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The essence of designing gears is often by necessity risk-averse, given that many of them are used in applications where loss of life is a distinct possibility. The Gear Research Institute (GRI) at The Pennsylvania State University conducts risk reduction testing with the same goal in mind - whether it be gears in fighter jets, Ferris wheels, tanks, or countless other gear-reliant vehicles and machinery.
If you’ve got a gear performance problem, the Gear Research Institute (GRI) is here to help you. Since inception in 1982, GRI has been a primarily industry sponsored, experimentation driven research facility. Whether establishing the fatigue life of gears or evaluating the impact of manufacturing processes on the performance of gears, GRI has pioneered methods and procedures for characterizing such properties that are accepted by the aerospace, vehicle and other industry sectors.
Oil-out conditions, or conditions in which an aircraft is operating without any oil in its gearbox or transmission, are devastating for an aircraft's hardware. Even the sturdiest gears usually can’t last 30 minutes under such conditions before they catastrophically fail, and the whole system usually follows shortly after. That doesn’t leave pilots with a whole lot of time to find a suitable location to land in the case of an oil-out emergency.
Recent history has taught us that global competition has become tougher and is a major concern of American gear manufacturers from abroad have invaded American markets with products designed in an environment where management of technology has been practiced effectively. If American companies intend to compete in the changing world market, they must acquire the technologies that will allow them to do so.
These are changing times for industry. Trauma and uncertainty are always a part of change, and change is not always for the better. Change is usually forced, most frequently by competition. Our competitive free enterprise system should be able to respond to competition because that's its basis. These are critical years. If we do not respond effectively to change and competition, it could be disasterous.
A look at several American organizations doing cutting edge gear-related research for aerospace applications.
Interview with Dr. Suren Rao, managing director of the Gear Research Institute.
Detection of impending gear tooth failure is of interest to every entity that utilizes geared transmissions. However, it is of particular significance at the Gear Research Institute (GRI), where sponsored efforts are conducted to establish gear material endurance limits, utilizing gear fatigue tests. Consequently, knowing when a gear is about to fail in each and every test, in a consistent manner, is essential for producing reliable and useful data for the gear industry.
When, in 1980, OSU professor Donald R. Houser created the Gear and Power Transmission Research Laboratory - then known as the Gear Dynamics and Gear and Power Transmission Laboratory (GearLab) - he did so with the seed money provided by just three companies. Thirty-three years out, the lab has continued to grow, impress and—most importantly - succeed; it now boasts a roster of some 50 sponsoring companies and government agencies.
Hoechst Technical Polymers has expanded its interests in plastic gears with the introduction of the new Plastic Gear Evaluation and Research machine P-Gear. The machine is the centerpiece of the company's continuing efforts to promote and develop the use of plastic gears in higher-powered applications.
In March 1989, the U.S. Trade Representative requested the U.S. International Trade Commission to conduct an investigation and prepare a report on the competitive position of the U.S. gear industry in U.S. and global markets.
In a capitalist society, the way things usually work is that government and academia focus on research and development, while industry focuses on commercialization. The result is an increasingly wide disconnect in the applied research sector, which deals primarily with technology development and demonstration.
The complete Industry News section from the March/April 2015 issue of Gear Technology.
If there wasn’t such a thing as air (seriously, who even needs it?), gears might stand alone as the most ever-present entities on earth. They are literally everywhere you turn — a universal, inescapable part of the world we live in, sort of like Justin Bieber but with less hair gel and electronic synthesizers.
Until recently, there was a void in the quality control of gear manufacturing in this country (Ref. 1). Gear measurements were not traceable to the international standard of length through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The U.S. military requirement for traceability was clearly specified in the military standard MIL-STD-45662A (Ref. 2). This standard has now been replaced by commercial sector standards including ISO 9001:1994 (Ref. 3), ISO/IEC Guide 25 (Ref, 4), and the U.S. equivalent of ISO/IEC Guide 25 - ANSI/NCSL Z540-2-1997 (Ref. 5). The draft replacement to ISO/IEC Guide 25 - ISO 17025 states that measurements must either be traceable to SI units or reference to a natural constant. The implications of traceability to the U.S. gear industry are significant. In order to meet the standards, gear manufacturers must either have calibrated artifacts or establish their own traceability to SI units.
In 1993, M & M Precision Systems was awarded a three-year, partial grant from the Advanced Technology Program of the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Working with Pennsylvania State University, M&M embarked on a technology development project to advance gear measurement capabilities to levels of accuracy never before achieved.
It is said that “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Ok, but what about gear noise? We talked to three experts with considerable knowledge and experience in this area.
Aachen has long been the center of European gear research.
Two high-volume gear production cells grace the shop floor at Delta Research Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to lean manufacturing, these cells have never shipped a defective part to a customer since they were developed over three years ago.
Aerospace/Defense contracts offer unique challenges for gear manufacturers.
Delta Research bets big on the future of gear-making technology.
Results of Gear Technology research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
Chicago- Results of recent studies on residual stress in gear hobbing, hobbing without lubricants and heat treating were reported by representatives of INFAC (Instrumented Factory for Gears) at an industry briefing in March of this year.
In May of this year the U.S. International Trade Commission made public its Report to the President on the condition of the U.S. gear industry. This 200+ page document is the result of a two-year study by the commission, with the help of the AGMA staff and members. It is the most comprehensive and current analytical coverage of the industry conditions and tends presently available. Because of the importance of this report to the industry, GEAR TECHNOLOGY is devoting a good portion of this issue to reprinting the Executive Summary for our readers.
Gear research seems to be thriving. Between September 10th and October 17th, 120 papers about gears were presented at three conferences in Milwaukee, Boston, and Washington, to a total audience of about 400. The authors were from nine countries. Slightly more than half of the papers were prepared by authors who live outside the US and Canada.
The popular perception today is that technological advancement is an engine running almost out of control. New products and processes are developing faster than we can keep up with them, as anyone who has had a new computer system crash into obsolescence practically before it's out of the box can tell you. But that's not the case everywhere. Transmission technology, for example.
News Items About Gear Research Institute
1 Gary Kimmet Appointed President of Gear Research Institute (February 20, 2007)
Gary Kimmet, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Gleason Corp., was appointed president of the Gear Research Institute. ... Read News
2 Gear Research Institute Introduces New Leadership Team (May 1, 2015)
GRI recently introduced its new leadership team, including Jack Masseth as president. Masseth has been on GRI's board for a number of... Read News