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The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
As the time came to write this editorial, the replies to our survey from the last issue were just starting to pour in. We were gratified by the number of responses we received and by the amount of time many of you spent answering in great detail the text questions on the survey. Because of this unusually large response, it will take us some months to log, digest and respond to all the data. Thank you for this nice "problem."
As Gear Technology moves toward its third anniversary, we feel that we have reached a point in our development where it is time to pause, reflect on our accomplishments and plan for the future.
Expertise is a resource that's hard to sustain. We're doing our part via our "Ask the Expert" feature. How about you?
Six years ago this month, the very first issue of Gear Technology, the Journal of Gear Manufacturing, went to press. The reason for starting the publication was a straightforward one: to provide a forum for the presentation of the best technical articles on gear-related subjects from around the world. We wanted to give our readers the information they need to solve specific problems, understanding new technologies, and to be informed about the latest applications in gear design and manufacturing. The premise behind Gear Technology was also a straightforward one: the better informed our readers were about the technology, the more competitive they and their companies would be int he world gear market.
Beginning with our next issue, some of the promised changes in format for Gear Technology will begin showing up in these pages. As part of our commitment to provide you with important information about the gear and gear products industry, we are expanding our coverage. In addition to continuing to publish some of the best results of gear research and development throughout the world, we will be adding special columns covering vital aspects of the gearing business.
Positive feedback regarding Gear Technology, the Journal of Gear Manufacturing, from some of its new readers.
This issue of Gear Technology, The Journal of Gear Manufacturing, marks the end of our second year of publication. As we approach our third year, it is time to review our statement of purpose. Gear Technology's primary goal was and is to be a reference source and a forum for the American Gear industry, and to advance gear technology throughout the world.
Over the years, we have traveled extensively throughout the industrialized world, and became increasingly aware of the availability of enormous amounts of technical writing concerning research, experiments, and techniques in the gear manufacturing field. New manufacturing methods, materials, and machines were continuously being developed, but the technical information about them was not readily available to those that could best use it. There was no central source for disseminating this knowledge.
Publisher Michael Goldstein describes his experiences at the IPTEX 2012 show and the unveiling of Gear Technology India.
THANK YOU! The response to our first issue has been extremely exciting for us. Our advertisers have told us GEAR TECHNOLOGY is being talked about wherever they go. Thank you for the wonderful and enthusiastic reception.
As I travel around the country visiting with many of our customers, I am finding that not only are we, as an advertiser in the journal, meeting our advertising needs, but you are also meeting those very high ideals that you put before us during that meeting.
It always strikes me as something of an irony that the brightest holidays of the year fall in the deepest part of the darkest season. They come when the days are the shortest, the clouds the thickest, the weather (at least in Chicago), the worst. And yet it is at precisely this time when we celebrate the happier human emotions of family, love, and charity and somewhat arbitrarily declare a "new" year.
The last two months have been both a time of difficulty and of growth for Gear Technology. Unexpectedly, I found myself in the hospital having surgery, and consequently out of commission for several weeks. At the same time, two individuals on our staff lost family members, and most of this period saw us getting ready for this preshow IMTS issue while being seriously short-staffed.
Investigation of Gear Rattle Phenomena The article by Messrs. Rust, Brandl and Thien was very interesting in its description of the problem and of some of the interactions which occur.
Every once in a while something happens to fundamentally change the nature of your business. Despite the best of intentions and the most careful planning, there's no way we can anticipate every event. What do you do, for example, when your two biggest competitors merge, when the economy collapses in the region that imports your products or when key employees leave your company? Your reactions may make the difference between success and struggling to survive.
Just back from IMTS and once again, I'm struck by the enormous vitality and strength of the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy. It has made a phoenix-like rise from the grave dug for it by pundits in the '80s and has come back more robust and competitive than ever.
Let's face it. The Internet is still, to many of us, exciting, confusing, terrifying and frustrating by turns. The buzzwords change so fast that even the most high tech companies have a hard time keeping up. Cyberspace. Firewall, Java. E-commerce. The list goes on.
Romax Technology, the gearbox, bearing and driveline engineering specialist, has launched a new design software package that will increase speed, quality, creativity and innovation when designing gearboxes and drivelines. Called Concept, the new product delivers on the Romax vision of streamlining the end-to-end, planning-to-manufacture process with open, easy to use software solutions. It has been developed in close collaboration with engineers in the largest ground vehicle, wind energy and industrial equipment companies around the globe.
Publisher Michael Goldstein explores Gear Technology's history and its future as he introduces the back issue archive online and our new features and columns for 2013.
Gear Technology's complete back issue archive is now available online. Read more about the archive in this issue's GT Extras. Also highlighted are a new video from Koepfer and the Gear Technology e-mail newsletter.
You've been reading about it, talking about it, maybe even trying it. Gear Technology has jumped aboard it feet first and begun a voyage on the World Wide Web. Beginning with this issue, an electronic version of the magazine will be online. For those of us who still find the fax machine amazing technology, this is a great leap.
Every now and then a magazine has to take its own pulse or lose sight of its key mission - providing its readers with information they want. We did it this last year through surveys, interviews with subscribers and focus groups. Our basic question was, how are we doing?
A little more than ten years ago this month, the first Gear Technology came off the presses. It was a fledgling effort in every respect. The gear industry had never a magazine of its very own before. Those of us involved in its production were like first-time parents; we were proud and excited, but unsure of what we'd let ourselves in for. None of us knew if this baby could really fly.
This issue of Gear Technology marks another milestone in the life of our magazine. After publishing 51 issues - nearly 200 articles containing close to 2,500 pages - we're ready to try something new.
Welcome to the new Gear Technology. With this issue we begin bringing you a new look - a new cover, new graphics, a new, broader and more inclusive editorial focus. Our goal is to be an even better resource for the entire gear industry.
Beginning with this issue, one of the last bits of the "old" Gear Technology is gone. From now on we'll be running the new picture of me you see on this page. It was time, my art and editorial staff explained to me, to move ahead with the rest of the updated art and editorial in the magazine. (I emphatically deny that the real motivation for the new picture was putting a stop to the ever-increasing number of jabs from certain friends about my "Dorian Gray" look.)
Sometimes in the pressure to meet deadlines and handle the Crisis of the Day, we lose sight of the forest for the trees. As a partial cure for this syndrome, I recently reviewed the six interviews with gear industry leaders that have appeared in our pages during the last year, trying to get a grasp of a larger picture. It struck me with renewed force how six men, each with a lifetime of experience in this business, see the gear industry forest the same way.
In India, “namaste” is used as a common greeting. Although it translates literally to “I bow to you,” it’s often used the same way we use “hello” or “good-bye.” It’s a phrase commonly exchanged between individuals when they meet, and it’s also used as a salutation when they part. I’m using the phrase here because I’d like to introduce you to an exciting new project and venture for Randall Publications LLC.
Publisher Michael Goldstein describes the success of Gear Technology's new e-mail newsletter programs.
Publisher Michael Goldstein discusses the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability and what we should do about it.
The struggles of the manufacturing economy in 2009 are well documented. Even among those of us with long careers, most of us have never seen activity come to a screeching halt the way it did last year. 2009 was tough on all of us. So, what should we expect in 2010?
A series of short reports on global manufacturing growth and the gear industry's role.
Make no mistake -- lean manufacturing is here to stay. And no wonder. As a fiercely competitive global economy continues to alter companies’ “Main Street” thinking, that relatively new dynamic is spurring the need for “I-need-it-yesterday” production output. And for increasingly more industries -- big or small -- that means getting as lean as you can, as fast as you can.
What was once recognized as the unique genius of America is now slipping away from us and, in many areas, is now seen as a "second rate" capability. Unless action is taken now, this country is in real danger of being unable to regain its supremacy in technological development and economic vigor. First Americans must understand the serious implications of the problem; and second, we must dedicate ourselves to national and local actions that will ensure a greater scientific and technological literacy in America.
POLCA: An alternative to Kanban for high-variety or custom-engineered products.
When Forest City Gear started manufacturing gears for medical components in the 1980s, it was a minuscule part of the company's business. Today, the medical device industry represents 18-20%.
When you push 850 horsepower and 9,000 rpm through a racing transmission, you better hope it stands up. Transmission cases and gears strewn all over the racetrack do nothing to enhance your standing, nor that of your transmission supplier.
Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) has released iBlue—the first handheld bluetooth transmitter that gathers crucial production data and sends it to bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets and computers.
If anyone should ever need convincing that the state of American manufacturing is in ongoing decline, consider this: the state of Michigan has the highest concentration of engineers in the country, yet also has the highest unemployment rate. But there are ripples of hope out there as grassroots and otherwise organized groups are fighting the good fight in an attempt to reverse that trend.
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.
This article gives readers a glimpse of some companies that manufacture gears in the Far East. We've talked with more than a dozen companies in India, Taiwan and Korea...
Nashville - One of the highlights of this year's SME Advanced Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic was a tour of the new GM Saturn automobile manufacturing plant outside the city. There in the Tennessee hills is a hopeful vision of the future of the American automobile industry. It may well be the future of American large-scale manufacturing in general.
Popular wisdom has it that manufacturing in the United States is no longer a viable entity. We are told that quality is poor, skilled labor is difficult to obtain, if not impossible, demand is low, and the government is helping to discourage business. So what should we do, give up?
The Tiger Team from Hoerbiger looks for ways to cut waste and improve throughput in the company's assembly cell.
"Design for manufacturability" (DFM) is a well-established practice, essential to realizing the successful transformation of concepts into mass-produced gears and motion control devices. And yet, all too often issues that could have been avoided are identified very late in the process that impact production costs and schedules. This suggests that key DFM principles are often underutilized in practice and are not applied consistently - or to the degree necessary - to avoid these negative results.
It’s been said that the best ideas are often someone else's. But with rebuilt, retrofitted, re-controlled or remanufactured machine tools, buyer beware and hold onto your wallet. Sourcing re-work vendors and their services can require just as much homework, if not necessarily dollars, as with just-off-the-showroom-floor machines.
The complete Industry News section from the May 2013 issue of Gear Technology
Have you ever been to Malaysia? How about Indonesia, Brazil, Slovakia or Russia? Well, we have. We go there every issue.
This is the first article in an eight-part "reality" series on implementing continuous improvement at Hoerbiger Corporation. Throughout 2013, Dr. Shahrukh Irani will report on his progress applying the job shop lean strategies he developed during his time at Ohio State University.
The complete Product News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Why traditional lean manufacturing approaches need to be adapted for job shop environments.
Computers are everywhere. It's gotten so that it's hard to find an employee who isn't using one in the course of his or her day - whether he be CEO or salesman, engineer or machinist. Everywhere you look, you find the familiar neutral-colored boxes and bright glowing screens. And despite the gear industry's traditional reluctance to embrace new technology, more and moe of what you find on those screens are gears.
In the August issue, we examined the lean tools that will and will not work in high-mix, low-volume manufacturing facilities. Now, we will examine how to implement the tools that will work in the job shop with an approach that expands the capabilities of value stream mapping.
It wasn’t so very long ago that a high school-educated, able-bodied person with a will to work typically had little trouble finding a decent job in manufacturing. Whether at an area job shop, an OEM plant or auto plant—work was to be had. Work that paid well enough to marry, buy a home, feed, raise and educate a family—with even enough left over for a modest retirement pension.
Before we get into projections and prognostications about the future, let’s take a minute to review 2012. For many in the gear industry, the year was better than expected. Some manufacturers had a very successful year leading up to an even more successful manufacturing trade show (IMTS 2012). Others were searching for more business, hoping that the general state of the economy wouldn’t make things worse. In some cases, it did.
Michael Goldstein talks about 25 years of Gear Technology, looking behind as well as ahead.