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New Swift Toyota Atlantic car went together perfectly on initial assembly - a company first.
Swift Engineering makes racing cars that consistently outperform the competition, both in terms of speed and ease of maintenance and repair. The speed comes from great aerodynamic and mechanical design and exacting weight and build specifications. The ease of maintenance and repair comes when a car assembles easily and has truly interchangeable repair and replacement parts, many of which change in configuration throughout the racing season.
Swift’s design and manufacturing expertise is brought to bear by using I-deas® NX Series software – initially to virtually design the car right the first time, using both 3D modeling and the many analysis tool available in NX, and, then to build the car and its continuously evolving development components using the same virtual design environment to assure perfect fit and expected performance.
Building a race car is characterized by tight, unrelenting deadlines and last-minute changes. “Often we must go from a napkin sketch to a new component, for thirty cars, on the track in less than 30 days,” explains Gary Holmes, Swift’s president. “During that time, we must also accommodate the various teams’ requirements and the fact that the race “happens on Sunday” without any margin for delay. Swift wanted a development platform that prevented fit problems and the resulting delays due to rework and redesign. It also needed a way to handle last-minute changes, even big ones, without missing delivery dates.
Swift replaced two incompatible design programs with a single integrated design system, NX from Siemens. Now, instead of creating part data in multiple formats and translating files to share information, all designers contribute to a unified digital definition of the car. The first test of this process came when Swift designed and built the car chosen by CART for the Toyota Atlantic series, the Swift 014.a. With NX, designers assembled this vehicle virtually, checking the digital model for interferences and ensuring proper fit as they worked. They simulated assembly and service procedures on-screen as well, to ensure that unexpected problems didn’t show up when the car was being built. Design data was also used downstream in applications such as mold design, rapid prototyping and analysis.
Representing the car with the NX solution eliminated errors caused by inaccuracies in data translation and enhanced collaboration among designers. Having everyone use the NX master model approach also gave Swift the ability to assemble the entire car on-screen, which brought many advantages. It eliminated building costly physical prototype models previously used for pre-fit checks. It also greatly accelerated the design cycle. Designers working on the Toyota Atlantic car were more productive than they had been previously. On the Toyota Atlantic program, five engineers did the work that eight had done on previous cars. Most importantly, the new NX-driven process essentially eliminated form and fit problems.
Keys To Success:
Client's Primary Business:
Swift Engineering Inc. provides precision automotive and aerospace products and engineering services.
San Clemente, California
"We need to be able to meet demanding design and manufacturing requirements, and deliver according to schedules that leave no time for clearance problems. Software from Siemens helps us eliminate delays by giving us a single digital representation that carries from start to finish. Of all the companies we work with, those who seem happiest with their development environments are those who use PLM software from Siemens."
Swift Engineering Inc.
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