The Value of CAE in Motorsports – Part 3

By SiemensPLM

“Winning is everything. The only ones who remember you when you come second are your wife and your dog.” – Damon Hill

In Part 1 of this series we explored CAE’s role in enabling race teams to push their boundaries and establish limits for safe performance. In Part 2, we resolved two distinct roles played by CAE technology – problem deterrence, and problem mitigation. Having established these value aspects of CAE in motorsports, in this third and final installment, I’d like to discuss strategies for value maximization.

In automobile racing, any concept of value is going to be inextricably linked in some fashion to speed  – and  I don’t just mean lightning-fast lap times. I am talking about a total culture of objective decision making and swift deployment, with the single, principal aim of delivering a rapid, first-time-right design.  Maximizing the value of CAE therefore, has to do with maximizing not only the speed of the analysis, but the speed of the innovation process that is driven and supported by the analysis. This requires tool-chain expediency in upstream and downstream domains in conjunction with the CAE process itself. Analysis momentum needs to be tempo-matched by the remaining elements of the product lifecycle – design, manufacturing, and collaboration. This is akin to keeping links in a chain not only attached, but having comparable strength.

Elements that support this notion of a unified PLM thread include robust associativity between design and analysis models, eliminating repetitive data translations and manual updating of analysis models as the design evolves. Direct geometry editing capabilities that allow everyone in the innovation chain to easily and transparently add value to the design is another key aspect. Competent, wholly-embedded multiphysics analysis capabilities, and the ability to automatically and seamlessly update and maintain part and assembly information, round out this matrix of essential elements.

I think the following video featuring VW Rally Racing, South Africa illustrates the value-maximizing potential of a synchronized, highly-integrated PLM solution in a competitive motorsports environment.

VW Rally Racing, South Africa

Maximizing the value of CAE in motorsports requires a balance of optimality across the entire PLM fabric, coupled with a high degree of inter-domain integration. The robustness of this integration is a major determinant of the ultimate speed of innovation.

I hope you enjoyed this mini-series.  Got feedback?  Don’t hold back.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at