GF AgieCharmilles Gives Lotus Renault F1 Team Winning Edge

When it comes to retaining its winning edge over the competition, the LotusRenault F1 Racing Team puts its trust in GF AgieCharmilles high performanceelectro-discharge machines to play a central role in all its triumphs.

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As a technical sponsor for the 2011 racing season, GF AgieCharmilles provided the Renault team with several spark erosion EDM machine tools, including the Roboform 350y with QCRi, Robofil 240 CC, Robofil 440 CC, Robofil 640 CC and Robofil 2050TW.

These machines, which are the heart of the production process, produce 600 complex, precision-cut automotive parts made of various materials that cannot be subjected to conventional molding methods. In fact, these precise, light and resilient parts represent 10 percent of all the mechanical components used to build the Renault racecar.

High wear, safety, material and function efficiency are all key characteristics of spark erosion production technology. It is a contact process that leaves no stresses in the material, reproduces CAD data to the micron, has high automation potential and makes consistent high precision possible.

In particular, the Lotus Renault F1 Team employs the spark erosion machine Robofil 250 TW for the finest details, as it can work with wires 0.1 mm in diameter. Its clean-cut function produces several cut surfaces without a white coating, allowing the parts to be immediately serviceable without finishing treatment. The Roboform 350y die sinking EDM machine, on the other hand, is prized by the team for its high accuracy and process stability on degraded parts and openings.

“Our partnership with Lotus Renault F1 Racing allows us to push the boundaries and further expand our machining capabilities in the automotive industry,” said Glynn Fletcher, president of Agie Charmilles LLC. “The flexibility of our machines allows the team to continually experience precise results in a short timeframe, which is necessary in cut-throat F1 competition.”

The GF AgieCharmilles manufactured parts, made of titanium, aluminum and high-grade steels, provetheir reliability in the front and rear spoiler wings, as well as the braking, transmission and suspension systems of the racecar. Splined shafts and exhaust flanges also count among the manufactured parts, as do steering levers and suspension struts.