Haas Automation Inc. is well known for supplying, supporting and servicing its CNC machine tools via a global network of independently owned and operated facilities, referred to as Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs).
In late February, the HFO in Barcelona, Spain – part of HITEC Máquinas CNC SL, received a rather different request from the Haas F1 Team, which was testing its new, VF-16 F1 car at the local Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, ahead of the start of the 2016 Formula One world championship.
To enable pit-stop practice to go ahead on February 25th, Haas F1 Team found some modifications were necessary to the wheel-gun sockets and other pit equipment. “Also necessary was some manufacturing of components related to the wheel nuts on the racecar,” said a team spokesperson.
The HFO in Barcelona is located about 30 minutes from the track, where a Haas UMC-750 5-axis vertical machining center, a Haas ST-30 CNC lathe, and a Haas VF-2 vertical machining center, were used to modify and to make the required components.
“Haas Automation is more than just a sponsor,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team: “They’re a true partner in building our organization. On very short notice, the local HFO here in Barcelona [the Haas distributor for Spain] was able to put skilled technicians to work and manufacture and modify the parts we needed. We’ve achieved a high level of efficiency by tapping into the resources of Haas Automation [and its partners], and it allowed us to make the most of our test.”
“It was a great pleasure for us to help Haas F1 Team during testing in Barcelona by making and modifying some critical parts for its car and its pit equipment,” added Andreas Le Noir, joint owner of HITEC Máquinas CNC SL. “The challenge was to quickly source materials and tooling and deliver the parts ASAP. We even delivered parts at 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning! F1 teams work 24 hours and, therefore, our applications engineers were challenged to manufacture parts in very quick time, working hard and long hours.”