Cupra optimizes design and production of vehicle components with PTC Creo

Carmaker CUPRA relies on PTC’s CAD and PLM software to optimize the design and manufacturing process of its vehicle components. This allows the company to achieve exceptional sports performance and write race history.

Cupra optimizes design and production of vehicle components with PTC Creo

From idea to reality
Making a car competitive on the track takes a lot of time and dedication. Much of that work has to do with the design and creation of the vehicle parts. This task reached a turning point at CUPRA in 1988, when the company began working with PTC’s parametric modeling software. In the past, the design of some parts was very complicated. Thanks to PTC’s software, the development of these components progressed much faster and their performance could be tested faster.

“PTC’s modeling software has revolutionized our design process,” said Jaume Tarroja, Head of Vehicle Design Team at CUPRA Racing. “We have become more efficient and changes are easier to implement. The development and production time of the parts has also been significantly reduced, and the software has also significantly improved their quality. ”

A leap forward with PTC Creo
Initially, only the standard features of the program were used. As new needs arose, other modules were added to make the design process easier and faster. “We used to design the parts in 2D and send these 2D models to the production teams, with all the flaws it entails. Now we can see the car in 3D with all the parts together. We can make changes to the car without changing the design.”
switch to a completely stable working environment. It is a big step forward for us, “explains Jaume Tarroja.

CUPRA plans to use new functionality in the Creo software to improve performance. New modules that will be implemented include AI-driven generative design, optimized design for 3D printing and behavioral modeling. “In the world of mechanical components, Creo offers us an unsurpassed level of stability and accuracy,” added Jaume Tarroja. In addition to Creo, CUPRA PLM has implemented Windchill software. This information management system enables efficient integration of data and processes throughout the entire life cycle of the part, from initial idea, design and manufacture to product maintenance. The introduction of Windchill PLM in 2014 has greatly helped CUPRA in product management, which has significantly reduced the risk of errors and the associated time loss. With Windchill, the team is immediately aware of changes to a part or vehicle. This means that they can access the latest draft version at the touch of a button.

Two decades of optimizing parts design and manufacturing
After more than twenty years of experience with PTC solutions, CUPRA is very pleased with the results. “In motorsport, you have to constantly improve your vehicles to reduce production costs,” said Jaume Tarroja. “The PTC solutions have played an important role in this. PTC’s continued success in developing the design tools to meet our needs has given us every opportunity to make improvements, “he emphasizes. This has enabled CUPRA to make its part design process more efficient.” We can create the part in 3D on the computer and do all the strength tests before we manufacture the part, which helps minimize design problems. The manufactured part works perfectly right away. In this way, the time it takes to bring a new vehicle to market can be reduced by more than 20%, “explains Jaume Tarroja.

At the same time, we have been able to reduce the weight of the parts and optimize the design process. In general, it is possible to achieve a weight gain of 10% without changing the mechanical properties. This is achieved to a large extent through the use of finite element modules. Combined with Creo’s powerful plate properties, this can reduce component costs by approximately 15%. It also shortens the design and manufacturing time. The development of the fuse is a good example of this. This is a complex part that connects all the elements of the front axle. Thanks in part to PTC’s tools, the CUPRA team has been able to improve its design and reduce its weight while retaining highly efficient mechanical properties. In the words of Jaume Tarroja: “While the development time for a part depends on the complexity and volume of the part, with Creo we can deliver a new model to the production teams in just two weeks.
Five applications for Creo software using CUPRA:

Top Down Design† Top-down design provides a skeletal model that allows engineers to determine the overall structure of vehicles. This allows engineers to design and assemble their components knowing that if there is a redesign or change to the skeleton model, these changes will be automatically reflected in all components. Because the skeleton model includes a kinematic mechanism, engineers can quickly simulate the actual motion of the vehicle to determine any interference or collision between parts. This important step prevents many errors and reduces the number of iterations.

Simulation of parts with finite element method† This option simulates the load on parts in a real situation. It gives a very accurate picture of the correctness of the design and possible weaknesses.

metal plates† The software streamlines the development of sheet metal parts. Since its introduction, CUPRA has been able to produce lighter, high-performance parts to achieve better results and save money.

Cables and wires† The software can simulate the layout of the electrical wiring and cooling system. Previously, a prototype was made, which was delivered to the supplier, who then reproduced it. With PTC’s solution, each part can now be modeled accurately in Creo, including the wiring system and piping. This means that these elements, once manufactured, fit perfectly into the whole from the first time.

Parametric surface modeling and freestyle function for
modeling of complex shapes
† Parametric surface modeling makes it possible to model complex surfaces by smoothing or sweeping based on parametric curves, while the freestyle function makes it possible to create and modify a complex non-parametric surface directly from a primitive function without acting directly on the surface itself, but by manipulating the control mask of the subdivided model. These freestyle features can also be adjusted to their limits with parametric geometry to fine-tune their dimensions and boundary conditions.

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About CUPRA
CUPRA was founded in 2018 in Barcelona as an unconventional carmaker, a challenger offering ultra-high-performance vehicles with innovative design focused on unique experiences. In 2021, CUPRA participated in 70 competitions in the TCR International Championship. At the same time, the brand is expanding its electrification strategy through its participation in Extreme E and PURE ETCR. The launch of the CUPRA e-Racer, the world’s first 100% electric touring car racer, was the first test of the brand’s technological expertise. The goal is to further develop this race car and to gain more knowledge about high-performance electric motors, in order to be able to install them in passenger cars.

About PTC (NASDAQ: PTC)
PTC helps manufacturers around the world realize clearly measurable impacts with software solutions that enable companies to accelerate product and service innovation, improve operational efficiency and increase employee productivity. Together with an extensive partner network, PTC offers its customers the flexibility to implement technology to drive digital transformation – on-premise, in the cloud or via the pure SaaS platform. At PTC, we not only imagine a better world, we make it possible.

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