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Norgren and UBR combine for track success

04 July 2006

The UBR racing team is very closely linked to the Birmingham University School of engineering and the institution is the key sponsor of this project, providing support for the team in terms of finances and resources. In addition to this support, the team must establish partnerships with industry to ensure that it remains competitive. Norgren recognises the importance of supporting engineers of the future and is pleased to be associated with this exciting project.

The design and build of the car is geared towards The Formula Student competition, organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and is an opportunity for the students to take part in a dynamic, full-scale design and build activity. It is generally recognised that graduates who have gone through this experience are two years ahead of other graduates in terms of “fitness for purpose”, and they are much sought after by industry.

The car itself is based on a 600cc motorbike engine and the previous version was fitted with a mechanical clutch and gearshift actuation system. However, this did not give the team the precise control of the clutch they needed. With the original car it was difficult to get a good start off the start line and to get back on the track should the vehicle spin off. The mechanical clutch tended to spin the wheels. The team wanted to investigate a pneumatic proportional clutch that would give them more control when starting the car and to minimise the time taken to change gear when running at race pace.

The technical requirements of the new system were supplied to Norgren and engineers at the company set to work to find a solution. Once the solution had been designed it was not simply a matter of handing it over to the team to install. Members of the team were invited to Norgren’s Lichfield facility to participate in the manufacture of the double acting pneumatic cylinders that were specified so that they could get an understanding of the manufacturing process. Norgren has also provided financial support. All looks good for the 2006 season and everybody is anticipating a good performance from the team.

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