DMG/Mori Seiki invited me to visited Andretti Autosport in Indianapolis. Here’s a slideshow of some of the neat machining- and racing-related things I saw there.
Executive Editor, Modern Machine Shop
Andretti Autosport has three DMG/Mori Seiki machines in its clean Indianapolis facility to produce small batches of metal and carbon-fiber race car components.
A sign in the race shop shows the team’s various technology sponsors.
Andretti Autosport certainly has racked up the wins over the years.
Here’s the team’s DMG Eco machine, one of two VMCs DMG/Mori Seiki provided.
IRL cars have a number of carbon-fiber parts. Some of these require milling and drilling. When this is performed, coolant is turned off and the operator uses a shop vac to collect the dust that is created during machining.
The team machines parts such as the ones shown at bottom-left for the six-speed gearboxes. It also uses its mills to lighten certain components.
A Speroni presetter from Big Kaiser is the latest equipment addition. It’s parked next to the team’s NV5000DCG vertical.
Here’s one of the components machined in that NV5000DCG.
The DuraTurn 2550MC has live tooling to allow milling and drilling of turned components the team creates.
The team doesn’t perform any machining on internal engine components. Per IRL rules, teams can’t even tune or alter engines in any way. Honda supplies identical, completed engines for each team to use. Plus, a Honda rep must be on hand whenever one is started…
…which is why the team retrofitted this old car model with an electric engine and uses it to practice pit stops. The car has a top speed of only 30 mph, but that’s good enough for practice.
The shop uses its 10-foot Faro Quantum arm (with both laser and touch probe) for a number of inspection operations. Here, the donated arm is being used in conjunction with torsion testing of car “tubs.”
Here’s a shot of that tub. For all the high-tech nature of IRL cars, it’s refreshing to see they still use Bondo for a smooth finish.
In-house spray booths are used to ensure a sleek paint finish.
Here’s an assembled gearbox/rear suspension assembly for an Andretti Autosport car being prepped for a “shake” test.
And here’s a jig the team uses to create its cars’ wishbones.
Luckily, yours truly got to meet the team’s boss, Michael Andretti.
Of course there is one of the team’s four team drivers I’d also like to meet at some point…
Finally, one can only assume this vise is used to hold parts for Danica’s car.
It’s nice when personal and professional interests cross paths. That happened to me last week when DMG/Mori Seiki invited me to visited Andretti Autosport in Indianapolis. DMG/Mori Seiki is one of the Indy Racing League team’s technology sponsors. The team provided three CNC machines—a DuraTurn 2550MC turning center, an NV5000DCG vertical and a DMC635 V Eco vertical—used by the team to create a variety of car components. (Other sponsors include Siemens, Big Kaiser, Faro, Lincoln Welders and Seco.)
The lead machinist at Andretti Autosport commented on how easy the transition was to the new machines in terms of quick installation and training that was provided. This was important because there was no overlap between the removal of the previous machines and installation of the new ones. Ellison Technologies played a key role in helping integrate these machines.
Prior to the event, the team hid all the “super-secret” stuff they didn’t want anyone to see, so we were allowed to take photos throughout the exceptionally clean facility. Here’s a slideshow of some of the neat machining- and racing-related things I saw there.