Table of contents:
- Picture gallery
- Luxury sports cars demonstrate skills
- Giampaolo Dallara's career
- A hidden champion in the sports and racing car sector
- Dallara Automobili is versatile
- The work at Dallara is characterized by speed
- How a development loop works
- Smart engineering day
- Lenovo technology in use at Dallara
Video: With Fast Computers To Fast Cars
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-06-05 00:21
The contrast is remarkable when you look at the Italian racing car manufacturer Dallara, which - embedded in the wild romanticism of Emilia Romagna between medieval towns, churches and monasteries - is modern and aerodynamic. A shimmering blue racing car stands in front of the building, the Dallara Academy, and amazes visitors. It is the Dallara Stradale, the first street-legal vehicle from Dallara Automobili.
Photo gallery with 22 pictures
Luxury sports cars demonstrate skills
It was presented on November 16, 2017, the 81st birthday of company founder Giampaolo Dallara. The sports car is available in three body styles - as a coupé, as a roadster and as a variant without doors and windows - at prices from 184,450 euros and limited to 600 pieces. The sports car is built in Varano de 'Melegari, Italy, the home of Giampaolo Dallara. Road vehicles are not really the specialty of the company and so the car should mainly show the competencies of the company, which was originally mainly a racing car stable: lightweight construction, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics.
Giampaolo Dallara's career
The company was founded in 1972 by aviation engineer Giampaolo Dallara. At first, he tried with various vehicle manufacturers to realize his dream of developing a racing car. The list of his employers reads like the who's who of the Italian sports and racing car manufacturers:
- 1959: Giampaolo Dallara, fresh from the university, starts at Ferrari.
- 1961: Giampaolo Dallara changes to Maserati.
- 1963: Giampaolo Dallara begins for Lamborghini, at that time still specializing in tractors. There he was supposed to develop an engine for Formula 1, which he also succeeded in doing. He also designed a revolutionary sports car with holes in the chassis for less weight and a transaxial rear motor.
- 1969: He works for De Tamaso and is finally entrusted with the development of a racing car, unfortunately the company goes bankrupt.
- 1970: Giampaolo Dallara independently develops the VDM.
- 1972: Giampaolo Dallara founds his company Dallara Automobili.
A hidden champion in the sports and racing car sector
Dallara develops, designs and produces chassis for numerous racing classes. In Formula 3, the Indy Car Series, the GP3 series, the Formula V8 3.5 and Formula E, Dallara chassis are used almost exclusively; in Formula 1, on the other hand, Dallara has so far not achieved a breakthrough despite several attempts. The company has now grown to more than 700 employees and has several manufacturing facilities. The fact that the name Dallara is not immediately known to everyone is due to the company's strategy - business to business. Numerous well-known sports car manufacturers work together with Dallara, few of whom can be spoken of. Customers include Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti.
Dallara Automobili is versatile
Dallara generates 60% of its sales from racing, 40% come from engineering. Because, for example, Dallara also develops lightweight hexapods. In this way, according to Dr. Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara since 2007, fully exploits his core competencies that have developed over the years: "We sell what we know". And this is:
- Lightweight: The chassis are all made of CFRP. The material is bought, but the layers are made by the engineers at Dallara themselves in the DARC (Dallara Advanced Composite Research Center.
- Aerodynamics: CFD software and our own wind tunnel are used for the development.
- Vehicle dynamics : In the specially developed driving simulator, the various models of the simulations are combined to form a real-time simulation.
The work at Dallara is characterized by speed
At the moment, working at Dallara is mainly characterized by one thing - speed. "We are currently in a very complex transition, not because it is so complex, but because it is so fast: Speed changes the way we work," explains Dr. Andrea Pontremoli. Simulations are an essential building block to keep up with this speed. Giampaolo Dallara explains: "Only through simulation can Dallara make mistakes without going bankrupt right away." It used to be unthinkable: "There were times when we could have run a simulation and expected the result in about 300 years," says Dr. Andrea Pontremoli with a smile. Thanks to technological progress and supercomputing, Dallara currently processes 1.3 trillion cells in two hours. At Dallara, HPC is used at various points in the development loop.
How a development loop works
- Chassis development begins with the concept and the requirements that result from the regulations. This is followed by the lightweight construction of the chassis made of CFRP. The fact that Dallara processes the material itself becomes clear during the tour at the latest when you look at the vacuum chambers, the ovens and also through the smell in the air. Chassis parts and corresponding shapes can be seen everywhere in the modern production hall in the DARC. Behind closed and alarm-secured doors is also the monstrous data center in the DARC: 1.3 trillion cells are processed here in two hours at a constant 20 degrees.
- After the development of the models comes the second step of the development loop with aerodynamics. On the one hand, CFD simulation with Ansys and Open Foam is used, on the other hand, the models are also put through their paces in the in-house wind tunnel. The advantage of the wind tunnel is that results are obtained in significantly less time, and 80 different positions are possible in 20 minutes. In contrast, the more time-consuming CFD simulation generates more extensive knowledge about the origin and causes of turbulence.
- This is followed by the supreme discipline of simulation: the driving simulator. When we enter the room on our tour, a driving simulation is running. The room is darkened so that the driver only sees the virtual race track in front of him. The simulator moves in a flash and at lightning speed. It was built in 2011 and is fed with all mathematical simulation models (based on solutions from Dassault Systèmes and open source software). This creates a real-time system in which drivers can test the racing car long before even a single part of it was built. The simulator accelerates to 2G. Valuable knowledge about the vehicle is obtained from the data obtained, also with the help of artificial intelligence.
- The project then goes into production and testing.
A development loop usually lasts 9 months, whereby, according to Dallara, it also happens in individual cases and under time pressure that a racing car is produced and used directly from the simulation.
Smart engineering day
The digitization of production requires a rethink in product development. The Smart Engineering Day offers decision support for the selection of the most suitable methods for the conception, design and development of smart products and machines.
Lenovo technology in use at Dallara
Working with a team of Lenovo Professional Services and two local technology partners, Dallara has implemented a next-scale cluster based on Intel Xeon processors and a software-defined storage solution that runs on Data Core SAN Symphony on Lenovo servers becomes. The company then implemented ten additional Lenovo servers as the basis for its VDI environment. The solutions at a glance:
- Hardware: Lenovo Next Scale M5 with Intel-Xeon processors, Lenovo Storage V3700 V2, Lenovo Rack Switch G8052
- Software: Lenovo X-Clarity, Data-Core SAN-Symphony, IBM Spectrum Scale, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
- Services: Lenovo Professional Services
* Monika Zwettler, editor for construction practice