Shaped for Speed

A critical project that Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS) has worked on, the “Car of Tomorrow” effort with NASCAR, has changed everything for the company. NASCAR invested heavily in the “Car of Tomorrow” to future-proof the sport for decades to come.

A primary focus of the project is to emphasise safety while providing the speed and competitive racing that fans love. An area in which BMRS was able to make significant engineering headway was the location and routing of oil lines. At the time, essentially all NASCAR teams had their oil lines running through the interior of the car, in and around the driver. Officials mandated that oil lines be routed under the car, but this proved to be no easy task.

Routing an oil line in and around a racing engine is challenging. The tolerances are extremely tight, and simply finding room for the oil line often is very difficult. In addition, the traditional means of getting an oil line fitted – typically hand bending the component in the race team’s work area – provides very little part-to -part consistency. In many ways, fabricating these systems calls for a triumph of skill, experience and patient fitting around immovable components in the race car. While a true test of craftsmanship, this methodology is challenging for an organisation that needs to build multiple race cars on a tight time schedule with redundant parts so repairs can be made rapidly in the field. As clients approached BMRS about how to address this challenge, the company sensed an opportunity. As a result, owners invested in a sophisticated computer-aided tube shaping system for their shop floor.

But BRMS faced a bigger challenge than just bending tubes. The company required a fast, accurate way to obtain engineering drawings of the lines so they could be easily entered into the tube bending systems’ operating platform. That way, BMRS could ensure the components were accurate and repeatable over time — enabling the company to meet customer needs again and again. A portable scanning tool was needed to provide the speed and confidence required.

With the help of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, BMRS selected a ROMER 75 Absolute Arm TubeShaper system. This solution, developed to meet the needs of a modern tube shaping operation, is unique because it combines a portable coordinate measurement machine with non-contact tube probes and purpose-built TubeShaper software. The purpose-built arm and software combination helps accelerate the measurement and inspection process, requiring a minimum of user intervention.

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