auto racing fan, I personally think you need to have both. But in the end, I still think the most important factor is the team. The best racing teams have the full package: a great driver and car, but also committed owners, a talented crew, and of course diehard fans.
I’ve been to a number of NASCAR, Formula One and IndyCar races. And what I’ve noticed is, anything can happen, and just about anything does – from improbable last-to-first victories, to dramatic passes, to tense pitstops, to terrifying wrecks. But the main reason I like racing so much is the team dynamic. Racing is a very competitive sport, and one way teams try to gain an edge is by bringing as much technology to the race track as they can.
That’s where Siemens comes into the picture. We are very proud to help racing crews leverage technology to drive competitiveness by using our Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. That includes our newest racing team partner and motorsports icon, Team Penske.
Racing organizations like Team Penske compete at many different tracks. Week by week they develop engineering solutions for race cars uniquely built for the different tracks they’ll race each weekend. With constant competitive pressure, Team Penske pushes non-stop to create gains in performance and do it all within a very short time frame that leaves zero room for error.
Our software is a very valuable asset for this type of high-intensity environment. PLM enables engineers to simulate conditions on the track and to create what we call a digital twin of their race cars. They can then work off of this digital twin to test different engine configurations, create new parts and predict performance in real time.
Racing teams using our software also get to make decisions based on smart data. Every race car produces incredible amounts of data that, if analyzed, can yield insights leading to better designs and a higher level of performance. PLM organizes car data and makes it accessible to everyone on the team. Crew members can then quickly analyze thousands of data streams to speed up the creation and testing of new design concepts.
That combination of having a digital twin and advanced data analytics can help teams refine design changes and transition to physical manufacturing processes within a few hours. Before they know it, they’re validating these results on the track.
So, while we typically say PLM improves speed to market, here what we’re improving is speed to raceway – and ultimately, a driver’s race-day speed and performance too.
In that way, Siemens is very proud to be part of the team. For me personally, having these partnerships makes the sport even more fun to follow and watch.
Published On: April 8th, 2018