I am sure that many F1 fans would be put their dying to know which racing team has finally got an edge over the others or stuff however frankly speaking, I beg to differ. Afterall, imagine yourselves in a F1 car. Would you like to going around at nauseating corner speeds or worse so in a cramped cardboard box known as the cockpit of the F1 car. That aside, here are some tips that I got from a journal which says that there are numerous ways to build a F1 team however if one is really interested, then they can actually approach Toyota. Why Toyota of all the manufacturers? Because Toyota have quit racing however they still have all the equipments and also engines along with a skilled work force which is ready for hire. Here’s an insight into some of things that Toyota have incase you decide to build in your own F1 team. By the way, the cost of owning a F1 team stands at Rs 454 crores. Small money for people like Vijay Mallya.
Turning andCNC machines : For a F1 engine, there are about 24 5 axis machines which are CNC and are specially designed so that the blocks, cams, heads and also the sumps can fit in properly. Computer Numerically Controlled is the full form of CNC. The production of the same has automated so that it suits to even fractions of a millimeter. Twin machine which are turning in nature make components like the trackrods, suspension arms and also drive shafts while two other CNC composite finishing machines are used to create mould pieces out of carbon fibre. These are then left to bake in the autoclave ovens. The cost of this unit is Rs 101.60 crores.
Engine milling machines : When Toyota was an active participant in the Formula 1 engine stakes, they had commissioned over 200 units a year of the engine milling machines. A block of aluminium was to be placed in one of the milling machines and lo and behold, a engine block comes out of it after 8 hours. To this machine are attached 5 pallets and hence 5 separate jobs can be controlled via it at the same time. This increases the efficiency levels to a great extent. This unit costs Rs 15.3 crores.
Rapid Manufacturing Machines : The rapid manufacturing process by Toyota is one of the biggest across the world. There are 10 machines in there which can produce 2000 parts in a month. There are 3D CAD files in there which create parts by firing up one laser into a bed filled with epoxy resin. The laser fires once again above this bed once it hardens enough. Layer by Layer, models are formed. Parts can be created using this technique. Everything from a brake ducts to wind tunnel models can be created using this method. It costs in a cool Rs 33.38 crores.
Tool box : Toyota have built up one of the biggest tool boxes in its 10 years of manufacturing. Apparently 3 lots of paternoster lifts which can hold upto 1 lakh tools which are used in precision engineering for the CNC machines cost Rs 1.8 crores. Each of the 1 lakh tool costs anything between Rs 2,200 to Rs 11k. In this tool box, it will hardly take seconds to find this tools. The total cost of this tool box is Rs 30.5 crores.
Wind tunnel : Toyota has got 2 wind tunnel scale models which are of the 60 percent scale type and can achieve 70 meters per second. The first one was built in the year 2001 whereas the second one after 6 years in 2007. The latter can hold one car in its belly. To get a detailed picture of the airflow, both these tunnels utilize the laser technology to track particles. This costs a total of Rs 217.68 crores.
F1 simulator : Twin types of vehicle models, F1 or the road, are on the cards and are located in 6 hydraulic posts to mimic the braking, cornering movements and also the acceleration. The image of the track is displayed by 5 projectors on a 220 degree wraparound screen. A CFD modeling and direct link to the wind tunnel ensure that the one using this simulator can use it to launch a baseline design for the car before putting it out for a race. Its up and functional as of now. Pay Rs 2.8 lakhs and press the start button and its yours for the entire day. The entire cost of this F1 simulator is Rs 14.51 crores.
Full-car road simulator : This spindle of the vehicle provides control over lateral, vertical or even the longitudinal forces. It even checks for vehicle camber, drive/brake torque and also steer movement. There are also 4 actuators present, which can actually simulate downforce. The temperatures of the brakes of upto 900 degree Celsius is also simulated with the wheels covered with heaters around. The damper settings as also stiffness can be fine tuned with this tool. Its cost is Rs 13.06 crores.
Seven post rig : This system is an independently sprung rig which mimics the lateral G-forces as also the aerodynamic forces. The machine also mimics the immense loading to test and proof suspension with damping for efficiency and strength. Data from the Friday testing on the tracks by Toyota were sent back to their factory for further analysis. On the rig, a copy of same car used to be then run and after the overnight research, the new and improved suspension settings were sent to the team just before the race could commence. This rig costs Rs 5.8 crores or can even be rented out for only Rs 1.90 lakhs per day.
Autoclaves : The Autoclave ovens with 7 meter square curing platform cook carbon fiber pieces such as the front wings under high pressure at around 135 degree Celsius. This process, when done, takes about 6 hours to complete. One small unit plus two big ones mean that Toyota are willing to sell this unit for Rs 2.7 crores each unit.
Suspension and hydraulic testing rigs : This high performance testing lab of components can check out the hydraulic lines on each suspension part. One full rear corner testing rig that runs for the rear suspension not just through a simple axis but through different loads that can be put through a simulated lap of every circuit. A center of gravity rig calculates the weight distribution of the car, while another device test the strength of the nose. This costs Rs 94.8 lakhs.
Power steering rig : Some of the dynamic high performance rigs allow the real time simulation of a piece of track or road. Each rig has a calculated super lap that simulates the most extreme load cases from across an F1 season. Acceleration, G-forces, top speed and also braking with extreme kerbs and compression all are added to generate an artificial lap of around 90 seconds. To test the component wear, the entire GP distance is set for a 90 minutes drive. It costs Rs 69.15 lakhs.
Fuel Ignition Rig : This can test fuel nozzles for spray and their volume. It also helps in measuring the angle, spread and also the displacement of the fuel. For combustion, fuel droplet size is considered as very important. If the size is too big, then it is considered as inefficient. An amount of insufficient power is generated if the drop size is too small. The particle distribution can be shown by putting lasers through the injections. Rs 65.5 lakhs is the cost of this Rig.
Engine component test rigs : Cam rings, clutch development rigs, water and fuel system pumps, radiator wind tunnels and also the oil shaker or rather Rodeo rigs that can recreate any midcorner bump on any of the track in the world. There is also a KERS rig as Toyota have a keen eye on developing the usage of more and more electric vehicles. KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Regeneration System. This costs Rs 72.6 lakhs.
Engine dynamometer : Double doors use this dyno. These are located in an exclusion zone to contain any parts of the engine that fly out of the power plants should it blow up. Various engine functions are tested by the dyno. Some include exhaust configuration, longetivity, reliability and also the power and torque figures. It costs Rs 1.45 crores.
Gearbox test rig and transmission test systems : The transmission test system is used for bearings and coatings. Oil is heavy and hence it calculates the oil usage to save on the crucial weight factor. The gearbox can be run on this rig for the length of 4 GPs and the internals are inspected for wear as well. The rig moves and turns this unit in all the directions to observe the flow of oil around it. A motor at the back drives the gearbox while hydraulic arms simulate the suspension forces. Like some of the hotter F1 venues, the conditioned oil can actually mimic these conditions. It costs Rs 9.43 crores.
Well, these are some of the systems that you would require however the fact is that a F1 team cannot be handled by some one who earns in crores but rather some conglomerate who earns in millions and has a yearn to own one F1 team (read Vijay Mallya). As for me, I abstain from this kind of things. Not at all exciting thing. Not to forget the nausea accompanying the drive around.
Idea Courtesy : Autocar India.
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