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Arrow Gear—Spiral Bevel Update

by Matthew Jaster, Associate Editor

Spiral Bevel Gear Set from Arrow Gear

Spiral Bevel Gear Set from Arrow Gear

In 1947, Arrow was founded by James J. Cervinka and Frank E. Pielsticker. The company began operation in a small industrial building in Worth, Illinois. After a move to Lyons, Illinois in the 1950s, the company was moved in 1961 to its current location in Downers Grove, Illinois. Arrow has recently invested over $4.5 million in new machine tools with the latest technology, in order to keep up with the demands for lower cost and tighter tolerances. Gear Technology recently caught up with Joseph L. Arvin, president of Arrow Gear, to discuss the spiral bevel gear market.

What's the current state of your spiral bevel business as of June 2011? Five years ago, our backlog for spiral bevel gears was $37 million. Today, our backlog for spiral bevel gears has increased to $45 million, which is a 22 percent increase.

What are your biggest challenges right now in this market segment? Our biggest challenge, in the context of our large backlog, is finding trained machinists. Since we are not finding candidates who have the required skills for producing spiral bevel gears, we have implemented an extensive in-house training program in conjunction with the University of Illinois.

Spiral Bevel Gear Set from Arrow Gear

Spiral Bevel Gear Set from Arrow Gear

What industrial segments are the focal points for Arrow Gear in the spiral bevel arena? Our COB & CEO, James J. Cervinka, has always maintained the belief that our customer base should include both aerospace and commercial accounts. Over time, it has been our experience that when one sector slows, the other picks up. Currently, we are seeing an increase in activity for producing spiral bevel gears for both aerospace and commercial applications.

Has your company invested in any new equipment or expanded your capabilities in the spiral bevel market recently? Arrow has recently invested in new equipment to accommodate larger gears up to 36". This equipment includes a die quench press, vertical CNC Machining Center, a CNC vertical grinder, a larger Magnaflux machine, and a 36 X 70 inch Zeiss CMM checker.

What trends are you noticing currently in spiral gear production? The most significant trend we are seeing is the tightening of tolerances and the need for increased documentation and other paperwork relating to quality.

Spiral Bevel Gear from Arrow Gear

Spiral Bevel Gear from Arrow Gear

What is Arrow Gear doing to maintain the highest levels of quality in the spiral bevel market? As mentioned before, customer tolerances for quality are becoming more demanding. To address this, we have recently added two new spiral bevel tooth grinders - a Gleason Phoenix II #600, Gleason Phoenix II #275 and a Hofler #800 Spur/Helical External/Internal Gear Grinder.

What size and dimensions are you able to produce in the spiral bevel market? Our size capability for spiral bevel gears range from 3/8 inch" up to 33 inches and for spur and helical up to 36 inches.

Will you be highlighting any of your spiral bevel capabilities at AGMA's Gear Expo? Yes, we will be attending AGMA's Gear Expo with our new booth, which features information on our recent expanded capability for larger gears.

Close Up of Spiral Bevel Gear from Arrow Gear

Close Up of Spiral Bevel Gear from Arrow Gear

For more information:
Arrow Gear
2301 Curtiss St.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Phone: (630) 353-9260
www.arrowgear.com