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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.
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.
In order to increase the load carrying capacity of hardened gears, the distortion of gear teeth caused by quenching must be removed by precision cutting (skiving) and/or grinding. In the case of large gears with large modules, skiving by a carbide hob is more economical than grinding when the highest accuracy is not required.
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.).
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?
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
Two questions on hobbing cover the various types of hobs and their unusual names, as well as the importance of hob swivel angle.
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.
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.
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.
I would like to comment on David Arnesen's article, "Dry Hobbing Saves Automaker Money, Improves Gear Quality," in the Nov/Dec, 1996 issue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The modern day requirement for precision finished hobbed gears, coupled with the high accuracy characteristics of modern CNC hobbing machines, demands high tool accuracy.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Bodine Electric Co. of Chicago, IL., has a 97-year history of fine-and medium-pitch gear manufacturing. Like anywhere else, traditions, old systems, and structures can be beneficial, but they can also become paradigms and obstacles to further improvements. We were producing a high quality product, but our goal was to become more cost effective. Carbide hobbing is seen as a technological innovation capable of enabling a dramatic, rather than an incremental, enhancement to productivity and cost savings.
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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.
Several trends in mechanical engineering are leading to greater surface stress on components and thus to unacceptable wear. These trends include greater stresses due to increased power densities; the need to maintain high precision of components throughout their service life; and the environmental imperative to reduce use of lubricants and additives.
Some years back, most spiral bevel gear sets were produced as cut, case hardened, and lapped. The case hardening process most frequently used was and is case carburizing. Many large gears were flame hardened, nitrided, or through hardened (hardness around 300 BHN) using medium carbon alloy steels, such as 4140, to avoid higher distortions related to the carburizing and hardening process.
To meet the future goals of higher productivity and lower production costs, the cutting speeds and feeds in modern gear hobbing applications have to increase further. In several cases, coated carbide tools have replaced the commonly used high speed steel (HSS) tools.
Hobs, broaches, shaper cutters, shaver cutters, milling cutters, and bevel cutters used in the manufacture of gears are commonly made of high speed steel. These specialized gear cutting tools often require properties, such as toughness or manufacturability, that are difficult to achieve with carbide, despite the developments in carbide cutting tools for end mills, milling cutters, and tool inserts.
The higher load carrying capacities, compact dimensions and longer life of hardened gears is an accepted fact in industry today. However, the costs involved in case hardening and subsequent finishing operations to achieve these advantages are considerable. For example, in order to achieve desired running properties on larger gears, it has been necessary to grind the tooth flanks. This costly operation can now be replaced, in many cases, by a new Hard Cutting (HC) process which permits the cutting of hardened gears while maintaining extremely low tooling costs.
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.
New material technology allows for more efficient and flexible hobbing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.