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Continuing our series of interviews with industry leaders, Gear Technology spoke recently with Bradley Lawton, executive vice president of Star Cutter Co., about the role and direction of cutting tools in the gear industry today.
The complete Industry News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Many people seem to be counting this year's Gear Expo in Nashville as a resounding success. There were 180 American and international exhibitors occupying over 50,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Nashville Convention Center, with total attendance of 2,700. This figure is dramatically down from past shows but that doesn't seem to be an issue with the show organizers. According to Kurt Medert, vice president of AGMA;s Administrative Division, even though attendance was off from the 1997 show, the exhibitors were pleased with the quality of the people who did come to the show. "This was an excellent show for us," said Marty Woodhouse, vice president of sales for Star Cutter Company and chairman of AGMA's Gear Expo committee. "Our customer base was there and they came to buy. It was very active."
Our experts discuss runout and helix accuracy, as well as the maximum number of teeth in a shaper cutter.
Cutter Sharpening Cutter sharpening is very important both during manufacturing and subsequently in resharpening after dulling. Not only does this process affect cutter "over cutting edge" quality and the quality of the part cut, but it can also affect the manner in which chip flow takes place on the cutter face if the surface finished is too rough or rippled.
Gear shaping is one of the most popular production choices in gear manufacturing. While the gear shaping process is really the most versatile of all the gear manufacturing methods and can cut a wide variety of gears, certain types of gears can only be cut by this process. These are gears closely adjacent to shoulders; gears adjacent to other gears, such as on countershafts; internal gears, either open or blind ended; crown or face gears; herringbone gears of the solid configuration of with a small center groove; rack; parts with filled-in spaces or teeth, such as are used in some clutches.
The advent of CNC technology as applied to gear shaping machines has, in the last 10 years, led to an astonishing improvement in both productivity and quality. As is usual when developments such as this take place, the technology of the machine tool suddenly jumps ahead of that of the cutting tool, and the machine is then capable of producing faster than the cutting tool can withstand.
Universal machines capable of cutting both spur and helical gears were developed in 1910, followed later by machines capable of cutting double helical gears with continuous teeth. Following the initial success, the machines were further developed both in England and France under the name Sunderland, and later in Switzerland under the name Maag.
Computer programs have been developed to completely design spur and helical gear shaper cutters starting from the specifications of the gear to be cut and the type of gear shaper to be used. The programs generate the working drawing of the cutter and, through the use of a precision plotter, generate enlarge scaled layouts of the gear as produced by the cutter and any other layouts needed for its manufacture.
The Shaping Process - A Quick Review of the Working Principle. In the shaping process, cutter and workpiece represent a drive with parallel axes rotating in mesh (generating motion) according to the number of teeth in both cutter and workpiece (Fig. 1), while the cutter reciprocates for the metal removal action (cutting motion).
Gear shaving is a free-cutting gear finishing operation which removes small amounts of metal from the working surfaces of gear teeth. Its purpose is to correct errors in index, helix angle, tooth profile and eccentricity. The process also improves tooth surface finish and eliminates by means of crowned tooth forms the danger of tooth end load concentrations in service.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
A gear shaper cutter is actually a gear with relieved cutting edges and increased addendum for providing clearance in the root of the gear being cut. The maximum outside diameter of such a cutter is limited to the diameter at which the teeth become pointed. The minimum diameter occurs when the outside diameter of the cutter and the base circle are the same. Those theoretical extremes, coupled with the side clearance, which is normally 2 degrees for coarse pitch cutters an d1.5 degrees for cutters approximately 24-pitch and finer, will determine the theoretical face width of a cutter.
In the process of developing gear trains, it occasionally occurs that the tip of one gear will drag in the fillet of the mating gear. The first reaction may be to assume that the outside diameter of the gear is too large. This article is intended to show that although the gear dimensions follow AGMA guidelines, if the gear is cut with a shaper, the cutting process may not provide sufficient relief in the fillet area and be the cause of the interference.
In our last issue, we covered the basic principles of gear shaving and preparation of parts for shaving. In this issue, we will cover shaving methods, design principles and cutter mounting techniques.
In today's economy, when purchasing a new state-of-the-art gear shaper means a significant capital investment, common sense alone dictates that you develop strategies to get the most for your money. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of the sophistication of the machine to make it more than just a single-purpose tool.
Most gear cutting shops have shelves full of expensive tooling used in the past for cutting gears which are no longer in production. It is anticipated that these cutters will be used again in the future. While this may take place if the cutters are "standard," and the gears to be cut are "standard," most of the design work done today involves high pressure angle gears for strength, or designs for high contact ratio to reduce noise. The re-use of a cutter under these conditions requires a tedious mathematical analysis, which is no problem if a computer with the right software is available. This article describes a computerized graphical display which provides a quick analysis of the potential for the re-use of shaving cutters stored in a computer file.
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.
This issue's look at the web features videos posted at geartechnology.com, featuring Forest City Gear and Star SU.
The complete Industry News section from the March/April 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The latest machines, tooling and technology for gear grinding were featured at IMTS 2012.
Our up-front column highlighting what's online this issue.
If a gear system is run continuously for long periods of time—or if the starting loads are very low and within the normal operating spectrum—the effect of the start-up conditions may often be insignificant in the determination of the life of the gear system. Conversely, if the starting load is significantly higher than any of the normal operating conditions, and the gear system is started and stopped frequently, the start-up load may, depending on its magnitude and frequency, actually be the overriding, limiting design condition.
Machine tool companies are expanding capabilities to better accommodate the changing face of manufacturing. Customers want smaller-sized equipment to take up less valuable floor space, multifunctional machines that can handle a variety of operations and easy set-up changes that offer simplified operation and maintenance.
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 machine tool industry is as competitive as ever. New machine technologies, materials, coatings and software upgrades are changing the way gears are being manufactured. Companies like Gleason, Liebherr, Kapp/Niles and DMG/Mori Seiki spend plenty of time and resources on R&D to develop the best products for the gear market. More importantly, these companies engage with (and listen to) customer requests.
The Pentac Plus is the latest generation of Gleason’s Pentac bevel gear cutting system. It is designed to allow much higher tool life and improved productivity, especially for cutters using multiple face blade geometry.
This article describes a root fillet form calculating method for a helical gear generated with a shaper cutter.
Whether you spent time at Gear Expo in Indianapolis or EMO in Hannover, there was certainly new technology attracting attention. Machine tools are faster, more efficient and can integrate numerous functions in a single setup. Grinding technology is turning science upside down and inside out with high-speed removal rates and increased throughput.
The complete Industry News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
We are well into an odd-number year, so it must be just about time for another Gear Expo. Indeed, the big show -- Gear Expo 2013 -- kicks off in Indianapolis at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 17, wrapping up Thursday the 19th at 4:00 p.m. And whether you are exhibiting or attending, the bottom line is you are going -- a good thing for you, your company and the tightly knit U.S. gear industry.
There are several methods available for improving the quality of spur and helical gears following the standard roughing operations of hobbing or shaping. Rotary gear shaving and roll-finishing are done in the green or soft state prior to heat treating.
News Items About Star Cutter
1 Star Cutter Company Receives ISO Registration (January 11, 2013)
Star SU recently announced that Star Cutter has received a Certificate of Registration for ISO-9001:2008. Star Cutter was registered to t... Read News
2 Winco and Star Cutter Consolidate Sales (April 1, 2005)
Michael E. Winbald, president of Winco Industries, Brad Lawton, president of Star Cutter Co. and David W. Goodfellow, president of Star S... Read News
3 Star Cutter Announces Acquisition of Northern Tool Sales & Service (April 17, 2006)
Star Cutter Co. announced the acquisition by stock purchase of Northern Tool Sales & Service (NTSS), Warren, MI, effective October 31. ... Read News