Siemens Helps University of Michigan Solar Car Team Secure Championship

The team switched to Siemens product lifecycle management software as its tool for product design and development

Plano, TexasAugust 22, 2014—The University of Michigan crossed the finish line in Minneapolis to win its eighth national championship in the 2014 American Solar Challenge. The team, which switched to Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) software technology in 2013 as its primary tool for product design and development, successfully completed a seven-day course across eight states, four hours faster than its nearest competitor. The team will now spend the next year using a wide range of Siemens PLM software to design, manufacture, test and optimize performance of a four-wheel car to compete in the 2015 World Solar Challenge in the Australian Outback.

“As our fifth straight national championship, this is a huge win for our team and it’s a powerful testament to the value of Siemens’ PLM software,” said Pavan Naik, Michigan Solar Car project manager. “We realize that, to win the global solar challenge, we need to move from understanding the performance of individual components of the vehicle to understand how the entire vehicle works as a system. The switch to Siemens tools gives us the ability to model and simulate everything and truly allow us to optimize the performance of our new vehicle. As we start on our quest to win the World Solar Challenge in 2015, we’ll be leveraging a full complement of PLM solutions.”

Since its establishment in 1990, the team built 12 vehicles including Quantum, which was developed for this year’s 1,722-mile American Solar Challenge. The team, which consists of almost 100 members, also races in the World Solar Challenge with a vehicle named Generation. Both vehicles were developed and built with the assistance of Siemens PLM Software solutions. Siemens is also a platinum sponsor of the team.

Siemens’ PLM software technology is used by manufacturing companies worldwide to develop sophisticated products. In the global automotive industry alone, Siemens software is used throughout product development and manufacturing by more than 90 percent of the world’s top 15 automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and nearly 90 percent of the top 25 Tier One auto suppliers. Siemens makes its software available to academic institutions like the University of Michigan to support a highly trained and heavily recruited future workforce.

“Siemens is committed to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and is proud to have supported the University of Michigan team’s race toward victory,” said Dave Taylor, vice president of global marketing, Siemens PLM Software. “Our advanced PLM technology will continue to help elevate the performance of this highly successful team as they prepare for their next challenge.”

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