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Indexable carbide insert cutting tools for gears are nothing new. But big gears have recently become a very big business. The result is that there's been a renewed interest in carbide insert cutting tools.
Our company manufactures a range of hardened and ground gears. We are looking into using skiving as part of our finishing process on gears in the 4-12 module range made form 17 CrNiMO6 material and hardened to between 58 and 62 Rc. Can you tell us more about this process?
Today's high technology hobs are visible different from their predecessors. Gear hobs have taken on a different appearance and function with present day technology and tool and material development. This article shows the newer products being offered today and the reasons for investigating their potential for use in today's modern gear hobbers, where cost reduction and higher productivity are wanted.
The Hobbing Process The hobbing process involves a hob which is threaded with a lead and is rotated in conjunction with the gear blank at a ratio dependent upon the number of teeth to be cut. A single thread hob cutting a 40-tooth gear will make 40 revolutions for each revolution of the gear. The cutting action in hobbing is continuous, and the teeth are formed in one passage of the hob through the blank. See Fig. 1 for a drawing of a typical hob with some common nomenclature.
Gear hobbing is a generating process. The term generating refers to the fact that the gear tooth form cut is not the conjugate form of the cutting tool, the hob. During hobbing both the hob and the workpiece rotate in a continuous rotational relationship. During this rotation, the hob is typically fed axially with all the teeth being gradually formed as the tool traverses the work face (see Fig. 1a).
We make a lot of single-start worm and worm gear sets, and it always seems as though we're buying another special hob. We also do a lot of spur gear cutting, and the spur gear hobs and the worm gear hobs look alike, so we wonder why we cannot use the standard hobs for cutting worm gears too. Can we do this?
In the past gear manufacturers have had to rely on hob manufacturers' inspection of individual elements of a hob, such as lead, involute, spacing, and runout. These did not always guarantee correct gears, as contained elements may cause a hob to produce gears beyond tolerance limits.
This is Part II of a two-part series on the basics of gear hobbing. Part I discussed selection of the correct type of hobbing operation, the design features of hobs and hob accuracy. This part will cover sharpening errors and finish hob design considerations.
Precision gears play a vital role in today's economy. Through their application, automobile transmissions are more compact and efficient, ships sail faster, and diesel locomotives haul more freight. Today great emphasis is being placed upon the reduction of noise in all gear applications and, to be quiet, gears must be accurate.
The modern day requirement for precision finished hobbed gears, coupled with the high accuracy characteristics of modern CNC hobbing machines, demands high tool accuracy.
Since we are a high volume shop, we were particularly interested in Mr. Kotlyar's article describing the effects of hob length on production efficiency which appeared in the Sept/Oct issue of Gear Technology. Unfortunately, some readers many be unnecessarily deterred from applying the analysis to their own situations by the formidabilty of the mathematical calculations. I am making the following small suggestion concerning the evaluation of the constant terms.
Question: I have just become involved with the inspection of gears in a production operation and wonder why the procedure specifies that four involute checks must be made on each side of the tooth of the gear being produced, where one tooth is checked and charted in each quadrant of the gear. Why is this done? These particular gears are checked in the pre-shaved, finish-shaved, and the after-heat-treat condition, so a lot of profile checking must be done.
The following article is a collection of data intended to give the reader a general overview of information related to a relatively new subject within the gear cutting industry. Although carbide hobbing itself is not necessarily new, some of the methods and types of application are. While the subject content of this article may be quite broad, it should not be considered all-inclusive. The actual results obtained and the speeds, feeds, and tool life used in carbide hobbing applications can vary significantly.
Two questions on hobbing cover the various types of hobs and their unusual names, as well as the importance of hob swivel angle.
Can a gear profile generated by the hobbing method be an ideal involute? In strictly theoretical terms - no, but in practicality - yes. A gear profile generated by the hobbing method is an approximation of the involute curve. Let's review a classic example of an approximation.
Many people in the gear industry have heard of skiving, a process wherein solid carbide or inserted carbide blade hobs with 15 - 60 degrees of negative rake are used to recut gears to 62 Rc. The topic of this article is the use of neutral (zero) rake solid carbide hobs to remove heat treat distortion, achieving accuracies of AGMA 8 to AGMA 14, DIN 10-5 and improving surface finish on gears from 8 DP - 96 DP (.3 module - .26 m.).
Fig. 1 shows the effects of positive and negative rake on finished gear teeth. Incorrect positive rake (A) increase the depth and decreases the pressure angle on the hob tooth. The resulting gear tooth is thick at the top and thin at the bottom. Incorrect negative rake (B) decreases the depth and increases the pressure angle. This results in a cutting drag and makes the gear tooth thin at the top and thick at the bottom.
We are all looking for ways to increase production without sacrificing quality. One of the most cost-effective ways is by improving the substrate material of your hob. Solid carbide hobs are widely used in many applications throughout the world. LMT-Fette was the first to demonstrate the use of solid carbide hobs in 1993 on modern high-speed carbide (HSC) hobbing machines. Since then the process of dry hobbing has been continuously improving through research and product testing. Dry hobbing is proving to be successful in the gear cutting industry as sales for dry hobbing machines have steadily been rising along with the dramatic increase in sales of solid carbide hobs.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
Investment in advanced new manufacturing technologies is helping to reinvent production processes for bevel gear cutters and coarse-pitch hobs at Gleason - delivering significant benefits downstream to customers seeking shorter deliveries, longer tool life and better results.
Recently, a new type of hob with carbide inserts has been introduced, providing higher cutting speeds, longer tool life and higher feed rates when compared to re-grindable, high-speed steel hobs. But with this kind of hob, new challenges occur due to positional errors of the cutting edges when mounted on the tool. These errors lead to manufacturing errors on the gear teeth which must be controlled. In this paper, the tooth quality of a gear manufactured by hobs with different quality classes is analyzed using a simulation model in combination with Monte Carlo methods.
Decades ago, technology shifted from HSS to indexable inserts in turning and milling. This movement wasn't immediately realized in gear hobbing because coated PM-HSS hobs and complex gear profiles remained highly effective and productive methods. Only fairly recently have gear manufacturers started to take a serious look at indexable technology to cut gear teeth.
I would like to comment on David Arnesen's article, "Dry Hobbing Saves Automaker Money, Improves Gear Quality," in the Nov/Dec, 1996 issue.
It takes confidence to be the first to invest in new manufacturing technology. But the payback can be significant. That has been the experience at the Ford Motor Company's Transmission & Chassis Division plant at Indianapolis, IN, which boasts the world's first production application of dry hobbing.
Prior to the introduction of titanium nitride to the cutting tool industry in the early 1980s, there was very little progress in the general application of hobbing in the gear cutting industry. The productivity gains realized with this new type of coating initiated a very active time of advancement in the gear manufacturing process.
Flute Index Flute index or spacing is defined as the variation from the desired angle between adjacent or nonadjacent tooth faces measured in a plane of rotation. AGMA defines and provides tolerance for adjacent and nonadjacent flute spacing errors. In addition, DIN and ISO standards provide tolerances for individual flute variation (Fig. 1).
For environmental and economic reasons, the use of coolant in machining processes is increasingly being questioned. Rising coolant prices and disposal costs, as well as strains on workers and the environment, have fueled the debate. The use of coolant has given rise to a highly technical system for handling coolant in the machine (cooling, filtering) and protecting the environment (filter, oil-mist collector). In this area the latest cutting materials - used with or without coolant - have great potential for making the metal-removal process more economical. The natural progression to completely dry machining has decisive advantages for hobbing.
The first part of this article, which ran in the September/October 1994 issue, explained the fundamentals of gear hobbing and some of the latest techniques, including methods of hob performance analysis and new tool configurations, being used to solve specific application problems. In this issue, the author continues his exploration of hobbing by describing the effects of progress on requirements in accuracy, as well as the latest in materials, coating and dry hobbing.
The cutting tool is basic to gear manufacturing. Whether it's a hob, broach, shaper cutter or EDM wire, not much gets done without it. And the mission of the tool remains the same as always; removing material as quickly, accurately and cost-effectively as possible. Progress in the field tends to be evolutionary, coming gradually over time, but recently, a confluence of emerging technologies and new customer demands has caused significant changes in the machines, the materials and the coatings that make cutting tools.
The following is a general overview of some of the different factors that lead to the specific design. and the selection of the correct tool for a given hobbing application.
New material technology allows for more efficient and flexible hobbing.
Mechanical efficiency is an important index of gearing, especially for epicyclic gearing. Because of its compact size, light weight, the capability of a high speed ratio, and the ability to provide differential action, epicyclic gearing is very versatile, and its use is increasing. However, attention should be paid to efficiency not only to save energy, but sometimes also to make the transmission run smoothly or to avoid a self-locking condition.
We talked energy efficiency with some major players in the lubricants industry— but with a focus on their products’ impact regarding energy efficiency of gears and gearboxes in wind turbines.
A response to last issue's "Ask the Expert" feature on efficiency of hypoid gearing.
One of the hot items on the public agenda these days is "The Environment." Suddenly everyone wants to save the whales and the rain forest. Politicians, rock stars, and big business have all discovered that you can't get anything but good press for saying that you're in favor of trees and marine mammals.
Gearbox performance, reliability, total cost of ownership (energy cost), overall impact on the environment, and anticipation of additional future regulations are top-of-mind issues in the industry. Optimization of the bearing set can significantly improve gearbox performance.
The use of dimensionless factors to describe gear tooth geometry seems to have a strong appeal to gear engineers. The stress factors I and J, for instance, are well established in AGMA literature. The use of the rack shift coefficient "x" to describe nonstandard gear proportions is common in Europe, but is not as commonly used in the United States. When it is encountered in the European literature or in the operating manuals for imported machine tools, it can be a source of confusion to the American engineer.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
Minimizing gear losses caused by churning, windage and mesh friction is important if plant operating costs and environmental impact are to be minimized. This paper concentrates on mesh friction losses and associated scuffing risk. It describes the preliminary results from using a validated, 3-D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Tooth Contact Analysis (TCA) program to optimize cylindrical gears for low friction losses without compromising transmission error (TE), noise and power density. Some case studies and generic procedures for minimizing losses are presented. Future development and further validation work is discussed.
This paper will present data from both laboratory and field testing demonstrating that superfinished components exhibit lower friction, operating temperature, wear and/ or higher horsepower, all of which translate directly into increased fuel economy.
In most transmission systems, one of the main power loss sources is the loaded gear mesh. In this article, the influences of gear geometry parameters on gear efficiency, load capacity, and excitation are shown.
Bob McCulley of Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists describes how even the most energy intensive industrial processes can be made "green."
Our question this issue deals with high-ratio hypoid gears, and it should be noted here that this is a tricky area of gearing with a dearth of literature on the topic. That being the case, finding “experts” willing to stick their necks out and take on the subject was not a given.
The effect of various lubricant factors on wormgear efficiency has been evaluated using a variety of gear types and conditions. In particular, the significant efficiency improvements afforded by certain types of synthetic lubricants have been investigated to determine the cause of these improvements. This paper describes broad wormgear testing, both in the laboratory and in service, and describes the extent to which efficiency can be affected by changes in the lubricant; the effects of viscosity, viscosity index improvers and, finally, synthetic lubricants are discussed. The work concludes that lubricant tractional properties can play a significant role in determining gear efficiency characteristics.
By increasing the number of gears and the transmission-ratio spread, the engine will run with better fuel efficiency and without loss of driving dynamics. Transmission efficiency itself can be improved by: using fuelefficient transmission oil; optimizing the lubrication systems and pumps; improving shifting strategies and optimizing gearings; and optimizing bearings and seals/gaskets.
It is widely recognized that the reduction of CO2 requires consistent light-weight design of the entire vehicle. Likewise, the trend towards electric cars requires light-weight design to compensate for the additional weight of battery systems. The need for weight reduction is also present regarding vehicle transmissions. Besides the design of the gearbox housing, rotating masses such as gear wheels and shafts have a significant impact on fuel consumption. The current technology shows little potential of gear weight reduction due to the trade-off between mass optimization and the manufacturing process. Gears are usually forged followed or not by teeth cutting operation.
This article examines the dry hobbing capabilities of two cutting tool materials—powder metallurgical high-speed steel (PM-HSS) and cemented carbide. Cutting trials were carried out to analyze applicable cutting parameters and possible tool lives as well as the process reliability. To consider the influences of the machinability of different workpiece materials, a case hardening steel and a tempered steel were examined.
The gear hobbing process is a generating type of production operation. For this reason, the form of the hob tooth is always different from the form of the tooth that it produces.
As we approach the problem of hard gear processing, it is well to take a look at the reason for discussing it at this time. In our present economic atmosphere throughout the world, more and more emphasis is being placed upon efficiency which is dictated by higher energy costs.
Several innovations have been introduced to the gear manufacturing industry in recent years. In the case of gear hobbing—the dry cutting technology and the ability to do it with powder-metallurgical HSS—might be two of the most impressive ones. And the technology is still moving forward. The aim of this article is to present recent developments in the field of gear hobbing in conjunction with the latest improvements regarding tool materials, process technology and process integration.
With growing markets in aerospace and energy technologies, measuring hob cutters used in gear cutting is becoming an essential requirement for workpieces and machine tools. Zoller, a provider of solutions for tool pre-setters, measuring and inspection machines and tool management software, has developed a new partnership with Ingersoll/Germany for shop floor checking of hob cutters by a combined hardware and software approach.
It is well known that hobs with straight-sided teeth do not cut true involutes. In this paper, the difference between the straight side of a hob tooth and the axial profile of an involute worm is evaluated. It is shown that the difference increases as the diametral pitch increases, to the extent that for fine-pitch gearing, the difference is insignificant.
Load-carrying capacity of gears, especially the surface durability, is influenced by their tooth surface roughness in addition to their tooth profiles and tooth traces.
Indexable carbide insert (ICI) cutting tools continue to play a pivotal role in gear manufacturing. By offering higher cutting speeds, reduced cycle times, enhanced coatings, custom configurations and a diverse range of sizes and capabilities, ICI tools have proven invaluable for finishing and pre-grind applications. They continue to expand their unique capabilities and worth in the cutting tool market.
The efficiency of a gearbox is the output energy divided by the input energy. It depends on a variety of factors. If the complete gearbox assembly in its operating environment is observed, then the following efficiency influencing factors have to be considered
Over the past few months I've talked with several different gear manufacturers who are in the process of upgrading their gear making equipment with modern CNC machine tools. Each of these manufacturers has come to the realization that in order to stay competitive, he needs to streamline operations and become more efficient...
The method of cutting teeth on a cylindrical gear by the hobbing process has been in existence since the late 1800s. Advances have been made over the years in both the machines and the cutting tools used in the process. This paper will examine hob tool life and the many variables that affect it. The paper will cover the state-of-the-art cutting tool materials and coatings, hob tool design characteristics, process speeds and feeds, hob shifting strategies, wear characteristics, etc. The paper will also discuss the use of a common denominator method for evaluating hob tool life in terms of meters (or inches) per hob tooth as an alternative to tool life expressed in parts per sharpening.
Hobbing is probably the most popular gear manufacturing process. Its inherent accuracy and productivity makes it a logical choice for a wide range of sizes.
In today’s manufacturing environment, shorter and more efficient product development has become the norm. It is therefore important to consider every detail of the development process, with a particular emphasis on design. For green machining of gears, the most productive and important process is hobbing. In order to analyze process design for this paper, a manufacturing simulation was developed capable of calculating chip geometries and process forces based on different models. As an important tool for manufacturing technology engineers, an economic feasibility analysis is implemented as well. The aim of this paper is to show how an efficient process design—as well as an efficient process—can be designed.
A brief introduction to the subject of Thin Film Coatings and their application to gear hobs and shaper cutters is followed by a detailed description of the Chemical Vapor Deposition Process and the Physical Vapor Deposition Process. Advantages and disadvantages of each of these processes is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon: application engineering of coated gear tools based on laboratory and field test results. Recommendations are suggested for tool design improvements and optimization of gear cutting operations using coated tools. Productivity improvements potentially available by properly utilizing coated tools are considered in terms of both tool cost and machining cost.