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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.
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.
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 hob is a perfect example of how a little manufacturing ingenuity can make a reliable, highly productive cutting tool. It's an engineering specimen that creates higher cutting speeds, better wear resistance and increases rigidity. The cutting tool alone, however, can't take all the credit for its resourcefulness. Advanced coating technology from companies like Sulzer, Oerlikon Balzers, Ionbond, Seco Tools and Cemecon helps improve cutting tools by reducing overall costs, increasing tool life and maintaining the highest levels of productivity. The following is a quick recap of new technologies and the latest information in the coating market.
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.
The proper design or selection of gear cutting tools requires thorough and detailed attention from the tool designer. In addition to experience, intuition and practical knowledge, a good understanding of profile calculations is very important.
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.
This article summarizes the development of an improved titanium nitride (TiN) recoating process, which has, when compared to conventional recoat methods, demonstrated tool life increases of up to three times in performance testing of hobs and shaper cutters. This new coating process, called Super TiN, surpasses the performance of standard TiN recoating for machining gear components. Super TiN incorporates stripping, surface preparation, smooth coating techniques and polishing before and after recoating. The combination of these improvements to the recoating process is the key to its performance.
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.
Physical Vapor Deposited (PVD) coatings such as TiN (Titanium nitride) have been a boon for cutting tool manufacturers. They reduce wear and, therefore, extend tool life, which in turn reduces production costs. But PVD coatings are expensive, and when they fail, they cost both time and money, and they causes of the failure are not always readily apparent.
Booth previews from exhibitors showing products and services for the gear industry.
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
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.
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.
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.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
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.
Today, because of reduced cost of coatings and quicker turnaround times, the idea of all-around coating on three-face-sharpened blades is again economically viable, allowing manufacturers greater freedoms in cutting blade parameters, including three-face-sharpened and even four-face-sharpened blades.
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.
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.
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.
This article presents some of the findings of cutting investigations at WZL in which the correlation of cutting parameters, cutting materials, tool geometry and tool life have been determined.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Users of gear-cutting tools probably do not often consciously consider the raw material from which those hogs, broaches or shavers are made. However, a rudimentary awareness of the various grades and their properties may allow tool users to improve the performance or life of their tools, or to address tool failures. The high-speed steel from which the tool is made certainly is not the only factor affecting tool performance, but as the raw material, the steel may be the first place to start.
The cutting tool industry has undergone some serious changes in the last couple of years in both technology and the way the industry does business. The emerging technology today, as well as for the foreseeable future, is dry cutting, especially in high volume production settings. Wet cutting continues to be as popular as ever with lubrication advances making it more economical and environmentally friendly. There has also developed a process called "near dry cutting." this process offers many of the benefits of fluids while eliminating many of hte associated problems.
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.
Gear design and specification are not one and the same. They are the first two steps in making a gear. The designer sits down and mathematically defines the gear tooth, working with the base pitch of the gear, the pressure angle he wants to employ, the number of teeth he wants, the lead, the tooth thickness, and the outside, form and root diameters. With these data, the designer can create a mathematical model of the gear. At this stage, he will also decide whether the gear will be made from existing cutting tools or whether new tools will be needed, what kind of materials he will use, and whether or not he will have the gear heat treated and finished.
Quality gear manufacturing depends on controlled tolerances and geometry. As a result, ferritic nitrocarburizing has become the heat treat process of choice for many gear manufacturers. The primary reasons for this are: 1. The process is performed at low temperatures, i.e. less than critical. 2. the quench methods increase fatigue strength by up to 125% without distorting. Ferritic nitrocarburizing is used in place of carburizing with conventional and induction hardening. 3. It establishes gradient base hardnesses, i.e. eliminates eggshell on TiN, TiAIN, CrC, etc. In addition, the process can also be applied to hobs, broaches, drills, and other cutting tools.
Publisher Michael Goldstein sat down with Dr. Thomas Koepfer, whose family company, Josef Koepfer & Söhne GmbH, was founded in 1867. Over the years, the Koepfer name has become one of the best-known in the gear industry, with company operations including the manufacture of gear machines, cutting tools and gears.
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 art of gear hobbing has advanced dramatically since the development and introduction of unique machine and tool features such as no backlash, super rigidity, automatic loading of cutting tools, CNC controls, additional machine power and improved cutter materials and coatings. It is essential to utilize all these features to run the machine economically.
Rotary gear honing is a crossed-axis, fine, hard finishing process that uses pressure and abrasive honing tools to remove material along the tooth flanks in order to improve the surface finish (.1-.3 um or 4-12u"Ra), to remove nicks and burrs and to change or correct the tooth geometry. Ultimately, the end results are quieter, stronger and longer lasting gears.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
In today's industrial marketplace, deburring and chamfering are no longer just a matter of cosmetics. The faster speeds at which transmissions run today demand that gear teeth mesh as smoothly and accurately as possible to prevent premature failure. The demand for quieter gears also requires tighter tolerances. New heat treating practices and other secondary gear operations have placed their own set of demands on manufacturers. Companies that can deburr or chamfer to these newer, more stringent specifications - and still keep costs in line - find themselves with a leg up on their competition.
Preview of some of the exhibits relevant to gear manufacturing at the upcoming EMO 2013.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show provided one of the biggest ever marketplaces for buying and selling gear-making equipment, with 121601 attenders, making it the largest IMTS ever. The show took place September 4-11 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
The chamfering and deburring operations on gear teeth have become more important as the automation of gear manufacturing lines in the automotive industry have steadily increased. Quieter gears require more accurate chamfers. This operation also translates into significant coast savings by avoiding costly rework operations. This article discusses the different types of chamfers on gear teeth and outlines manufacturing methods and guidelines to determine chamfer sizes and angles for the product and process engineer.
Broaching is a process in which a cutting tool passes over or through a part piece to produce a desired form. A broach removes part material with a series of teeth, each one removing a specified amount of stock.
The complete Product News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
Product news from the Gear Industry
News from around the Gear Industry
Question: We are interested in purchasing our first gear hobbing machine. What questions should we ask the manufacturer, and what do we need to know in order to correctly specify the CNC hardware and software system requirements?
The complete Product News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Machine tools boost speed and throughput with automation technology.
The complete Industry News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The dimensions of the worm and worm gear tooth surfaces and some of the worm gear drive parameters must be limited in order to avoid gear undercutting and the appearance of the envelope of lines of contact on the worm surface. The author proposes a method for the solution of this problem. The relations between the developed concept and Wildhaber's concept of the limit contact normal are investigated. The results of computations are illustrated with computer graphics.
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.
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.
The paper describes a procedure for the design of internal gear pairs, which is a generalized form of the long and short addendum system. The procedure includes checks for interference, tip interference, undercutting, tip interference during cutting, and rubbing during cutting.
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.
The objective, according to Dr.- Ing. Hansjörg Geiser, head of development and design for gear machines at Liebherr, was to develop and design a combined turning and hobbing machine in which turning, drilling and hobbing work could be carried out in the same clamping arrangement as the hobbing of the gearings and the subsequent chamfering and deburring processes.
Klingelnberg's new tool and machine concept allow for precise production.
Some results of evaluation by this method in the automotive industry.
Rolled out at EMO 2007, the Scudding process is a continuous cutting operation that uses a tool design similar to a helical shaper cutter. It can be used for a wide range of gear applications...
Environmentally friendly cutting fluids aren't just good for the environment. They can also be good for performance.
A new method for cutting straight bevel gears.
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.
Question: Do machines exist that are capable of cutting bevel gear teeth on a gear of the following specifications: 14 teeth, 1" circular pitch, 14.5 degrees pressure angle, 4 degrees pitch cone angle, 27.5" cone distance, and an 2.5" face width?
Sentences that start off with some variance of “I don’t want to brag, but…” are generally a good indicator that it’s precisely what the speaker intends to do and typically end with bold proclamations that are immediately and eminently quotable — the kind of quotes perfect for beginning a feature story with an eye-catching artistic flourish.
Faster, more efficient manufacturing offered with table-top design from American Broach & Machine.
There are a number of companies working to change the way broaching is perceived, and over the past 10 years, they’ve incorporated significant technological changes to make the process more flexible, productive and accurate.
Some gear-related highlights from the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany.
CNC technology offers new opportunities for the manufacture of bevel gears. While traditionally the purchase of a specific machine at the same time determined a particular production system, CNC technology permits the processing of bevel gears using a wide variety of methods. The ideological dispute between "tapered tooth or parallel depth tooth" and "single indexing or continuous indexing" no longer leads to an irreversible fundamental decision. The systems have instead become penetrable, and with existing CNC machines, it is possible to select this or that system according to factual considerations at a later date.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
Not long ago, many manufacturing managers thought sensitivity to environmental protection standards meant additional expenses, decreased productivity, and a plethora of headaches and hassles.
the gear industry is awash in manufacturing technologies that promise to eliminate waste by producing gears in near-net shape, cut production and labor costs and permit gear designers greater freedom in materials. These methods can be broken down into the following categories: alternative ways to cut, alternative ways to form and new, exotic alternatives. Some are new, some are old and some are simply amazing.
Okay, so you want to make some high quality gears for your customers, and you want to make a profit for your company, but you don't want to make a mess of the environment. What can you do?
New freedom of motion available with CNC generators make possible improving tooth contact on bevel and hypoid gears. Mechanical machines by their nature are inflexible and require a special mechanism for every desired motion. These mechanisms are generally exotic and expensive. As a result, it was not until the introduction of CNC generators that engineers started exploring motion possibilities and their effect on tooth contact.
Gear Technology speaks with David Goodfellow, president of American Pfauter, L.P., and Pfauter-Maag Cutting tools, L.P., to get his impressions about the state of the gear industry and its prospects for the future.
Gleason Corporation has announced that agreement has been reached on all terms to acquire for approximately $36 million in cash the Hermann Pfauter Group, including, among other operations, Hermann Pfauter GmbH & Co., a privately held leading producer of gear equipment based in Ludwigsburg, Germany; its 76% interest in Pfauter-Maad Cutting Tools, a leading cutting tool manufacturer basked in Loves Park, IL; and Pfauter-Maag management's 24% ownership interest in that company. The acquisition includes all assets and liabilities, including the assumption of approximately $56 million in bank debt.
News Items About cutting tools
1 Gear Expo Preview: Ingersoll Cutting Tools Booth 215 (September 22, 2011)
"We will be displaying new product offerings for shaping, finish gashing and hobbing, including our new 2-Start Hob and indexable Sh... Read News
2 Ingersoll Cutting Tools Introduces Insert and Tooling Family (February 7, 2007)
Ingersoll Cutting Tools introduces its Hex-Turn family of inserts and holders. According to the companys press releaes, the 12... Read News
3 Star SU Publishes New Cutting Tools Catalog (April 18, 2006)
Star SU will distribute its new hardbound, 122-page General Cutting Tools and Services catalog at its booth at IMTS. The book contains... Read News
4 Seco to Showcase Cutting Tools at MMTS (March 12, 2012)
Seco has announced that it will be highlighting a variety of new and established cutting tool solutions at MMTS 2012. In its booth, #457,... Read News
5 Ipsen Ships TurboTreaters to Gleason Cutting Tools (July 20, 2012)
Ipsen has shipped two 6 bar TurboTreaters to Gleason Cutting Tools Corporation located in Loves Park, Illinois. The units are designed fo... Read News
6 MSC Adds 15,000 Kennametal Cutting Tools (December 13, 2013)
MSC Industrial Supply Co., a distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions, services and supplies to... Read News
7 Gleason to Acquire IMS Koepfer Cutting Tools GmbH (December 2, 2013)
Gleason Corporation has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire IMS Koepfer Cutting Tools GmbH of Eisenbach, Germany f... Read News
8 Gleason Cutting Tools Recognized as John Deere Partner-Level Supplier (March 21, 2013)
Gleason Corporation recently announced that its Gleason Cutting Tools Corporation facility in Rockford, Illinois has earned Partner-level... Read News
9 Gleason Cutting Tools Recognized as John Deere Partner-Level Supplier (March 28, 2014)
Gleason Corporation announced that its Gleason Cutting Tools Corporation facility in Rockford, Illinois has for the second year in a row earned Partner-level status... Read News