The software behind Land Rover BAR's quest to win the 35th America's Cup

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 10 February 2017
The software behind Land Rover BAR's quest to win the 35th America's Cup

The ambitions of Land Rover BAR to win the 35th America’s Cup – and finally bring the trophy back home to Britain after 166 years – have taken solid form, with the launch and christening of their America’s Cup Class race boat in Bermuda.

The menacing, matt black boat represents the combined efforts across three years of the now 120-strong team and their partners. After the launch of four test boats, 85,000 hours of design and build, on the water testing and painstaking construction, the team has seen its efforts crystallised into the boat code-named R1.

For almost three years, Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business has been helping Land Rover BAR to design, evaluate, verify and produce the America’s Cup Class (ACC) catamaran – on-time and on-budget. The 15 metre boat includes 1200 meters of electronic and electrical cabling, connecting 190 sensors and four video cameras. Working with Siemens, the team successfully managed the ambitious schedule using an integrated software environment for product lifecycle development that enabled multiple disciplines to work together seamlessly.

“Siemens’ software technology has enabled us to simulate, analyse and test design solutions throughout the design and build process,” said Andy Claughton, chief technology officer at Land Rover BAR. “Using this software has saved time and will allow us to continue to make improvements up to the competition, where we hope to bring the cup home to Britain for the first time in race history.”

Land Rover BAR chose solutions from Siemens PLM Software to adopt an integrated virtual environment for digital modelling and simulation. Software products include NX™ software for product design, Teamcenter software for data management, the Fibersim portfolio of software for composites engineering and the Simcenter software portfolio, including Femap and STAR CCM+, for engineering analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis.

To effectively engineer a highly competitive and innovative racing boat, continuous improvements must be made to the design during development. PLM solutions from Siemens allow Land Rover BAR to create the digital twin of their boat for rapid evaluation and collaboration. NX, used for digital design and engineering analysis, enables rapid modifications to boat design during the development phase and automatic revisions to the digital model, based on virtual simulations. By discussing technical changes within the team on the basis of 3D models representing the digital twin, the design is improved more quickly and at less cost. Using Teamcenter as the digital thread across engineering processes allows the team to work with a single source of the latest product data. Teamcenter manages the complete product definition, revisions and the process of introducing changes. It maximises the power of product and process knowledge to drive productivity and innovation.

“We are proud of our partnership with Land Rover BAR and excited to see Rita compete in the 35th America’s Cup,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. “To be successful, the race requires teams to integrate seamlessly during development and design, and continue through testing. Our integrated industry solutions, combined with the expertise of the entire design and racing team from Land Rover BAR and partners, has resulted in an impressive world-class racing boat for the British team.”

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