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In this issue of Gear Technology, we are focusing on using computers to their greatest advantage in gear design and manufacturing. In a sense, that's old news. It's a cliche to suggest that computers make our work life easier and more productive. No company that wishes to remain competitive in today's global manufacturing environment can afford to be without computers in all their manifestations. We need them in the office; we need them next to our desks in place of drafting boards; we need them on the shop floor.
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.
The availability of technical software has grown rapidly in the last few years because of the proliferation of personal computers. It is rare to find an organization doing technical work that does not have some type of computer. For gear designers and manufacturers, proper use of the computer can mean the difference between meeting the competition or falling behind in today's business world. The right answers the first time are essential if cost-effective design and fabrication are to be realized. The computer is capable of optimizing a design by methods that are too laborious to undertake using hard calculations. As speeds continue to climb and more power per pound is required from gear systems, it no longer is possible to design "on the safe side" by using larger service factors. At high rotational speeds a larger gear set may well have less capacity because of dynamic effects. The gear engineer of today must consider the entire gear box or even the entire rotating system as his or her domain.
When designing a gear set, engineers usually want the teeth of the gear (Ng) and the pinion (Np) in a "hunting" mesh. Such a mesh or combination is defined as one in which the pinion and the gear do not have any common divisor by a prime number. If a mesh is "hunting," then the pinion must make Np x Ng revolutions before the same pinion tooth meshes with the same gear space. It is often easy to determine if a mesh is hunting by first determining if both the pinion and the gear teeth are divisible by 2,3,5,7,etc. (prime numbers). However, in this age of computerization, how does one program the computer to check for hunting teeth? A simple algorithm is shown below.
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.
VDI has created a data exchange format that allows for the electronic exchange of all geometric parameters for cylindrical gears.
Arrow Gear Company of Downers Grove, IL, has implemented a computer system that fully integrates exchange between all of its computer applications. The ELIMS (Electronic Linkage of Information Management Systems) project has increased manufacturing productivity and reduced lead times.
The Internet. Big deal. Now that you've dialed up weird politics.com, http://www.Elvis sightings and alt.naughty bits, what's online that's useful? Anything that would make your job easier, answer important questions, solve tough design problems? Information about, say, gearing? Is there anything out there in cyberspace worth the expense and hassle of going after?
These days it's hard to get through breakfast without reading or hearing another story about how the computer is changing the way we live, sleep, eat, breathe, make things and do business. The message is that everything is computerized now, or, if it isn't, it will be by next Tuesday at the latest, Well, maybe.
The aim of this article is to show a practical procedure for designing optimum helical gears. The optimization procedure is adapted to technical limitations, and it is focused on real-world cases. To emphasize the applicability of the procedure presented here, the most common optimization techniques are described. Afterwards, a description of some of the functions to be optimized is given, limiting parameters and restrictions are defined, and, finally, a graphic method is described.
An accurate and fast calculation method is developed to determine the value of a trigonometric function if the value of another trigonometric function is given. Some examples of conversion procedures for well-known functions in gear geometry are presented, with data for accuracy and computing time. For the development of such procedures the complete text of a computer program is included.
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.
Robots, computers and other signs of high technology abounded at IMTS 94, supporting the claim by many that this was one of the best shows ever. Many of the machines on display had so many robotic attachments and computer gizmos that they looked more like they belonged in some science fiction movie than on the floor of a machine shop.
Ever since the first cavemen bartered clamshells and spears, business has been about people interacting. In simpler times, commerce was conducted according to the look in someone's eye or the feel of his handshake. Today we have computers, fax machines, modems, e-mail and cell phones - all powerful tools that have increased our productivity. Those devices have shrunk our world, but, in some ways, they've also distanced us from each other by reducing personal interaction. In the name of efficiency, profitability and progress, we've found ways to place orders, sell products and exchange information without ever coming into contact with another human being.
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 you think Y2K will mean the end of the world, forget it. General Vladimir Dvorkin recently said, "I'd like to apologize beforehand if I fail to realize someone's hopes for the Apocalypse." Te general was, of course, discussing Russian nuclear missiles, making the point that they are not going to launch or detonate when the calendar rolls over to January 1, 2000. General Dvorkin's American counterparts are similarly optimistic. While all that is a relief, it raises the question: will Y2K be as kind to the rest of society? And more specifically, will it be as kind to the gear industry? According to AGMA's president, Joe Franklin, the answer is a resounding "yes." According to Franklin, the AGMA Board considers Y2K a non-issue within an industry that is well ahead of others in its preparedness for January 1, 2000. But is it really? Does the gear industry understand the problem any better than other sectors of society? It's a relief to know that the nuclear bombs are not likely to fall within the first moments of the year 2000, but how about the computers and machines that keep the worldwide economy together?
Letters to the editor covering a variety of subjects, including computers in gear design, couplings and more.
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.
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.
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.
McCormick Place, Chicago. A manufacturer's dream. Acres and acres of machine tools up and running - cutting chips, filling molds, moving material, bending, shaping, smoothing, measuring. Computers, robots and lasers everywhere - George Lucas goes to engineering school. Sounds, light and, most important, over 100,000 people, moving around, taking notes, asking questions and, above all, buying. This was IMTS '94. A heady, if tiring, experience.