Ford Performance Racing’s cutting edge technology has been secured for another year after the V8 Supercar Championship series team re-signed with Product Lifecycle Management Australasia (PLMA).
The agreement will see FPR’s engineers continue to design using PLMA’s NX I-deas technology, which developed the team’s operations four years ago.
“Prior to us having NX I-deas, we didn’t have a 3D CAD package so any parts we designed were 2D,” said Design Engineer Andrew Neilson.
“Complex shapes needed to go out and be redesigned in 3D for manufacture so this software has absolutely allowed us to become more independent. We have all the conceptualizing, validating, designing and manufacturing tools in-house now.”
NX I-deas software is used to create engineering designs, from radiator end plates to wheel hubs, which are then passed to the team’s machine shop to be manufactured. The accuracy of the system means each car is identical, so no driver is ever compromised.
“Since we’ve been using NX I-deas, we’ve been able to design the car from the ground up,” said Andrew Neilson. “The guys manufacture to +/-1mm accuracy at the very most so all the parts are interchangeable between cars. We can test each part quickly with very short lead times whilst still having confidence they will work.”
NX I-deas, which has a market value in the tens of thousands of dollars, has also been vital in designing the new FG Falcon race car as Ford uses the same software.
“It’s strengthened our working relationship because we all talk the same language,” added Andrew Neilson.
PLMA markets, sells, implements and supports software technologies and related services that improve its customers' capabilities in fields ranging from defence and aerospace to education and plastics.
In return for the on-going provision of its software, including training, FPR will carry PLMA stickers on each of the team’s race cars, an association that has proved valuable to the company.
“Motorsport is a very prominent pinnacle of engineering,” said PLMA Director Dennis Colusso. “It’s natural for us to be involved and an association with one of the top V8 Supercar teams is the perfect showcase for our product.
“FPR's decision to continue with us endorses the strengths and capabilities of the NX I-deas system and its ability to integrate the design and manufacturing processes, which has been a real benefit to FPR. Hopefully this is the year that will see all our efforts come to fruition with a championship title,” added Dennis Colusso.