Designing Ferrari’s new engine

“For a Formula 1 fan like me, working on a project like this is a dream come true.”.

Several months ago, Andrea, a young Mechanical Design Engineer, joined HPE Coxa (High Performance Engineering), a company specialising in high-end mechanical engineering. Having focused on the internal combustion engine during his engineering studies, Andrea was the perfect choice when they needed someone to assist one of their most prestige clients, Scuderia Ferrari, with the development of their new F1 Power Unit engine.

In the heart of the Italian Motor Valley.

HPE COXA was founded in 1998 by Piero Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari’s last living son, with the aim of supplying high-end engineering and precision manufacturing services to the motorsport, aeronautical and defence industries. At the moment I’m working at the head office in Modena, in the heart of the Italian Motor Valley, where you’ll find all the major players in motorsport: Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ducati, Pagani, and so on.

The future Ferrari F1 Power Unit.

HPE Coxa works for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team, the Ferrari brand’s racing division. We’re assisting them with the design of the components for their new internal combustion engine, which will be used in the F1 Grand Prix races. I have to design both the 3D models, using CreoCAD, one of the most advanced software packages, and their mechanical aspects. My job has changed as the project has progressed. I was in direct contact with Ferrari’s engineers and project managers, and I designed the components they needed myself, from scratch. For a Formula 1 fan like me, working on a project like this is a dream come true.

High standards hand in hand with excellence.

My main challenges have definitely been to do with time management and pressure. Motorsport is a demanding business and you have to produce the very best results in as little time as possible. It’s really important to concentrate hard and not make mistakes. But that doesn’t make the work environment any less amazing. The team I’m working with consists of some young, and some highly experienced, people, whose secrets I’m trying to learn so that I can improve my own skills and knowledge.

Offshore wind: France’s first offshore wind farm is built off the coast of Saint-Nazaire

What is GE Renewable Energy’s involvement and what progress has been made so far?

GE Renewable Energy was entrusted with supplying the offshore wind turbines for this first French wind farm, located off the coast of Saint-Nazaire. GE Renewable Energy’s France-based factories got to work on developing and delivering the turbines. Assembly of the nacelles (turbine sitting atop the tower) began this year at our Montoir-de-Bretagne site, with installation and commissioning due to take place during 2022. The blades and towers are being produced respectively by another General Electric subsidiary and subcontractors in Spain, prior to delivery to Saint-Nazaire.

What special features apply to this offshore wind farm?

The project consists of wind turbines with 6 Megawatt (MW) capacity per unit, giving the farm a total capacity of 480 MW. By choosing a very high capacity turbine, we were able to have just 80 altogether with a combined footprint of 78 km². Expected production will cover the equivalent of 20% of demand for electricity in the Loire-Atlantique department. The wind turbines will lie at a distance of 12 – 20 km off the coast, at a depth of 12 – 25 m. Regarding their location, the Banc de Guérande site offers numerous advantages when it comes to building an offshore wind farm – regular, strong winds, shallow seas and a situation away from the main commercial sailing routes.

We’ve heard a lot about the Haliade X, can you tell us a bit more about this exceptionally large new wind turbine with its cutting-edge technology?

Haliade-X is due to go on sale in 2021. This new wind turbine is being produced exclusively in France, at GE’s Saint-Nazaire site. The Haliade-X is not only the biggest, but also the most powerful, wind turbine currently in operation anywhere in the world. It has a 220 metre rotor and the blades are 107 metres long. The combination of a more powerful generator, longer blades and a higher capacity factor means that the Haliade-X is less sensitive to variations in wind speed, which in turn increases its capacity to generate more energy at lower wind speeds. GE’s investment in Haliade-X will help make offshore wind farms a more profitable, more competitive source of clean energy.

Why did you ask agap2 to assist you with this project?

A number of engineering companies are working with us at the Montoir-de-Bretagne site, assisting us with project management, change coordination, and technical expertise in various areas. Our products span a wide variety of technical areas, so a very broad knowledge base is needed to fully comprehend potential problems and identify the best way to solve them.

Brabo2: Belgium’s biggest infrastructure project

5 years’ work in the city centre.

The project, launched by the Flemish government in conjunction with the city of Anvers, aims to improve the city’s infrastructure. It comprises a number of contracts: to construct a metro station with underground car park in the city centre, to expand the tram network with 15 kilometres of new lines, and to renew the roads, lighting and traffic lights. It’s the biggest infrastructure project to take place in Belgium in recent years. As the project was based right in the city centre, the challenge was to carry out the work without in any circumstances significantly interrupting the traffic, this being one of the client’s specific requirements.

From draughtsman to Senior Project Manager’s right hand man.

My job on this 5 year project was to solve any problems that arose regarding the design or design changes for all the above ground infrastructure: street lights, traffic lights, trams, etc. In a nutshell, I started off as a draughtsman in the design office at Engie Solutions (one of the project partners), and I ended up as the Senior Project Manager’s right hand man at the same company. I was able to upskill in this way through hard graft and taking every opportunity the client offered.

Building the future.

This project was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The most interesting aspect was its complexity, something I both loved and hated at the same time. At the end of the day, you can tell your children, your family, your friends: “Look what the other project partners and I have built.” I worked on something that will be around for a long time. It’s a totally unique project, and one I was lucky enough to get to work on because Engie Solutions and agap2 were prepared to put their trust in me. I really hope I’ll get another chance to be part of such an adventure one day.

agap2IT Portugal’s new take on football!

Connecting clubs and players.

In response to a call for tenders launched by the Sporting Club du Portugal in 2012, agap2IT’s teams have developed the first ever digital solution for managing football: Football ISM (Integrated Software Management). This software, which was developed entirely in-house, allows football clubs and training academies to follow their players’ sporting, academic and personal development. Product Manager Carlos is in charge of the project, which was the primary focus of 8 developers and a technical director for nearly two years.

The most comprehensive solution on the market.

Football ISM is the only platform on the market able to conduct such a detailed, cross-functional analysis of all the key information needed to manage clubs and training academies successfully. Recruitment of young talent, assessment of training sessions and competition performance, management of facilities and equipment, monitoring of players’ health, diet and legal issues – all this data is analysed and can easily be consulted at any time. Information that clubs may not have even monitored, let alone collated, until now.

Better data management.

Football is a business and must be managed like one. Thanks to Football ISM, data can be analysed as a whole and not as a series of unconnected items of information. A club’s vital legal, financial and administrative data need to be organised. For example, with Football ISM, clubs can record every contract with every player. Every month, clauses are checked automatically, which makes monthly payments to players far easier – legal processes that , even today, are still conducted in an archaic manner by large organisations.

Football ISM’s future looks promising.

The first club to adopt our solution in 2016 was of course the Sporting Club of Portugal, one of the most renowned clubs in the world and one that can proudly boast that it was responsible for training Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo. Since then we’ve worked with clubs in Brazil and Nigeria, Spanish club Sevilla and clubs in the USA and the United Soccer League.

At the same time we’ve been developing SportsISM, a product that can be used for any sport, not just football. It’s already operating in Portugal’s advanced development centre, and some of the players competing at the Tokyo Olympics have already taken it on board. By the end of summer 2021, a new member will have joined the ISM family. But we’ll talk about that in our next issue!

agap2 helps Brittany to target energy independence

Two agap2 consultants working on project.

The Landivisiau power plant was commissioned on 31 March, 2022, twelve years after the project was first launched by the state and the Brittany Region. The aim of the project was to provide a secure, guaranteed electricity supply for Brittany, a beautiful region of France whose energy consumption has more than doubled since 2010.

SIEMENS, the company responsible for building this 450MW combined cycle gas turbine, entrusted AXIMA with the cladding and roofing of all the buildings involved, and it is on their behalf that agap2’s David and Walid are providing consultancy services.

Steering role for David, works project manager and agap2 consultant.

David has been providing engineering consultancy services for 12 years now, whether in scheduling, CPM or project management. After joining agap in 2014, for nearly two years now he has fulfilled the role of works project manager in the construction of this natural gas combined cycle power plant. As works project manager, his job is to prepare and coordinate all the work involved, from the design stage through to execution, with due regard for financial and logistics issues.

“As building envelope works project manager, I’ve been guiding the design office, supervising financial and material management, monitoring the work and managing the roofing and cladding teams, in a context of multiple activities taking place simultaneously, on a site where up to 1,500 people, employed by over 200 different companies, were working at the same time. ”

On-site operations focus for agap’s second consultant, site manager Walid.

Walid joined agap two years ago, and has fulfilled the role of site manager for the project since 2020, armed with 7 years’ experience in the profession. In the building and public works sector, site managers schedule, organise and supervise all work conducted on site.

“As site manager, my role is to guarantee that work is carried out properly and in good time, by guiding and monitoring quality and progress. ”

Special conditions for this 22,000 m² construction project.

AXIMA’s Building Envelope Department was responsible for carrying out all roofing and cladding work on the site. David stressed that “this project, which started in autumn 2020, involved a total surface area of over 22,000m² and had to be carried out in the very specific conditions that relate to big offshore-type projects, with mainly foreign contractors and site workers. It was a real challenge, as numerous, highly specific details affecting the applicable regulations, project planning and monitoring of the work had to be taken into account as the work progressed! ”

Multiple objections to this 450 million euro project.

The decision to build a power plant in north-west Finistere was made in 2010. Delivery was initially planned for 2016, but was delayed numerous times owing to vigorous opposition from local inhabitants and organisations. Demonstrations (2012), unauthorised raves (2018) and the presence of a protected species of snail in Quimper (2018) all resulted in the project being postponed several times before work finally began in 2019.

An environmental issue.

Thermal plant produces “cleaner” electricity.

The Landivisiau plant is a combined cycle gas power plant, where a gas turbine is combined with a steam turbine to produce electricity. This technology is considered to be cleaner, in that it is said to result in 3 times fewer CO2 emissions than a coal- or oil-powered station.

Combined cycle gas – the best technique available, according to the EU.

The European Union sees combined cycle gas as one of the best techniques available in terms of environmental protection, owing to the low level of atmospheric emissions produced when meeting Brittany’s energy requirements, in comparison with other means of thermal electricity production.