Our customers produce a wide variety of products using our product delivery platform, and across industries, speed to market is a primary concern. For FS Delft Racing, it’s not only about building a quality product on time, it’s truly about crossing the finish line first. In 2013, FS Delft Racing broke the world record for acceleration of an electric vehicle by going from 0-100 kmh in 2.15 seconds.
The team, based in the Netherlands at Delft University of Technology, is an elite group of engineering students who since 2000 have competed in the Formula Student competition with teams around the world. Participants build a single-seat racing car and are evaluated on everything from cost of the design to acceleration and fuel economy.
Jama became a sponsor of FS Delft Racing last year, when the team was looking for a way to better track and manage requirements and progress on its design. Ranked second worldwide in the Formula Student electric category, the team is back after an incredible year of innovation, and so is Jama as a sponsor.
The team achieved significant technical advancements last season with its introduction of smaller tires and centreless wheels (without spokes) as well as an ultra modern monocoque design — a construction technique whereby the outer shell carries all or a major part of the stresses — which was molded as a single piece of carbon fiber composite. Due in part to these design innovations, the team finished in first place at the prestigious FS UK event at Silverstone, and went on to have a solid 2014 season, finishing in the top three at each event.
The team designs a new car from the ground up each year, but this year it will have the advantage of reusing its existing IP in Jama for a head start. If 2014 was a huge leap in innovation, then 2015 is proving to be the year to refine and master.
Building on a Foundation of Success in 2015
We recently spoke with Team Manager Stijn Pennings and Chief Engineer Len van Moorsel to hear how the start of the 2015 season is going. The team recently had its design concept review, which helps define the interfaces and requirements, and ensures that what gets built adheres to competition regulations. Later this month they will undergo a rigorous requirements review before beginning to build the car.
At this point, the team is already working up to six days a week on the 2015 car. “The electronics department has been very, very busy, along with the rest of the team during the design phase,” says van Moorsel. The big commitment is worth it though, van Moorsel said, as team members get the opportunity to design, iterate and engineer on a team with mentorship from team alumni who are now working as professional engineers.
How will the 2015 design differ from 2014? “Last year, our design came leaps and bounds as far as innovation was concerned. But that came at a price; we weren’t able to test and refine elements of the car as thoroughly as we would have liked.” This year, says van Moorsel, “we’re looking to perfect our designs and improve on the progress we made.”
Among last year’s technical achievements was a revolutionary wheel design that contains the transmission, brake system and motor in each wheel. “A second iteration of the inner wheel concept from last year will appear in this year’s design. Our goal is to shave some excess weight off,” said Pennings.
The team is poised for another stellar season, but of course engineering at this level is not without its challenges. Making everything run smoother and weigh less is no small feat, but we at Jama look forward to seeing how this team of engineers tackles these challenges and we’ll be posting periodic updates throughout the season. You can also follow along with the team’s progress on Facebook and the team website.