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No one (not even you and I) consistently makes parts with perfect form and dimensions, so we must be able to efficiently check size and shape at many stages in the manufacturing and assembly process to eliminate scrap and rework and improve processes and profits. Automated inspection systems, which are widely used in all kinds of manufacturing operations, provide great efficiencies in checking individual features, but may not be as effective when asked to evaluate an entire part. You need to know why this is true and what you can do to improve your part yields.
In recent years, gear inspection requirements have changed considerably, but inspection methods have barely kept pace. The gap is especially noticeable in bevel gears, whose geometry has always made testing them a complicated, expensive and time-consuming process. Present roll test methods for determining flank form and quality of gear sets are hardly applicable to bevel gears at all, and the time, expense and sophistication required for coordinate measurement has limited its use to gear development, with only sampling occurring during production.
The purpose of this article is to clarify some terms and methods used in measuring the size of gears. There is also an explanation given of the error induced and how to correct for it in certain cases when the measurement is made using pins instead of balls.
There are problems in dimensional measurement that should be simple to solve with standard measuring procedures, but aren't. In such cases, using accepted practices may result in errors of hundreds of microns without any warning that something is wrong.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) announced at Gear Expo '95 that a national service for the calibration of involute artifacts is now available at the Department of Energy's Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN.
Question: We just received permission to purchase our first CNC gear inspection system. With capital approvals so hard to come by, especially for inspection equipment, I want to be sure to purchase a system I can count of for years to come. My past experience with purchasing CNC equipment has shown me that serviceability of the computer and the CNC controller portion of the system can be a problem in just a few years because of the obsolescence factor. What information do I need to look for when selecting a supplier to reduce the risk of obsolescence, as well as to reduce the long-term servicing costs in the computer and controls portion of the system?
The data discussed in this article was taken from an upright vacuum cleaner. This was a prototype cleaner that was self-propelled by a geared transmission. It was the first time that the manufacturer had used a geared transmission in this application.
What is so unique about gear manufacturing and inspection? Machining is mostly associated with making either flat or cylindrical shapes. These shapes can be created by a machine's simple linear or circular movements, but an involute curve is neither a straight line nor a circle. In fact, each point of the involute curve has a different radius and center of curvature. Is it necessary to go beyond simple circular and linear machine movements in order to create an involute curve? One of the unique features of the involute is the fact that it can be generated by linking circular and linear movements. This uniqueness has become fertile soil for many inventions that have simplified gear manufacturing and inspection. As is the case with gear generating machines, the traditional involute inspection machines take advantage of some of the involute properties. Even today, when computers can synchronize axes for creating any curve, taking advantage of involute properties can be very helpful. I t can simplify synchronization of machine movements and reduce the number of variables to monitor.
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.
Powder metallurgy (P/M) is a precision metal forming technology for the manufacture of parts to net or near-net shape, and it is particularly well-suited to the production of gears. Spur, bevel and helical gears all may be made by made by powder metallurgy processing.
This section will deal with the use of gear inspection for diagnostic purposes rather than quality determination. The proper evaluation of various characteristics in the data can be useful for the solution of quality problems. It is important to sort out whether the problem is coming from the machine, tooling and/or cutters, blanks, etc. An article by Robert Moderow in the May/June 1985 issue of Gear Technology is very useful for this purpose.
The purpose of this article is to discuss ISO 4156/ANSI B92.2M-1980 and to compare it with other, older standards still in use. In our experience designing and manufacturing spline gauges and other spline measuring or holding devices for splined component manufacturers throughout the world, we are constantly surprised that so many standards have been produced covering what is quite a small subject. Many of the standards are international standards; others are company standards, which are usually based on international standards. Almost all have similarities; that is, they all deal with splines that have involute flanks of 30 degrees, 37.5 degrees or 45 degrees pressure angle and are for the most part flank-fitting or occasionally major-diameter-fitting.
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.
The purpose of gear inspection is to: Assure required accuracy and quality, Lower overall cost of manufacture by controlling rejects and scrap, Control machines and machining practices and maintain produced accuracy as machines and tools wear, Determine hear treat distortions to make necessary corrections.
Temperature Induced Dimensional Changes Temperature causes various materials to change size at different rate, known as their Coefficients of Expansion (COE). The effects of this phenomenon on precision dimensional measurements are continuous and costly to industry. Precautions can be taken to allow parts and gages to temperature stabilize before conducting gage R & R studies, but the fact remains that on the shop floor temperatures vary all the time. The slow pace at which industry has accepted this reality probably has to do with the subtlety of these tiny size variations and our inability to sense gradual, but significant temperature changes.
Question: When evaluating charts from a gear inspection machine, it is sometimes found that the full length of the profile traces vary, and that sometimes they are less than the length of active profile (above start of active profile-SAP) by up to 20%. This condition could be caused by a concentricity error between tooth grinding and shaping, or by unequal stock removal when grinding. (See Fig. 1.) Is it possible that some of the variation is coming from the inspection machine? How can variation from the inspection machine be reduced?
The working surfaces of gear teeth are often the result of several machining operations. The surface texture imparted by the manufacturing process affects many of the gear's functional characteristics. To ensure proper operation of the final assembly, a gear's surface texture characteristics, such as waviness and roughness, can be evaluated with modern metrology instruments.
"God is in the details," says the philosopher. What he meant was that on the scale of the universe, it's not just the galaxies, the planets, the mountain ranges, or the major rivers that are important. So are the subatomic particles and the genes. It's the little things that make all the difference.
Surface roughness measuring of gear teeth can be a very frustrating experience. Measuring results often do not correlate with any functional characteristic, and many users think that they need not bother measuring surface roughness, since the teeth are burnished in operation. They mistakenly believe that the roughness disappears in a short amount of time. This is a myth! The surface indeed is shiny, but it still has considerable roughness. In fact, tests indicate that burnishing only reduces the initial roughness by approximately 25%.
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).
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.
Quality gear inspection means doing the "right" inspections "right." A lot of time and money can be spent doing the wrong types of inspections related to function and doing them incorrectly. As we will discover later, such things as runout can creep into the manufacturing and inspection process and completely ruin any piece of data that is taken. this is one of the most important problems to control for quality inspection.
Several articles have appeared in this publication in recent years dealing with the principles and ways in which the inspection of gears can be carried out, but these have dealt chiefly with spur, helical and bevel gearing, whereas worm gearing, while sharing certain common features, also requires an emphasis in certain areas that cause it to stand apart. For example, while worm gears transmit motion between nonparallel shafts, as do bevel and hypoid gears, they usually incorporate much higher ratios and are used in applications for which bevel would not be considered, including drives for rotary and indexing tables in machine tools, where close tolerance of positioning and backlash elimination are critical, and in situations where accuracy of pitch and profile are necessary for uniform transmission at speed, such as elevators, turbine governor drives and speed increasers, where worm gears can operate at up to 24,000 rpm.
In today’s globalized manufacturing, all industrial products having dimensional constraints must undergo conformity specifications assessments on a regular basis. Consequently, (standardization) associated with GD&T (geometrical dimensioning and tolerancing) should be un-ambiguous and based on common, accepted rules. Of course gears - and their mechanical assemblies - are special items, widely present in industrial applications where energy conversion and power transmission are involved.
Although a comprehensive on-site gearbox inspection is desirable in many situations, there may be constraints that limit the extent of the inspection such as cost, time, accessibility and qualified personnel. This article describes the equipment and techniques necessary to perform an on-site gearbox inspection.
Methods of examining large ring gear teeth to detect surface breaking discontinuities have often been time-consuming and limited in terms of data collected. Methods such as visual and magnetic particle inspection can miss critical discontinuities. However, a new ASTM international standard provides a more effective method for gear examination using eddy current array, a technology that has been widely used but, until now, not standardized.
What are the ins-and-outs of quality inspection of girth gears, from both a manufacturer and buyer perspective? Our experts respond.
Video from C&B Machinery; Introducing the Gear Technology Blog, featuring technical editor Charles D. Schultz; plus an online-exclusive article on big gear inspection.
It's not easy being big. Maybe that's not exactly how the phrase goes, but it's applicable, particularly when discussing the quality requirements of large gears. The size alone promises unique engineering challenges. BONUS Online Exclusive: Big or Small - Inspection is Key to Success.
Compact, custom and portable solutions are gaining more attention in manufacturing today as companies seek out the tools that offer the greatest productivity gains on the shop floor. Gear inspection seems to be following suit.
Gleason 350GMS helps put higher quality, more reliable gears into its next-generation TC10 automatic transmission.
Part I of this paper, which appeared in the January/February issue of Gear Technology, described the theory behind double-flank composite inspection. It detailed the apparatus used, the various measurements that can be achieved using it, the calculations involved and their interpretation. The concluding Part II presents a discussion of the practical application of double-flank composite inspection -- especially for large-volume operations. It also addresses statistical techniques that can be used in conjunction with double-flank composite inspection, as well as an in-depth analysis of gage R&R for this technique.
Part I of this paper describes the theory behind double-flank composite inspection, detailing the apparatus used, the various measurements that can be achieved using it, the calculations involved and their interpretation. Part II, which will appear in the next issue, includes a discussion of the practical application of double-flank composite inspection, especially for large-volume operations. Part II covers statistical techniques that can be used in conjunction with double-flank composite inspection, as well as an in-depth analysis of gage R&R for this technique.
Having outlasted the worldwide Great Recession, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts a constant growth in wind energy, i.e.: "increase in worldwide capacity to 460,000 MW by 2015."
Forest City Gear applies advanced gear shaping and inspection technologies to help solve difficult lead crown correction challenges half a world away. But these solutions can also benefit customers much closer to home, the company says. Here's how…
It is very common for those working in the gear manufacturing industry to have only a limited understanding of the fundamental principals of involute helicoid gear metrology, the tendency being to leave the topic to specialists in the gear lab. It is well known that quiet, reliable gears can only be made using the information gleaned from proper gear metrology.
A programmable algorithm is developed to separate out the effect of eccentricity (radial runout) from elemental gear inspection date, namely, profile and lead data. This algorithm can be coded in gear inspection software to detect the existence, the magnitude and the orientation of the eccentricity without making a separate runout check. A real example shows this algorithm produces good results.
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.
The trend toward moving coordinate measuring machines to the shop floor to become an integral part of the manufacturing operations brings real time process control within the reach of many companies. Putting measuring machines on the shop floor, however, subjects them to harsh environmental conditions. Like any measuring system, CMMs are sensitive to any ambient condition that deviates from the "perfect" conditions of the metrology lab.
In the last section, we discussed gear inspection; the types of errors found by single and double flank composite and analytical tests; involute geometry; the involute cam and the causes and symptoms of profile errors. In this section, we go into tooth alignment and line of contact issues including lead, helix angles, pitch, pitchline runout, testing and errors in pitch and alignment.
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
For two days in Saline, Michigan, Liebherr's clients, customers and friends came together to discuss the latest gear products and technology. Peter Wiedemann, president of Liebherr Gear Technology Inc., along with Dr.-Ing. Alois Mundt, managing director, Dr.-Ing. Oliver Winkel, head of application technology, and Dr.-Ing. Andreas Mehr, technology development shaping and grinding, hosted a variety of informative presentations.
Our experts tackle the topic of measuring involute masters, including both master gears and gear inspection artifacts.
Mitutoyo offers capable, affordable and flexible gear inspection option via coordinate measuring machines and gear inspection software.
Dear Editor: In Mr. Yefim Kotlyar's article "Reverse Engineering" in the July/August issue, I found an error in the formula used to calculate the ACL = Actual lead from the ASL = Assumed lead.
Question: What is functional measurement and what is the best method for getting truthful answers?
The status on traceability of gear artifacts in the United States.
The presence of significant errors in the two-flank roll test (a work gear rolled in tight mesh against a master gear) is well-known, but generally overlooked.
The German National Metrology Institute has developed a novel calibration concept that allows for highly accurate calibration of product-like artifacts.
The two-flank roll test measures kickout (tooth-to-tooth composite error) and tooth thickness. In this article, it will be shown that measured values vary with the number of teeth on the master gear.
In this paper, a method is presented for analyzing and documenting the pitting failure of spur and helical gears through digital photography and automatic computerized evaluation of the damaged tooth fl ank surface. The authors have developed an accurate, cost-effective testing procedure that provides an alternative to vibration analysis or oil debris methods commonly used in conjunction with similar test-rig programs.
A trial test of the calibration procedures outlined in ISO 18653—Gears: Evaluation of Instruments for the Measurement of Individual Gears, shows that the results are reasonable, but a minor change to the uncertainty formula is recommended. Gear measuring machine calibration methods are reviewed. The benefits of using workpiece-like artifacts are discussed, and a procedure for implementing the standard in the workplace is presented. Problems with applying the standard to large gear measuring machines are considered and some recommendations offered.
Xspect Solutions Provides Wenzel Bridge-Type CMM Equipped with OpenDMIS Software for Basic Gear Measuring Capability with CMM Flexibility.
Good timing leads to partnership between Process Equipment and Schafer Gear.
Investment in Gleason GMM Series inspection equipment helps drive Milwaukee Gear's expansion into profitable new markets around the world—all hungry for high-precision custom gears and gear drives.
Klingelnberg measuring centers eliminate trial-and-error with modern analysis tools.
It may not be widely recognized that most of the inspection data supplied by inspection equipment, following the practices of AGMA Standard 2015 and similar standards, are not of elemental accuracy deviations but of some form of composite deviations. This paper demonstrates the validity of this “composite” label by first defining the nature of a true elemental deviation and then, by referring to earlier literature, demonstrating how the common inspection practices for involute, lead (on helical gears), pitch, and, in some cases, total accumulated pitch, constitute composite measurements.
AGMA has started to replace its 2000-A88 standard for gear accuracy with a new series of documents based largely on ISO standards. The first of the replacement AGMA standards have been published with the remainder coming in about a year. After serving as a default accuracy specification for U.S. commerce in gear products for several decades, the material in AGMA 2000-A88 is now considered outdated and in need of comprehensive revision.
Your May/June issue contains a letter from Edward Ubert of Rockwell International with some serious questions about specifying and measuring tooth thickness.
Much of the information in this article has been extracted from an AGMA Technical Paper, "What Single Flank Testing Can Do For You", presented in 1984 by the author
What does it mean to make "better" gears? Better gears more closely resemble the intended design parameters.
The complete Industry News section from the October 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
This article was originally published 20 years ago, in Gear Technology’s first issue. It describes a method of evaluating the smoothness, or lack of smoothness, of gear motion. This lack of smoothness of motion, known as “transmission error,” is responsible for excitation of gear noise and problems of gear accuracy and sometimes has a relationship to gear failure.
"Frenco--Inspecting All Flanks in Minutes."
Gear metrology is a revolving door of software packages and system upgrades. It has to be in order to keep up with the productivity and development processes of the machines on the manufacturing floor. Temperature compensation, faster inspection times and improved software packages are just a few of the advancements currently in play as companies prepare for new opportunities in areas like alternative energy, automotive and aerospace/defense.
Much information has been written on gear inspection, analytical. functional. semiautomatic and automatic. In most cases, the charts, (if you are lucky enough to have recording equipment) have been explained.
When gears are case-hardened, it is known that some growth and redistribution of stresses that result in geometric distortion will occur. Aerospace gears require post case-hardening grinding of the gear teeth to achieve necessary accuracy. Tempering of the case-hardened surface, commonly known as grinding burn, occurs in the manufacturing process when control of the heat generation at the surface is lost.
In comparison with the traditional gear design approach based on preselected, typically standard generating rack parameters, the Direct Gear Design method provides certain advantages for custom high-performance gear drives that include: increased load capacity, efficiency and lifetime; reduced size, weight, noise, vibrations, cost, etc. However, manufacturing such directly designed gears requires not only custom tooling, but also customization of the gear measurement methodology. This paper presents definitions of main inspection dimensions and parameters for directly designed spur and helical, external and internal gears with symmetric and asymmetric teeth.
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.
How well you conduct your inspections can be the difference-maker for securing high-value contracts from your customers. And as with most other segments of the gear industry, inspection continues striving to attain “exact science” status. With that thought in mind, following is a look at the state of gear inspection and what rigorous inspection practices deliver—quality.
Gleason's GMS analytical gear inspection systems provide all the right features at Eaton Corp.
Among the various types of gearing systems available to the gear application engineer is the versatile and unique worm and worm gear set. In the simpler form of a cylindrical worm meshing at 90 degree axis angle with an enveloping worm gear, it is widely used and has become a traditional form of gearing. (See Fig. 1) This is evidenced by the large number of gear shops specializing in or supplying such gear sets in unassembled form or as complete gear boxes. Special designs as well as standardized ratio sets covering wide ratio ranges and center distanced are available with many as stock catalog products.
The first commandment for gears reads "Gears must have backlash!" When gear teeth are operated without adequate backlash, any of several problems may occur, some of which may lead to disaster. As the teeth try to force their way through mesh, excessive separating forces are created which may cause bearing failures. These same forces also produce a wedging action between the teeth with resulting high loads on the teeth. Such loads often lead to pitting and to other failures related to surface fatigue, and in some cases, bending failures.
Our experts discuss runout and helix accuracy, as well as the maximum number of teeth in a shaper cutter.
AGMA introduced ANSI/AGMA 2015–2–A06— Accuracy Classification System: Radial System for Cylindrical Gears, in 2006 as the first major rewrite of the double-flank accuracy standard in over 18 years. This document explains concerns related to the use of ANSI/AGMA 2015–2–A06 as an accuracy classification system and recommends a revised system that can be of more service to the gearing industry.
Whether gear engineers have to replace an old gear which is worn out, find out what a gear's geometry is after heat treatment distortion, or just find out parameters of gears made by a competitor, sometimes they are challenged with a need to determine the geometry of unknown gears. Depending on the degree of accuracy required, a variety of techniques are available for determining the accuracy of an unknown gear. If a high degree of precision is important, a gear inspection device has to be used to verify the results. Frequently, several trial-and-error attempts are made before the results reach the degree of precision required.
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.
Runout is a troublemaker! Good shop practice for the manufacture or inspection of gears requires the control of runout. Runout is a characteristic of gear quality that results in an effective center distance variation. As long as the runout doesn't cause loss of backlash, it won't hurt the function of the gear, which is to transmit smooth motion under load from one shaft to another. However, runout does result in accumulated pitch variation, and this causes non-uniform motion, which does affect the function of the gears. Runout is a radial phenomenon, while accumulated pitch variation is a tangential characteristic that causes transmission error. Gears function tangentially. It is also possible to have a gear with accumulated pitch variation, but little or no runout.
The modern day requirement for precision finished hobbed gears, coupled with the high accuracy characteristics of modern CNC hobbing machines, demands high tool accuracy.
Gear manufacturing schedules that provide both quality and economy are dependent on efficient quality control techniques with reliable measuring equipment. Given the multitude of possible gear deviations, which can be found only by systematic and detailed measuring of the gear teeth, adequate quality control systems are needed. This is especially true for large gears, on which remachining or rejected workpieces create very high costs. First, observation of the gears allows adjustment of the settings on the equipment right at the beginning of the process and helps to avoid unproductive working cycles. Second, the knowledge of deviations produced on the workpiece helps disclose chance inadequacies on the production side: e.g., faults in the machines and tools used, and provides an opportunity to remedy them.
This article provides an overview of the benefits of using psychoacoustic characteristics for describing gear noise. And with that, human hearing and the most important psychoacoustic values are introduced. Finally, results of noise tests with different gear sets aree presented. The tests are the basis for a correlation analysis between psychoacoustic values and gear characteristics.
Meeting the many challenges of large gear inspection.
When parts you manufacture pass through numerous processes such as deep hole drilling, machining, hobbing and grinding, a CMM is essential when your customers require 100 percent in-process and final inspection.
A new inspection method has several advantages over traditional methods, especially for very large or very small gears.
A reader clarifies technology presented in the March/April 2011 issue.
Gear flank breakage can be observed on edge zone-hardened gears. It occurs, for example, on bevel gears for water turbines, on spur gears for wind energy converters and on single- and double-helical gears for other industrial applications.
Anyone involved in the design, manufacture and use of gears is concerned with three general characteristics relative to their application: noise, accuracy, and strength or surface durability. In the article, we will be dealing with probably the most aggravating of the group, gear noise.
It has previously been demonstrated that one gear of an interchangeable series will rotate with another gear of the same series with proper tooth action. It is, therefore, evident that a tooth curve driven in unison with a mating blank, will "generate" in the latter the proper tooth curve to mesh with itself.
Presumably, everyone who would be interested in this subject is already somewhat familiar with testing of gears by traditional means. Three types of gear inspection are in common use: 1) measurement of gear elements and relationships, 2) tooth contact pattern checks and 3) rolling composite checks. Single Flank testing falls into this last category, as does the more familiar Double Flank test.
Metrology is a vital component of gear manufacturing. Recent changes in this area, due in large part to the advent of computers, are highlighted in this article by comparison with more traditional methods.