Red Bull Racing - Milton Keynes
Case Study Red Bull Racing - Milton Keynes

Leica Absolute Tracker gives Red Bull Racing wings

Microns in industrial metrology mean hundredths of a second in Formula 1. Precision and reliability are what matters in both fields. In this elite class of motor sport, manufacturing tolerances are not a matter for discussion – any deviation from the specified values could cost a race victory, lose valuable points or ultimately the world championship title. The Austrian owned, UK based Red Bull Racing Team relies on Hexagon Metrology as an Innovation partner. The Leica Absolute Tracker AT901 and the Leica T-Probe are generating lots of enthusiasm at the Milton Keynes factory.

Chris Charnley, Quality Manager at Red Bull Technology (the design and manufacturing part of Red Bull Racing), comes straight to the point: “We have no time for mistakes.” The manufacture of Formula 1 cars demands precision and the highest standards in the development and manufacture of vehicle components. “Basically in our business we are continuously developing prototypes,” says Charnley. During the racing season, the general shortage of time felt by Formula 1 racing teams builds up to extreme levels: Major modifications to the design to optimise the aerodynamics of the cars have to be completed in the period between two races – normally two weeks. “That’s what you call high pressure,” says Chris Charnley. “Working nights and weekends then becomes the rule. But we have a lot of fun doing it, especially when we see the success of our efforts in the race.”

The range of applications for the Leica Absolute Tracker AT901 in the day-to-day development environment is wide and varied. Quality Engineer Mike Hughes is frequently contacted by the designers when they wish to check the dimensional integrity of a new component. “They come to us and ask not just if we could measure the part – they ask us for a ‘Leica-Check’. The measurement results from our four Leica Geosystems Laser Trackers are reliable and authoritative – and word has got around.”

Red Bull Technology measures the assembled racing cars as well as the individual components. Formula 1 is a sport, and. . .

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