Speed up manufacturing and machining lead times by 50 percent

Ten Kate Racing | Netherlands

Speed up manufacturing and machining lead times by 50 percent

Ten Kate Racing

Case Study

Motorcycle racing team uses PLM technology to improve parts – even during races

Ten Kate Racing

Solid Edge helps Ten Kate Racing quickly explore design options, share information and speed up manufacturing

Adrenalin-filled racing adventures

Netherlands-based Ten Kate Racing runs the Pata Honda World Championship team, transforming high-performance Honda motorcycles into finely tuned racing machines. The team has won eight World Supersport titles and one World Superbike title.

Running a competitive race team for the world’s largest and most successful motorcycle manufacturer requires dedicated attention to detail. Ten Kate Racing’s associates include experienced engine builders as well as experts specializing in data logging, suspensions and electronics.

During the 20-week racing season, 15 events take place around the world and Ten Kate Racing maintains a laser-like focus on optimal performance. “This is a top sport and our success is all about results,” explains Pieter Breddels, technical co-coordinator for Ten Kate Racing. “If we happen to have two or three poor results in a row, there is obviously more pressure on us because we have to explain to Honda why this is happening.”

For the design team, time is of the essence. While the winter is spent on developing a new motorcycle, development continues throughout the season. Components are often redesigned and tested in the short period between races. “Everything I design has to be finished yesterday,” says Jan van der Tol, designer and crew chief. To support such demanding timescales, Ten Kate Racing uses Solid Edge® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software.

No time for mistakes

Ten Kate Racing licenses Solid Edge through Siemens PLM Software partner Bosch Engineering B.V., which has provided extensive training to the design team. “We were making the transition from a 2D system and, although the move to 3D was quite a step forward for us, we found Solid Edge to be much more intuitive and friendly than the previous system,” says van der Tol. “In addition, the team at Bosch Engineering has specialized knowledge that enabled us to learn Solid Edge quickly. Whenever we need extra guidance we know we can turn to Bosch Engineering, and whenever there is a new version of the software we receive a full briefing.”

The in-house team designs certain parts for the Superbike, such as brackets and links, while other parts are designed by external suppliers. “Our designs are relatively straightforward. The triple clamps are probably the most advanced parts,” says van der Tol. “However, designs change quite a bit as we go through the season. In some cases, we need an instant response to a problem that crops up during a race. We cannot make mistakes. Each part needs to be absolutely correct when we fit it on a bike. For this reason, we use assembly simulations more and more to ensure that everything works together perfectly.”

Using assembly simulations enables the designers to gain more insight into individual parts. “We can understand their particular attributes, which means we can improve quality,” says van der Tol. “For example, we can confirm that a part meets the exact weight criteria and does not either fall below or exceed the specification. Using Solid Edge, we can work at a fine level of detail, shaving off any extra grams to achieve the perfect balance of strength and weight. Overall, this means that we get the design right the first time.”