MBSE applies everywhere, even Formula 1

by | Oct 27, 2022

Harnessing constant iteration

To many, Formula 1 is seen as the peak of automotive innovation, and it is hard to argue with that descriptor. The sport is often the first to employ technologies in design, production, and more. The entire sport is built on eking a few more percentage points out of every system through better airfoils, better energy transfer, and better braking performance. But it is not just a sport of year-over-year improvements, it requires a new design with high frequency. And it might even be a complete overhaul, as was seen with the technical requirements published before the 2022 season. The teams need to be able to iterate as quickly as possible to get a car ready for each season and even tweak the cars between events to account for track conditions, weather, and even driver preference. MBSE coordinates the many different engineering groups to prevent backups and redesigns from poor communication of design requirements.

Low volumes are still complex

It might not be the most accurate description to say that an F1 car is a product, its not as if they are sold in any volume. They might even be considered continuously evolved prototypes, but that does not remove the complexity of manufacturing and logistics. In some cases the low volume makes the lifecycle of an F1 car more complex. One of a kind designs need to be manufactured, and many manufacturing processes are eared towards high volume production. This makes production extremely expensive, with no efficiencies of scale. It also pushes teams towards the innovative technologies like additive manufacturing, whose eccentricities need to be understood be designers and manufacturers to get the right component at the end – remanufacturing takes time, which comes at a high cost. There is also the problem of logistics. How do the parts get from manufacturing to the track? Are the right revisions being installed to meet the most current race requirements? Is a complete set of parts being set to the right region of a race series? Tracking all of the information is made exceedingly easier with digital and connected tools.

The reasons for MBSE are many

Model-based systems engineering provides so many different advantages to the development cycles of F1 teams, that it could be a whole book. But they are not the only business that can take advantage of the business accelerating tools within an MBSE methodology and digital transformation. To learn more about how Red Bull Racing is deploying these techniques, Engineering.com has a great article on the subject. But if you brought in on the lure of F1 and work in a very different industry, you might want to check out the topic page on MBSE from Siemens Digital Industries Software. I had to completely skip their innovative use of simulation that was pre-empted by the regulatory changes for the 2022 season.

Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing and electronics design meet tomorrow. Xcelerator, the comprehensive and integrated portfolio of software and services from Siemens Digital Industries Software, helps companies of all sizes create and leverage a comprehensive digital twin that provides organizations with new insights, opportunities and levels of automation to drive innovation.

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