Hexagon Metrology, Inc.

The Bugatti Legend Lives

Three New Bugatti Sports Cars Blend Old Standards With New Ideas In Automotive Design And Manufacturing

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The classic Bugatti Royal Type 41, designed by Ettore Bugatti's son Jean, was a supercar of the 1930s. Only six were built.

"On reaching our goal, the satisfaction that a Bugatti's exceptional mechanics will have given you whilst on the move, will be increased by that of admiring it at rest when raising the bonnet."

This 1930s advertising copy infers that to enjoy the sight of a Bugatti, one had to be privileged enough to own it. The legend of Ettore Bugatti and his magnificent automobiles has never died; it has simply been dormant, waiting for the right moment to return to the prestige it has enjoyed in the past.

"They are not simply cars, they are symbols, masterpieces."

And return it has. Five years ago, Romano and Renata Artioli, two Italian entrepreneurs, began the restoration of the legendary Bugatti marque of sport cars. Once again, the name "Bugatti" is synonymous with technology, style and fashion.

"Our sports cars are little affected by fashion changes. They are not simply cars, they are symbols, masterpieces," said Mr. Greggio, Bugatti's Public Relations Manager. "Our customers are the same people who buy yachts, sculpture, airplanes, paintings, and high functionality goods."

Today, Bugatti designs and produces three new car models in its modern Campogalliano, Italy plant: The EB 110 - a sports car; the EB 110 GT - a super sports car that, with a top speed of more than 350 km/h, is the fastest production grand touring car in the world; and the EB 112 - a prestige sports coupe by world-class designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The three cars are powered by high technology, 16-cylinder, 60-valve engines that generate 550 hp and 610 hp respectively. The EB 110 is the only super sports car that has met the strict emissions control standards in the State of California without sacrificing performance.

Craftsmanship Works Hand-in-Hand With Automation

The full production cycle for a Bugatti sports car lasts 21 to 22 days. The production of extremely high- performance cars in limited numbers requires a combination of hand craftsmanship and automated manufacturing techniques. At Bugatti, craft-based processes coexist in perfect harmony with fully-automated production processes. Suppliers are also given the opportunity of contributing to the definition of product specifications as they are brought into the project from the earliest development phases.

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It's the hottest car on the road. The new Bugatti EB 110 sports car is an enthusiast's dream-come-true of high performance assembled with the same care and attention to detail as a fine timepiece. A 16-cylinder engine gives the EB 110 more than 500 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful production automobiles in the world.

The steel components, such as the camshafts, are machined in a department organized according to individual products, while all of the aluminum parts - engine blocks, cylinder heads, pistons, and intake manifolds - are produced on a flexible manufacturing system (FMS).

"Materials such as carbon fiber for the frames, titanium alloys and high-grade aluminum alloys for the mechanical components, and manufacturing tolerances of a few microns testify to the extreme sophistication of its engineering processes."

This FMS includes five Mandelli machining centers served by mobile shuttles on rails and is fed through two load/unload stations. It is controlled by a supervisory computer linked to the CAD/CAM system.

Verification of engineering tolerances is carried out during the manufacturing process on 100 percent of the components. All components are dimensionally checked prior to machining, between the machining phases, and at the end of the production cycle.

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DEA coordinate measuring machines and TESA gages help Bugatti craftsmen assure that both manufactured parts and components received from suppliers meet exacting quality requirements.

The entire workshop is fully air conditioned to insure that the production process achieves maximum accuracy and repeatability.

"Bugatti has applied with great success aerospace technology and materials to the production of its high-performance sports cars," said Director of Manufacturing Piero Selvaggi. "Materials such as carbon fiber for the frames, titanium alloys and high- grade aluminum alloys for the mechanical components, and manufacturing tolerances of a few microns testify to the extreme sophistication of its engineering processes. Avant-garde technology used in the production of our engines allows compliance with the most severe emissions requirements without overlooking the demands of performance," he said.

CMMs Assure Quality Production

Quality is the truly intrinsic part of all aspects of company life at Bugatti. Two DEA CMMs-a manual SWIFT and a large CNC IOTA-are installed in a climatized quality control department that also includes several TESA Micro-Hites® and a wide variety of other TESA measuring instruments.

The SWIFT is used for quick dimensional checks on simple components. Being extremely flexible and easy to use, the SWIFT does not need a dedicated operator. At Bugatti, all of the Quality Control Engineers have access to it.

The CNC IOTA, controlled by the latest DEA TUTOR™ for WINDOWS™ software, is programmed and run by a full-time operator and is used to check large complex parts, such as engine blocks, cylinder heads, and camshafts. The IOTA is also used to inspect critical components coming from the various suppliers.

"The introduction of the DEA CNC machine resulted in a dramatic reduction of the inspection times, and consequently permitted increasing the sampling rates and the number of features inspected for each part," said Mr. Casoli, Quality Control Manager. "In addition, the widespread adoption of 3D inspection technology allowed enhancing the quality level of the production and the reproducibility of the results."

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A crankshaft undergoes dimensional inspection in Bugatti's quality control laboratory. The fast DEA IOTA CMM has reduced inspection time and has allowed quality engineers to increase sampling rates and the number of features inspected on each part.

Today, all engines produced are inspected on the IOTA. Parts are checked at various stages of the production process. Some 90 percent of the dimensional features of 100 percent of machined parts are checked.

The first production part is always carefully and thoroughly checked after each machining phase to verify the dimensional accuracy of the process, and to give official production approval. Subsequent parts are then inspected to monitor any variations in machine tool accuracy, as well as process capability, with the goal of preventing any drift in the process.

The widespread adoption of 3D inspection technology allowed enhancing the quality level of the production and the reproducibility of the results.

Bugatti used the dimensional measurement capabilities of DEA CMMs to optimize the manufacturing process by pinpointing critical process parameters, and critical part features in order to monitor production quality.