Speed Is All-Important - And This Also Applies To Production - Part 1

Guest post by Mitsubishi Electric, Technical Partner of Sauber F1 Team

23 September 2016

Guest post by Mitsubishi Electric, Technical Partner of Sauber F1 Team.

Speed Is All-Important – And This Also Applies To Production – Part 1

Our two guest articles offer you a look behind the scenes. What does production involve for our Sauber F1 Team? Which challenges do the constructors face? With whom do they maintain close working relationships? And how can you become a Technical Partner of the race team?

Have you ever had a look at this website’s ‘Partner’ page? If not, do it right now. Nine companies are listed as Official and Technical Partners.

Parts of this 2016 model of a Sauber F1 Team steering wheel were manufactured by EDM
Parts of this 2016 model of a Sauber F1 Team steering wheel were manufactured by EDM

In other words, the Sauber F1 Team works with just a few exclusive partners when it comes to production. And there’s a very good reason for this: Formula One cars have to withstand extreme stressing and no component can be allowed to fail during the race. The race team is also responsible for ensuring the safety of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr and, of course, all the people around them. The Swiss Sauber F1 Team therefore manufactures the majority of the parts for its cars at its own facility in Hinwil near Zurich.

Axel Kruse, Operations Director of the Sauber F1 Team: “We want to produce on our premises all the components that, in the event of a defect, might result in harm to someone.”

The Chosen Few

How do you become part of this exclusive circle? Well, you have to offer something that enables Sauber to achieve maximum-precision results in the shortest time.

Alexander Simai, Mechanical Production/EDM: “You may get the design data for a component on a Friday evening, and it has to be out on the race circuit the next day. So you have to give everything you’ve got and be creative and quick at the same time.”

Mitsubishi Electric, the world market leader in EDM systems, offers just such a solution: its electrical discharge machining systems featuring exceptional accuracy and quickly. And they can additionally rectify potential faults automatically, saving time and permitting unmanned operation at night. Alexander Simai would otherwise probably have to work through the night before each race.

The ten-year partnership with Mitsubishi Electric has been highly successful: Of the total of roughly 80,000 workpieces that the Sauber F1 Team machines each year, 25,000 to 30,000 come off the EDMs from Mitsubishi Electric.

Production Manager Ernst Keller and Operations Director Axel Kruse with EDM-machined elements of the current Formula One vehicle
Production Manager Ernst Keller and Operations Director Axel Kruse with EDM-machined elements of the current Formula One vehicle

Everyone Gives Their Best

Both partners want to be the best in their respective field. Formula One races are often decided by hundredths of a second, it’s all or nothing, victory or defeat. To ensure the driver and the entire team can focus fully on the race, the technology must work reliably and continue to be refined.

The Technical Partners also want to continuously improve their performance and be one step ahead of the rest. Something the Sauber F1 Team relies on, as competition is fierce not just on the track, but also in the workshop. Points gained throughout the season go towards measuring the performance of both the drivers and mechanics.

Watch this video by Mitsubishi Electric and get even more insights from eroding guru Alexander, Production Manager Ernst and Operations Director Axel:


Related Photos

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This door leads to the Mitsubishi Electric zone in the Sauber F1 Team’s workshop
Alexander Simai, Mechanical Production/EDM
Alexander Simai, Mechanical Production/EDM

Read part 2 of this guest post with more details about how we use our eroding machines. Don’t miss!