Passion

In the second part of our new series, we take an exclusive look at what goes into producing Ferrari’s high performance engine components
Words: Ross Brown
Film Editor: Oliver McIntyre

There are 127 engineering machines within Maranello’s Mechanical Machining Department, providing high performance engine parts to every car with a Prancing Horse badge, from Formula One’s new F1-75 right through to Ferrari’s latest hybrid V6 - The 296 GTB. 

 

It’s precise, accurate work, no matter whether it’s managing one of the 43 separate phases that goes into approving a V6 crankcase, or operating the large ovens that can hold components for up to ten days at a time, at temperatures exceeding 600°C.

 

The crankcase is a key component of the Ferrari engine, and the milling section of the mechanical workshop can process 62 per day, although the V6 takes slightly longer than a V12 and V8 due to the rigorous requirements generated by the 296 GTB’s hybrid power. 

Take an exclusive look inside the Mechanical Machining Department

For the departments’ robots, life is inevitably demanding. One machine will hold 108 different tools covering diameter, tolerances and geometry. For a single crankcase up to 80 tools will be used and Ferrari’s robots can change their own tools as they go, depending on the individual requirements at the time – or even replace them completely (some tools will last a year, some survive as little as ten passes).   

 

Sustainability is at the forefront of all Ferrari operations, and here in the Mechanical Machining Department big inroads have been made into water reclamation. The process involves a high degree of lubricant to prevent the components reaching dangerous temperatures. Last year, to address wastage, Ferrari began to collect and compress the scraps from the machining process, a move which has allowed them to use up to 200 litres per day of reclaimed water.

 

But perhaps one of the most intriguing sections of the 15,000 m² department is also one of the smallest: just 1000 m² dedicated to prototype production. The latest 3D printing technology works here, with a four laser optic system, that melts metal powder layers to produce net-finish parts, from cylinder heads to front and rear suspensions. Most extraordinary of all is their ability to reproduce unique parts for the Classiche department, often working from nothing more than old, detailed drawings to produce a single piece for a restoration project – perhaps the perfect example of the Mechanical Department’s unique place within 75 years of Ferrari innovation.