Building Electric Race Cars: Schanzer Racing Electric and PartsBox

Schanzer Racing Electric e.V. is a dynamic non-profit association consisting of over 80 individuals from various faculties. Every year they develop, design and manufacture a purely electric racing car. The ultimate goal? To achieve resounding success both on and off the racetrack.

In this case study, we'll explore how Schanzer Racing Electric has leveraged the capabilities of PartsBox, a user-friendly component management software, to enhance their ambitious projects. This partnership has resulted in exceptional efficiency and organization, improving daily operations, time saving and facilitating smoother workflows, thus allowing the team to concentrate on their core strengths — innovating and constructing electric racing cars.

Current Projects and Utilizing PartsBox

Schanzer Racing Electric is in the midst of planning and developing their next-year vehicle, which involves the creation of five new printed circuit boards (PCBs). Addressing challenges with their current DC/DC converter has spurred the development of a new one. In addition, a team member has taken on a project to design their own Battery Management System (BMS), while another is crafting new PCBs for a pioneering sensor concept.

The organization manages a substantial inventory of more than 10 self-developed PCBs, all of which are soldered by hand. To efficiently keep track of the vast array of components used across these projects, Schanzer Racing Electric relies on PartsBox. The software acts as a linchpin, ensuring that all parts and deliveries are accounted for.

PartsBox Within the Team

With a team of over 80, the electrical department plays a crucial role, boasting 20 dedicated members. Among these, over 15 individuals depend on PartsBox to track the components they've used, while 2-3 others harness PartsBox for purchasing components, making it a cornerstone of their operations.

Most Appreciated Features

For Schanzer Racing Electric, the Parts Info section in PartsBox is deemed highly useful. They frequently search for parts with specific values, making various fields within this section critical for their operations. Creating new parts within PartsBox is considered user-friendly by the organization. Schanzer Racing Electric relies on meta-parts to manage part substitutions.

The physical inventory is stored in various boxes, with some of them featuring sorting inlays. The team believes that PartsBox has done an excellent job in assisting with the organization's storage structure. It has significantly improved the ease of finding specific parts within the storage, a task that was once reserved for experienced team members.

BOMs are created by exporting data from the organization's CAE software and importing it into PartsBox. Schanzer Racing Electric finds the BOM section clear, intuitive, and understandable, and they make good use of the table customization feature.

PartsBox plays a pivotal role in enabling the team to determine precisely which parts are required for each PCB. This clarity streamlines the assembly process and allows new team members to jump into soldering tasks with ease.

This year, Schanzer Racing Electric embraced PartsBox in its entirety for the low voltage department's purchasing process. The software has been instrumental in providing visibility on parts availability at different suppliers, streamlining purchases, and tracking the status of each component.

The team holds the Octopart/Nexar integration in high regard, finding it exceptionally useful. They appreciate how easy it is to create a new part and gather all the necessary data. Linking to different online stores, especially for major resellers, is deemed highly valuable. The feature that generates a list of parts to be ordered from a distributor, that can be uploaded directly, is particularly helpful, as it simplifies the otherwise time-consuming task of searching for individual parts on a distributor website.

Contributions to Achieving Organizational Goals

The organization has benefited from PartsBox by significantly reducing planning time and accelerating new team members' ability to contribute to assembly tasks. These time savings have been vital in tackling other challenges and improving efficiency across the board.

The organization notes that the onboarding of new team members and the overall efficiency in ordering and managing parts have improved substantially since adopting PartsBox.

Schanzer Racing Electric plans to continue utilizing PartsBox as they have been, recognizing its value in their projects and endeavors.

PartsBox is an online app that lets you take control of your electronic parts inventory, BOM pricing, and small-scale production. It keeps track of where components are stored, what the current stock levels are, and which components are used in which projects/BOMs.

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