Oregon State University and Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg-Ravensburg Announce Global Formula Racing Collaboration
Followers of the Formula SAE and Formula Student series will witness a groundbreaking event in the 2010 racing season. The BA Racing Team from the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg-Ravensburg (DHBW-R), Germany, and the Beaver Racing Team from Oregon State University (OSU) have combined forces this year with the goal of competing as a single international entity.
This innovative global collaboration is the first of its kind in the history of both the US-based Formula SAE and EU-based Formula Student programs and is the result of three years of discussions and planning between team members and faculty from both universities. Previously, DHBW-R and OSU students have collaborated on designing certain aspects of one another’s vehicles. This year the collaboration has moved to whole new level: The two universities have designed an entire car together and are entering the US and EU competitions as one and the same team: Global Formula Racing (GFR).
During a series of meetings held in Germany in August 2009, GFR team leaders decided on the overall concept for the 2010 car: an ultra-lightweight vehicle with a full monocoque chassis and single cylinder engine. This concept has been realized over the last several months through trans-Atlantic collaborations on virtually all subsystem design tasks:
• A team of students from both universities designed the suspension.
• The CFRP (carbon fiber) monocoque chassis was designed and analyzed by DHBW-R students while OSU students concurrently developed the CFRP manufacturing processes and designed the chassis interfaces.
• Engine development was also split between the universities, with engine simulation studies done at DHBW-R and physical validation of those simulations at OSU.
• DHBW-R students did electronics design.
In any team design project, frequent communication between members is a critical ingredient of project success. Because GFR team members are based at two different sites, this communication must be conducted virtually—and the fact that these sites are nine time zones apart has presented unique logistical challenges. Project meetings occur frequently and are held at all hours of the day and night. Communication tools include a variety of virtual teaming technologies, including Skype, Google Documents, Catia V5 and Teamcenter Engineering.
The collaboratively developed GFR design is being used to manufacture two identical cars—one at the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, and the other at the DHBW-R campus in Friedrichshafen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Effective supply chain management is a significant challenge in this effort, the biggest concern being where to purchase and manufacture vehicle parts. For each manufactured part, the team has had to decide whether to (1) manufacture two parts in Germany and ship one to the US; (2) manufacture two parts in the US and ship one to Germany; or (3) manufacture one part in each location. Off-the-shelf purchases require similar decisions. In a trans-Atlantic design collaboration, manufacturing capabilities, shipping costs, taxes and tariffs, and lead times must all be considered.
Clearly, managing such a venture is a not simple task, and GFR has developed a unique project management structure to deal with its globally distributed design, manufacturing and supply chain management issues. Upper management consists of a steering committee comprising graduate student advisors and faculty members from each university. This committee is responsible for high-level decisions regarding team structure and management. Undergraduate student leaders at both locations manage design, manufacturing logistics, communication channels and daily team operations and advise team members. Sub-teams of students from both schools handle detailed design and manufacturing responsibilities.
The Global Formula Racing team is currently registered for five 2010 competitions: Formula SAE Michigan, Formula SAE California, Formula Student UK, Formula Student Germany and Formula Student Italy. Students from both universities will participate in each of these events. They will use the vehicle assembled at OSU for the US competitions and the one assembled at DHBW-R for the European competitions.
DHBW-R and OSU students are working effectively to design and build an excellent vehicle. By combining knowledge, experience, and resources of two top-10 teams from 2009, the Global Formula Racing team expects to be very competitive in the 2010 international events. GFR team members and supporters are excited to see what this season will bring. We look forward to seeing you on the track!
Go Go Monocoque!!
Formula SAE Design Judge Steve Fox coming to OSU
As part of SAE’s Industrial Lecture Program, Formula SAE judge Steve Fox will lecture at OSU on January 9th. President of Powertrain Technology Inc. and a veteran of 40 years in motor racing, Steve has actively contributed to the Formula SAE events since he started as a design judge in 1999. Steve is currently the Captain of the Design Event at FSAE-East(VIR) and Chief Design Judge at Formula Student Germany.
Steve will share his knowledge and experiences in motorsport covering technical topics such as vehicle dynamics and chassis design as well as project management topics.
Formula SAE: A Design Judge’s Perspective
Saturday January 9th, 10 AM
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
This lecture is open to all students and faculty. If you would like to attend please contact us.
Oregon State University
So finals are finished, the term is complete, and everyone is ready for a real break. That is, everyone except the team, which is powering through strong as ever into the manufacturing phase. While tensions run high with the cold weather and aggressive schedule, we can look forward to a driving car earlier in the year than ever before. With Formula SAE Michigan a full month ahead of Formula SAE California, the first event we attended last year, a driving car can’t come a moment too soon.
On another note, I finally found the time to look though the professional photos from Formula Student Germany (found here) and came across a great picture of the 2009 European crew:
Thanks to FSG photographer Klaus Bergmann for the photo.
As well as one of Benny posing on top of the DHBW Ravensburg car:
Thanks to FSG photographer Ingo Reichmann for the photo.
Beaver Open House
Did you see us at the Beaver Open House on Saturday. We had both Formula and Baja 09 in the beautiful Kelly Engineering Center atrium.
OSU SAE at 2009 SAE AeroTech Congress & Exhibition
Last week, OSU SAE had the unique opportunity to attend the 2009 SAE AeroTech Congress & Exhibition in Seattle, WA. Basically a trade show for the aerospace industry, with companies exhibiting everything from composite fasteners to NC coding software, AeroTech was a great opportunity to get the word out about OSU SAE to a large group of industry professionals.
Trevor and Jasmine with the 09 Formula and Baja cars.
The week started early Monday morning, when the team left Corvallis to pick up the 09 Formula car in Portland. The car had just returned from Germany, having completed its European tour. While the crate had arrived in Portland at 5 am, due to the large volume of paperwork required to release the car following shipment we were not able to take delivery until 3 pm.
Hoping to find a dry place to unpack the shipping crate and re-assemble the car, we continued toward Seattle, crate in tow. It wasn’t until late that night that we arrived in Seattle, having spent hours in stop and go traffic. The rest of the night would be spent assembling the car and preparing it for the next day’s show.
Tuesday and Thursday were spent showing the cars and talking to company representatives. Lots of cutting edge technologies were on display, from all-composite fasteners to metal deposition modeling to fastener installation guns which log number of tightened fasteners and torque specs. The rapid prototyping products available were particularly interesting, with certain plastic compounds sealing well enough to hold vacuum, and other laser deposition metallic parts approaching strength levels of some of the machinable alloys.
One company demonstrated their damper dynamometer technologies with a miniature shock dyno running an RC car shock. Another showed off its thermal analysis software and how it could be applied to everything from human ergonomics to vehicle brake rotors. A third was showcasing reconfigurable fixtures for everything from welding operations to vehicle assembly. Over the two days of the exhibition, we talked to more than 30 companies with products or services related to our project.
Thursday started early as well, with a 6 am visit to Barton Machine, sponsor of the 2009 and 2010 car uprights. While our tight schedule permitted only a short early-morning visit, it was really a pleasure to talk with the machinists and display the car which they had helped build. Part of what makes the Formula SAE program so valuable is that it allows engineering students to work closely with professional machinists and engineers in the field, enhancing the real-world application of the engineering skills learned in the classroom.
Following closely on the heels of the visit to Barton was a tour of PACCAR’s Technical facility in Burlington, WA. PACCAR makes a variety of large (semi) trucks, and so naturally interest students in our program.
Concluding the very long Thursday was Oregon SAE Student Night. Every year student teams from Oregon who compete in the SAE collegiate design series competitions come together for the Student Night to showcase their programs. This year the other teams included the University of Portland’s Baja SAE, AeroDesign and Supermileage teams, Portland State University’s Formula SAE team, and our own Baja team. With a technological presentation on Daimler Trucks’ new Innovation Truck, a guest speaker on how to get a job in the current economic climate and presentations by the student teams, the event was quite a success. It is always exciting to get to talk to other student teams going through similar projects, as many issues and challenges are universal to student engineering teams.
By Thursday night, the team had arrived back in Corvallis and the 2009 Formula car was back home after nearly four months abroad. In typical Formula SAE fashion, our focus now turns back to the new car, still in the design phase. Over the next month we will complete our designs and begin manufacturing into winter term. I’ll keep you posted on updates.
Student showcase at Homecoming
Did you see us at homecoming? OSU SAE was outside the football stadium on Saturday giving out candy and offering seats in the 08 Formula and 09 and 08 Baja cars.