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Material losses and long production times are two areas of conventional spur and helical gear manufacturing in which improvements can be made. Metalforming processes have been considered for manufacturing spur and helical gears, but these are costly due to the development times necessary for each new part design. Through a project funded by the U.S. Army Tank - Automotive Command, Battelle's Columbus Division has developed a technique for designing spur and helical gear forging and extrusion dies using computer aided techniques.
Gear design has long been a "black art." The gear shop's modern alchemists often have to solve problems with a combination of knowledge, experience and luck. In many cases, trial and error are the only effective way to design gears. While years of experience have produced standard gearsets that work well for most situations, today's requirements for quieter, more accurate and more durable gears often force manufacturers to look for alternative designs.
The auction has been held. The warehouse is bare. The computers and furniture are being packed, and Cadillac Machinery, the company started by my father in 1950, and of which I was president for more than 25 years, is close to being no more.
Many CAD (Computer Aided Design) systems have been developed and implemented to produce a superior quality design and to increase the design productivity in the gear industry. In general, it is true that a major portion of design tasks can be performed by CAD systems currently available. However, they can only address the computational aspects of gear design that typically require decision-making as well. In most industrial gear design practices, the initial design is the critical task that significantly effects the final results. However, the decisions about estimating or changing gear size parameters must be made by a gear design expert.
Information is the name of the game in the 90s. We need more of it; we need it faster; and we need it in infinitely manipulatable and user-friendly form. In many cases, getting it that way is still something of a Holy Grail, somewhere off on the distant horizon. But thanks to computer technology, bit by byte, we're getting there.
Letters from readers in response to past issues...
Industry News from October/November 1984 Gear Technology.
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 machine element package by KISSsoft for the design and optimization of components like gears, shafts, bearings and others is now available in the new version 04/2010.
Except for higher-end gear applications found in automotive and aerospace transmissions, for example, high-performance, sintered-steel gears match wrought-steel gears in strength and geometrical quality. The enhanced P/M performance is due largely to advances in powder metallurgy over last two decades, such as selective surface densification, new materials and lubricants for high density and warm-die pressing. This paper is a review of the results of a decade of research and development of high- performance, sintered-steel gear prototypes.
A fundamental characteristic of the gear industry is that it is capital intensive. In the last decade, the gear manufacturing industry has been undergoing an intense drive toward improving and modernizing its capital equipment base. The Department of Commerce reports that annual sales of gear cutting equipment have increased nearly 60% since 1990. While this effort has paid off in increased competitiveness for the American gear industry, it is important to remember that there is another capital crucial to manufacturing success - "human capital."
"A Decade of Performance" is the theme of the American Gear Manufacturers Association Gear Expo 97, to be held October 19-22 at Detroit's Cobo Hall. Products and services related to every aspect of the gear manufacturing process, from turning and grinding the blanks to coating and inspection of the gears,will be represented at the show.
Designing and manufacturing gears requires the skills of a mathematician, the knowledge of an engineer and the experience of a precision machinist. For good measure, you might even include the are of a magician, because the formulas and calculations involved in gear manufacturing are so obscure and the processes so little known that only members of an elite cadre of professionals can perform them.
High-speed machining using carbide has been used for some decades for milling and turning operations. The intermittent character of the gear cutting process has delayed the use of carbide tools in gear manufacturing. Carbide was found at first to be too brittle for interrupted cutting actions. In the meantime, however, a number of different carbide grades were developed. The first successful studies in carbide hobbing of cylindrical gears were completed during the mid-80s, but still did not lead to a breakthrough in the use of carbide cutting tools for gear production. Since the carbide was quite expensive and the tool life was too short, a TiN-coated, high-speed steel hob was more economical than an uncoated carbide hob.
Over the past decade, the wire electrical discharge machine (EDM) has become an increasingly important tool for machining non-standard shapes. It has even been used to cut gears and gear cavities for plastic molds. While generally accepted as a quick and versatile method for cutting spur gears, the EDM gear has lacked the precision of a mechanically machined or ground gear. We suspected that many of the errors associated with these gears were caused by inexact setup procedures, poor tool path control and improper cutting parameters. We decided to test the potential for the wire EDM to make the most accurate gear possible.
His resume reads like that of many gear engineers of his generation: the stint in the army during World War II; the break for college in the late 40s; deliberately vague descriptions of projects for the Air Force in the New Mexico desert in the early 50s; the corporate engineering jobs later on in the decade.
For anyone involved in gear manufacturing, Gear Expo is an absolute treasure. In 2013, it was bigger and more varied than it's been in a decade. With 226 exhibitors covering every conceivable gear-related technology, Gear Expo offered visitors unparalleled opportunities to interview potential new suppliers.
If you've been following this space with any regularity, you know that grassroots efforts among industry and academia are springing up around the country to help win the hearts, minds and talents of young people in nudging them towards a career in manufacturing. Add another partnership to the list.
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.
Bevel gears have been the standard for several decades in situations where power transmission has to occur between shafts mounted at a given angle. Now a new approach has been developed that challenges the bevel gear's de facto monopoly in such applications. The concept is based on the principle of the crown gear; i.e., a cylindrical pinion mates with a face gear. Crown Gear B.V. in Enschede, Holland, is the developer of these specialty gear teeth, which are marketed under the trade name Cylkro.
During the last decade, industrial gear manufacturers, particularly in Europe, began to require documentation of micropitting performance before approving a gear oil for use in their equipment. The development of micropitting resistant lubricants has been limited both by a lack of understanding of the mechanism by which certain lubricant chemistry promotes micropitting and by a lack of readily available testing for evaluation of the micropitting resistance of lubricants. This paper reports results of two types of testing: (1) the use of a roller disk machine to conduct small scale laboratory studies of the effects of individual additives and combinations of additives on micropitting and (2) a helical gear test used to study micropitting performance of formulated gear oils.
Richard Spens has been rebuilding antique machine tools for nearly a decade. He is drawn to the ornate architecture and fascinated by the open design that allows you to see inside a machine as it operates. "Working with machines has been a lifelong thing with me," said Spens, now a design engineer. "I started building steam engines when I was 10 years old." What he's working on now, however, is bigger than any steam engine or machine tool. In rural Livonia, Michigan, Spens is converting an old dairy barn into an accurate recreation of a turn-of-the-century, belt driven gear shop. It's an outgrowth of his interest in antique machine tools and, he feels, a way to stem the tide that is costing America so many manufacturing and skilled trade jobs.
For the first time in probably 15 years, I've attended an auto show. Although I haven't been purposely avoiding them, over the past decade or so, the auto industry hasn't given me a compelling reason to go.
The last decade has been a period of far-reaching change for the metal working industry. The effect of higher lubricant costs, technical advances in machine design and increasing competition are making it essential that manufacturers of gears pay more attention to testing, selecting and controlling cutting fluid systems. Lubricant costs are not a large percentage of the process cost relative to items such as raw materials, equipment and labor, and this small relative cost has tended to reduce the economic incentive to evaluate and to change cutting fluids.
"An industrial business with a very important growth potential for the next decade." That's the wind energy as described by Ivan Brems of gear manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International.
It’s happened to most manufacturers at one point or another. A defective product comes back from a customer in need of repair. Perhaps a bearing or a gear drive has failed, and the customer simply needs a replacement. Upon further examination, the company realizes it was never one of its products in the first place, but a fabricated copy that snuck into the market. The manufacturing community has been dealing with counterfeit products for decades, but used machinery dealers and Internet shoppers seem to continuously get hit by scam artists.
Most anyone that has been in the gear industry—or any machining and tooling oriented business, for that matter—is probably at least somewhat familiar with the Roto-Flo workhorse line of hydraulic-actuated spline and thread rolling machines. After all, they’ve been at it for decade
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.
The 17-year cicadas created quite a buzz in the Chicagoland area this June. Will Gear Expo 2007 create the same kind of buzz in the gear industry?
When Belgium-based Hansen Transmissions was under the ownership of Invensys plc in the late 1990s, the parent company was dropping not-so-subtle hints that the industrial gearbox manufacturer was not part of its long-term plans. Yet Hansen’s CEO Ivan Brems never dreamed that, less than a decade later, he would be working for an Indian company.
See the latest online video from Gleason, plus explore the THORS Academy Gears Knowledge Center and our Back to Basics archive.
The complete and accurate solution t the contact problem of three-dimensional gears has been, for the past several decades, one of the more sought after, albeit elusive goals in the engineering community. Even the arrival on the scene in the mid-seventies of finite element techniques failed to produce the solution to any but the most simple gear contact problems.
Ausforming, the plastic deformation of heat treatment steels in their metastable, austentic condition, was shown several decades ago to lead to quenched and tempered steels that were harder, tougher and more durable under fatigue-type loading than conventionally heat-treated steels. To circumvent the large forces required to ausform entire components such as gears, cams and bearings, the ausforming process imparts added mechanical strength and durability only to those contact surfaces that are critically loaded. The ausrolling process, as utilized for finishing the loaded surfaces of machine elements, imparts high quality surface texture and geometry control. The near-net-shape geometry and surface topography of the machine elements must be controlled to be compatible with the network dimensional finish and the rolling die design requirements (Ref. 1).
This paper presents approximate and accurate methods to generate solid models of involute cylindrical gears using Autodesk Inventor 3-D CAD software.
More and more gear shops are wrestling with the issue of whether or not solid modeling is right for their gear design work. The Q & A Page of The Gear Industry Home Page has had numerous questions asking how to model gears in solid modeling applications such as AutoCAD, Solidworks and Pr/Engineer. Given the problems people have been having, we are presenting the step-by-step process for modeling gears in Pr/Engineer, but first we thought it would be a good idea to explore the question of whether or not you should even try to design gears using Pro/Engineer or any other 3D solid modeling program.
You're already a veteran of the computer revolution. Only you and your controller know how much money you've spent and only your spouse knows how many sleepless nights you've had in the last ten years trying to carve out a place in the brave new world of computerized gear manufacturing. PC's, CNCs, CAD, CAM, DNC, SPC, CMM: You've got a whole bowl of alphabet soup out there on the shop floor. Overall these machines have lived up to their promises. Production time is down, quality is up. You have fewer scrapped parts and better, more efficient machine usage.
September 3-11 the 1986 International Machine Tool Show, "The World of Manufacturing Technology", will be held at the McCormick Place Exposition Center in Chicago. More that 1000 exhibits from over thirty countries are planned. These exhibits will present a complete range of machine-tool products from 2-story high presses to complete manufacturing systems, lathes, lasers, CAD/CAM systems and robotics.
A recent U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command project, conducted by Battelle's Columbus Laboratories. successfully developed the methodology of CAD/CAM procedures for manufacturing dies (via EDM) for forging spiral bevel gears. Further, it demonstrated that precision forging of spiral bevel gears is a practical production technique. Although no detailed economic evaluation was made in this study, it is expected that precision forging offers an attractive alternative to the costly gear cutting operations for producing spiral bevel gears.
In this article, the authors calculated the numerical coordinates on the tooth surfaces of spiral bevel gears and then modeled the tooth profiles using a 3-D CAD system. They then manufactured the large-sized spiral bevel gears based on a CAM process using multi-axis control and multi-tasking machine tooling. The real tooth surfaces were measured using a coordinate measuring machine and the tooth flank form errors were detected using the measured coordinates. Moreover, the gears were meshed with each other and the tooth contact patterns were investigated. As a result, the validity of this manufacturing method was confirmed.
An engineer's responsibility for verifying a new design or product concept as manufacturable early in the development cycle is a tough challenge. What appears to work on a blueprint or in a three-dimensional CAD file on a computer screen many not work on the factory floor; and the downstream impact on the manufacturing process of an undetected design flaw can be enormous. Costs can run into the millions.
News Items About cad
1 Extensible CAD joins PTC PartnerAdvantage Program (January 5, 2010)
Extensible CAD Technologies announced they have joined the PTC PartnerAdvantage Program at the Silver tier in a strategic move to integra... Read News
2 KISSsoft Update Integrates Parasolid CAD Core (April 26, 2010)
The machine element package by KISSsoft for the design and optimization of components like gears, shafts, bearings and others is now avai... Read News
3 GF AgieCharmilles Opens Training Academy (January 3, 2013)
GF AgieCharmilles, a provider of wire and die-sinking EDM systems, three- and five-axis milling machines and laser texturing technology, ... Read News
4 AIA Partners with IHS and CADENAS PARTsolutions (November 21, 2013)
The Aerospace Industries Association recently announced partnerships with IHS and CADENAS PARTsolutions to offer authorized 3-D computer-... Read News