Measurement Tools Help Joe Gibbs Racing Achieve Peak Performance
Rarely does a person win multiple championships in one sport. Even rarer does a person win multiple championships in multiple sports. But, Joe Gibbs has achieved this feat; first as a head coach in the National Football League, and now as the owner of a NASCAR stock car racing team.
Gibbs won Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins in 1983, 1988 and 1992. And his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team has won 10 championships and more than 270 events in the NASCAR 500, and Cup and Xfinity Series over the last 27 years. He also operates the JGRMX team in motocross and supercross, which is the second largest type of racing in the United States.
One of the reasons for JGR’s great success in NASCAR has been its partners, especially those that specialize in technology. Metrology equipment manufacturer Mahr Inc. has been a partner since 2003. Its measurement tools and systems help ensure that all parts used on JGR vehicles are manufactured to precise specifications.
JGR operates a 400,000-square-foot race shop in Huntersville, NC. There, team engineers manufacture 90 percent of the nearly 2,000 different parts used on the race cars and motorcycles. Before being assembled, these parts, as well as those from outside vendors, go directly to the shop’s metrology lab department for 100 percent inspection.
Within the lab are 35 workstations that contain state-of-the-art metrology hand tools like micrometers and calipers, notes Mark Bringle, technical sponsorship and marketing director at JGR. Other precision measurement tools include the MarForm MMQ 400 machine, to check valves, and the MarForm Primar, to evaluate cranks and cams.
JGR engineers also utilize Mahr’s MarShaft SCOPE 250 plus optical shaft-measuring machine, MarSurf XR20 systems to determine roughness and MarSurf XC20 systems to evaluate contour profiles on a variety of parts. Mahr equipment is also instrumental in evaluating critical but hard-to-reach areas in the engine.
“Mahr has been a great partner for [many] years and helps [us] ensure that the highest quality parts are going into our cars and motorcycles with optimal performance,” says Bringle. “We are excited to continue to work with the top-notch people [there] who are true partners to our engineering team [and] assure the safety of our cars and cycles during the production process.”
Also included in the JGR shop are large metalworking and fabrication rooms. The former includes 30-plus CNC machines that operate two shifts a day, as well as several mills, lathes, electrical discharge machines, laser and water-jet cutters, and a three-axis router. The primary metals machined are steel, aluminum and titanium.
Nearly 75 people work in fabrication to build each race car. The workers begin by constructing the chassis, which takes about a week. The chassis then goes to NASCAR’s certification facility for measurement.
After the chassis comes back to JGR, fabricators attach body panels on the car, which takes another week. Then, about 40 mechanics install the engine and other components. From the start of the building process to the point when a finished car is ready for competition takes only three weeks.
Based in Providence, RI, Mahr Inc. manufactures a wide variety of dimensional metrology equipment. These range from easy-to-use and custom handheld gauges, to technically advanced measurement systems for form, contour, surface finish and length. Mahr also provides contract measurement services, and its calibration laboratories are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 NVLAP Lab Code 200605-0.
For more information, call 401-784-3100 or visit www.mahr.com.