A Quebec company can boast of being part of the inner circle of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
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The teams’ desire to innovate to improve the performance of their cars and the evolution of the sport’s rules have prompted the FIA and the teams to change their traditional methods of measurement for more efficient ways.
In this context, InnovMetric appeared with its universal platform PolyWorks Inspector.
In addition to the 3D measuring device, a laptop and a laser tracker are enough to ensure that the cars are compliant.
Among other things, the height of the fins, the distance between the axles and the ground clearance of single-seaters are checked.
We are talking about a hundred technical specifications that contribute to the safety and performance of cars.
Photo courtesy of Antonin Vincent/DPPI
“It’s the anti-doping control of Formula 1,” explains mechanical engineer Jean-Sébastien Blais. Unlike the cycling teams, the stables don’t try to cheat and everyone wants to comply because the rules are so strict. There are no strategies to thwart the measures. The teams work with the FIA by providing them with a digital model of the cars.
“We have the virtual twin of cars to continue the engineer who started his career in aviation. When we collect the data, the comparison to the virtual is instantaneous and we can generate a report once the last measurement is complete.”
speed of results
According to the experienced engineer, one point is essential in the eyes of the FIA.
“The most important thing is to get the measurement result in less than five minutes, he emphasizes, so that all teams are treated fairly. The software must provide accurate and repeatable results. Our specialists can travel around the world with just one suitcase. In contrast to traditional methods, we save time and significant material movements.”
In the not too distant future, the FIA could use augmented reality.
“With a HoloLens headset it is possible to see and to touch. The technology is there, but the question is how long the battery will last. The decision will come from the FIA.
If the FIA is a renowned client, InnovMetric also counts all automobile manufacturers among its customer base.
Founded in 1994 by Marc Soucy and his wife, the employees at this company take great pride in working with such prestigious clients while staying in Quebec City to get their work done.
“We have the butter and the money from the butter,” explains Blais. In Quebec we have a good quality of life and we don’t have to compromise on our careers because we have the opportunity to work with large international companies that have their headquarters around the world.”
“Our work may seem less attractive than that of the video game industry,” adds the engineer, who will be in Montreal for the Grand Prix this weekend, but it’s very rewarding. Our expertise is recognized and 3D metrology has earned us a good reputation.»