CAD and PLM from PTC puts Cupra vehicle development in fast lane

PTC technology has helped Cupra, a Spanish automotive brand with a focus in racing, build a 100% electric race car.

Cupra has been working with the IoT specialist for more than two decades and continues to invest heavily in embracing the full functionality of PTC’s Creo (CAD) and Windchill PLM solutions.

This approach is translating into improved performance across 70 races last year and, importantly, is providing a production blueprint to support the firm’s electrification strategy and the development of its Extreme E and FIA ETCR.

“We started using PTC solutions in 1998; it was groundbreaking then and continues to be today,” explained Jaume Tarroja, head of full vehicle design at Cupra Racing.

“It changed the way we design. We increased our efficiency and changes were easier to implement. It also reduced dramatically the parts development and lead times and increased their quality.

“We used to design the components in 2D and then they were sent to be manufactured – with the consequent errors that could occur. Now we can view the car in 3D with all the components assembled. In fact, we can visualise the whole car on the computer screen.”

He continued: “We can modify the car without changing its design and within a full stable environment. This has been a huge step forward for us.”

The Cupra Racing Team, which also uses PTC’s PLM Windchill solution as its main information management system, has taken full advantage of Creo software, starting with top-down design providing a skeleton model to define the general structure of the vehicles.

Engineers can now design and assemble components with the additional benefit that, if a redesign or variation of the skeleton model takes places, these changes are automatically implemented to all components. 

Other benefits of the PTC technology include Finite element parts simulation (allows the engineer to simulate the stress on the components in a real-world environment), streamlining the creation of metal components and now being able to simulate the piping and cabling so they know that everything works well at the first attempt.

All these design improvements have helped Cupra Racing achieve lighter parts, better results and economic savings - all whilst achieving higher performance from its vehicles.

“The Cupra Racing roadmap includes new PTC Creo features that will increase its competitiveness. New modules to be implemented include IA-controlled generative design, optimised design for additive manufacturing, and behavioral modelling,” added Paul Haimes, vice president of Solutions Consulting at PTC.

“Our CAD capabilities offers the client unmatched stability and precision levels when it comes to mechanical components.”

Cupra’s Jaume Tarroja continued: “In the racing world, you have to improve the car you made the previous year. There is a need for constant improvement with the dual aim of reducing manufacturing costs.

"We have always seen that PTC design tools have evolved along with the industry, which has increased our possibilities for improvement. For example, the time to market of a new vehicle can be reduced by more than 20%.’

He concluded: “At the same time, access to the latest CAD and PLM solutions have helped decrease the weight of the components and achieve part cost reduction of about 15% - thanks in part to the superior sheet-metal capabilities in Creo.”

PTC
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