Porsche Motorsport is bringing sophisticated components to the racing track with state-of-the-art CNC machines from DMG MORI as well as the DMG MORI process chain.
This year's double victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans was without doubt the preliminary highlight for the LMP1 team of Porsche Motorsport since the return to the World Endurance Championship 2014. This quick success is the result of long-standing experience and most of all consistent and continuous further development of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. While the racing team largely cooperates with suppliers here, the technology partnership with DMG MORI has long and lastingly influenced the internal possibilities in production as well. Because in order to produce components for the racing cars more flexibly and quickly, Porsche Motorsport has built its own and ultra-modern component production as new core competence. A DMU 65 monoBLOCK® and a CTX beta 800 form the machine basis. The production process is complemented by using the DMG MORI process chain: Constructing and programming with Siemens NX CAD/CAM, followed by a 1:1 simulation of the NC program in the DMG MORI Virtual Machine.
“Short response times and flexibility are deciding factors for success in the field of motor sports”, says Frank Jahn, responsible for the Porsche team for component production. For this reason, in parallel to the numerous cooperations with first class suppliers, an in-house production has also been set up. The challenge for this project has been enormous: “We had to invest here with regard to technology as well as personnel.”
The development of an in-house component production is of course also a direct result of the cooperation with DMG MORI. As premium sponsor and technology partner of the Porsche Team, the machine manufacturer provides comprehensive know-how in the field of CNC technology. As the machining centres and lathes have already been used for many years in sophisticated industries like automotive engineering, the aerospace industry as well as – not least – motor sports, DMG MORI is very familiar with the high expectations. Usually, it is highly complex components that need to be available within the shortest possible time and with the highest quality.
With a CTX beta 800 and a DMU 65 monoBLOCK®, Porsche Motorsport is optimally equipped to resolve any production tasks quickly and reliably. “The combination of the versatile CTX beta 800 – it is equipped amongst others with a Y-axis and an oil mist circuit breaker – and the 5-axis DMU 65 monoBLOCK® allows us complete freedom with regard to production”, underlines the operator. The work areas are sufficiently big for the respective components and the performance of both machines impresses in the area of speed as well as on quality level.
One highlight of component production is the DMG MORI process chain. It includes constructing and programming with Siemens NX CAD/CAM, followed by a 1:1 simulation of the NC program in the DMG MORI Virtual Machine. “The Siemens NX CAM provides the required programming strategy for even the most complex machining operation. And we check feasibility and ensure 100% collision safety with the virtual machine”, says Frank Jahn when explaining the investment in the software solution. He sees an analogy to the 24 hour race of Le Mans, where Porsche could recently celebrate an impressive double victory: “We often need to deliver top results in the form of high-quality components within 24 hours as well.” Which is why the complex components must be machined error-free at the first attempt.
Dittmar Lienert – he joined the team when component production was established and is responsible for programming and machining of the components – explains the advantage of the simulation software: “The DMG MORI Virtual Machine holds the same importance for us as the racing simulator for the pilots. It enables the 1:1 simulation of real machining on the PC – including machine kinematics and real control.” He experienced getting familiar with the powerful and thus complex software as being straightforward: “We got to where we wanted a lot faster.”
The demanding range of applications of the development department includes amongst others undercarriage parts and crankshaft housings, but also operational equipment which plays a big part in successful racing. Modifications of the numerous components always occur at short notice between the individual races. “Programming in NX CAM and simultaneous simulation of the programs in the DMG MORI Virtual Machine saves a tremendous amount of time, as errors in my programming work or even possible collisions are displayed instantly”, says Dittmar Lienert. This also renders the time-consuming running in of the programs on the machine superfluous.
Within the scope of complex component production, the CELOS® user interface on both machines also proves to be of great support. Frank Jahn refers to the work schedule here: “Based on photos, we record components as well as clamping devices in CELOS® and manage cut edges and tools.” This also facilitates the required seamless documentation in production. The conclusion is very clear: “With the DMG MORI process chain and CELOS®, we program, simulate and produce any complex parts for our racing cars – incredibly fast and error-free. This way we contribute to the head start our teams in Le Mans and elsewhere bring to the racing track.”