The Honda Racing F1 Team will develop and manufacture its 2008 Formula One car with the help of IBM software and services.
In addition to delivering significant benefits to the business challenges faced by the Honda Racing F1 Team, the new system aligns the team to the worldwide strategy of its parent company, Honda Motor in Japan. This closer integration will maximise resource effectiveness across the group, reduce costs and speed time to market.
"Formula One is the pinnacle of the motorsports industry, where the ability to compress the development cycle of the car is critical," says David France, IT director at the Honda Racing F1 Team. "Being successful on the track requires a combination of highly skilled, innovative engineers, strong teamwork and the use of state-of-the-art technologies and materials.
"One of the keys to our success in adopting these new capabilities is IBM's overall project management capabilities and the levels of professionalism and industry expertise the IBM PLM and GBS teams have delivered."
The solution is based on Dassault Systèmes' CATIA and ENOVIA VPLM, with infrastructure support from IBM Product Lifecycle Management solutions, including WebSphere Application Server and IBM Rational Rose Data Modeler. Together, these offerings enable the integration of all elements of the design and production process while rapidly adapting the applications to the customer's specific requirements.
Over the last year, a team of IBM project management and technical services specialists worked together with the Honda Racing F1 team to assess and evaluate the company's requirements before implementing the solution.
IBM middleware solutions and expertise allow the Honda Racing Formula 1 Team to move to new levels of productivity. The ability to realise the complete vehicle in a virtual environment supports the highly collaborative processes necessary to remain competitive in the fast-moving sport of Formula One.
Speed of reaction is critical to ensure that new innovations reach the track quickly and support the rapid implementation of design changes imposed by the evolution of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) regulations.
The solution also includes Geometric Solutions' xPDM gateway to integrate ENOVIA VPLM with legacy Teamcenter PDM environments, in the process enabling the Honda Racing F1 Team to rapidly replace their existing systems with minimal disruption to their business processes.
"The Honda Racing F1 Team is a great example of the benefits that customers can achieve by upgrading their systems and implementing the right software and services solutions," says Dip Patel, IBM PLM Business Executive. "In this case, the many technical challenges in the motorsports environment are being addressed by a combination of IBM expertise and middleware as well as software from Dassault Systèmes and Geometric Solutions to maximise their effectiveness."
Since signing the agreement, the Honda Racing F1 Team is now deploying design and engineering capabilities, which will be followed rapidly by a full manufacturing production build and rollout this year.