Testing race car prototypes in a wind tunnel is an essential part of designing and building cars as fast as, well, the wind. Williams Group, the renowned Formula One racing organization, knows this well—and also knows that such testing must be as efficient as possible, because Formula One regulates wind tunnel use. The challenge is to schedule testing while coordinating the calendars of the many people involved: designers, aerodynamicists, and model shop workers.
Williams tried to meet this challenge with a collection of spreadsheets. To ensure the tunnel was always supplied, the team would build more test parts than they were likely to have time to test, raising costs unnecessarily. Then they made another choice: to create a better scheduling solution.
“Avanade’s solution will have a tremendous impact on the efficiency of the Aerodynamics Department.”
Williams and its strategic technology partner, Avanade, created that better solution, which they call the Wind Tunnel Test Planner. Originally intended to be a digital scheduler, the solution’s scope expanded as Avanade showed Williams how a digital workplace solution could be a bigger contributor to productivity and business value.
- Boosts efficiency and design quality: Williams wanted more efficient testing with less downtime. It got it.
- Reduced weekend work, ensures better decision-making: Williams hopes to complete more testing in less time—enabling it to hopefully eliminate the weekend testing it currently relies on.
- Minimizes changeover times: Changeover times of model parts can be minimized by optimizing the order of the wind tunnel runs.
- Saves on parts production: Because development teams know more precisely how much time they’ll have in the wind tunnel, they also know how many prototype parts they’ll get to test avoiding designing and building “wasted” parts that won’t get tested.
- Increases revenue: The solution generates cost savings—and revenue.