Porsche Motorsport is bringing sophisticated components to the racing track with state-of-the-art CNC machines from DMG MORI as well as the DMG MORI process chain.

For Porsche a perfect season has come to an end: it took the overall victory at the 24 Hours in Le Mans, the Manufacturers’ World Championship title in the penultimate round in Shanghai, and was crowned the Drivers’ World Champions. Its success is the result of long-standing experience, and above all, the continuous development of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. While the team co-operates with numerous suppliers, its technology partnership with DMG MORI has had a long, lasting influence on internal production as well.

To produce components for cars more quickly and more flexibly, Porsche has built its own ultra-modern component production capability, with a DMU 65 monoBLOCK and a CTX beta 800 from DMG MORI as its machine basis, complemented by the DMG MORI process chain.

“Short response times and flexibility are deciding factors for success in motorsports”, says Frank Jahn, who is responsible for the team’s component production. For this reason, in-house production was also set up, the project presented enormous challenges: “We had to invest here with regard to technology as well as personnel.”

The development of in-house component production was also a direct result of the team’s co-operation with DMG MORI. As premium sponsor and technology partner of the Porsche team, the machine manufacturer provides comprehensive know-how in the field of CNC technology. As its machining centres and lathes have long been used in sophisticated industries like automotive and aerospace, as well as motorsports, DMG MORI is familiar with high expectations. Usually, highly complex components need to be available within the shortest possible time to the highest quality.

Proven machine tools and innovative software                                                                                                        

With a CTX beta 800 and a DMU 65 monoBLOCK, Porsche is optimally equipped to resolve production tasks quickly and reliably. The versatile CTX beta 800 is equipped with a Y-axis and an oil mist circuit breaker. According to Porsche, the combination of CTX beta 800 and the five-axis DMU 65 monoBLOCK allows the team complete freedom with regard to production. The work areas large enough for the respective components and the performance of both machines impresses in terms of speed and quality.

The production process is enhanced by the DMG MORI process chain. This entails constructing and programming with Siemens NX CAD/CAM, followed by a 1:1 simulation of the NC program in the DMG MORI Virtual Machine.

“Siemens NX CAM provides the required programming strategy for even the most complex machining operation. And we check feasibility and ensure 100% collision safety with the virtual machine,” says Jahn. He sees an analogy to the 24-hour race of Le Mans: “We often need to deliver top results in the form of high-quality components within 24 hours as well.” This is why the complex components must be machined error-free at the first attempt.

Dittmar Lienert joined the team when component production was established and is responsible for programming and machining the components. He explains the advantage of the simulation software: “The DMG MORI Virtual Machine holds the same importance for us as the racing simulator for the pilots. It enables the 1:1 simulation of real machining on the PC – including machine kinematics and real control.” The process of getting familiar with this powerful, complex software was also surprisingly straightforward: “We got to where we wanted a lot faster.”

The demanding range of applications required of the development department includes everything from undercarriage parts to crankshaft housings. It also includes operational equipment, which plays a big part in successful racing. Modifications of numerous components always occur at short notice between the individual races.

“Programming in NX CAM and simultaneous simulation of the programs in the DMG MORI Virtual Machine saves a tremendous amount of time, as errors in my programming work or even possible collisions are displayed instantly,” says Lienert. This also renders the time-consuming running in of the programs on the machine superfluous.

Within the scope of complex component production, the CELOS user interface on both machines also proves to be of great support. Jahn refers to the work schedule here: “Based on photos, we record components as well as clamping devices in CELOS and manage cut edges and tools.” This also facilitates the required seamless documentation in production.

The conclusion is very clear: “With the DMG MORI process chain and CELOS, we program, simulate and produce any complex parts for our racing cars – incredibly fast and error-free. This way we contribute to the head start our teams in Le Mans and elsewhere bring to the racing track.”