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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.
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Zero to 125 MPH in five seconds. Maximum speed of 211 MPH. Seven-second pit stops. Formula One racing is a high-adrenalin sport - one which demands peak performance from drivers and machines alike.
The capabilities and limitations of manufacturing gears by conventional means are well-known and thoroughly documented. In the search to enhance or otherwise improve the gear-making process, manufacturing methods have extended beyond chip-cutting - hobbing, broaching, shaping, shaving, grinding, etc. and their inherent limitations based on cutting selection and speed, feed rates, chip thickness per tooth, cutting pressure, cutter deflection, chatter, surface finish, material hardness, machine rigidity, tooling, setup and other items.
Gear manufacturers are moving into an era that will see changes in both engineering practices and industry standards as new end-products evolve. Within the traditional automotive industry, carbon emission reduction legislation will drive the need for higher levels of efficiency and growth in electric and hybrid vehicles. Meanwhile, the fast growing market of wind turbines is already opening up a whole new area of potential for gearbox manufacturers, but this industry is one that will demand reliability, high levels of engineering excellence and precision manufacturing.
It is widely recognized that the reduction of CO2 requires consistent light-weight design of the entire vehicle. Likewise, the trend towards electric cars requires light-weight design to compensate for the additional weight of battery systems. The need for weight reduction is also present regarding vehicle transmissions. Besides the design of the gearbox housing, rotating masses such as gear wheels and shafts have a significant impact on fuel consumption. The current technology shows little potential of gear weight reduction due to the trade-off between mass optimization and the manufacturing process. Gears are usually forged followed or not by teeth cutting operation.
Borazon is a superabrasive material originally developed by General Electric in 1969. It is a high performance material for machining of high alloy ferrous and super alloy materials. Borazon CBN - Cubic Born Nitride - is manufactured with a high temperature, high pressure process similar to that utilized with man-made diamond. Borazon is, next to diamond, the hardest abrasive known; it is more than twice as hard as aluminum oxide. It has an extremely high thermal strength compared to diamond. It is also much less chemically reactive with iron, cobalt or nickel alloys.
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.
News Items About electric
1 Electrically-Heated Quench Tank Cures Products Post Heat-Treat (April 6, 2009)
The Number 974 insulated quench tank from the Grieve Corporation is electrically-heated to 200 degrees for heating mineral oil to cure me... Read News
2 Sunnen Offers All-Electric Design with Honing System (May 13, 2010)
The new HTA Series actuator hone introduces the first all-electric, lean design, engineered specifically for production of gas-meter tube... Read News
3 Vail Resorts Buys Wind Power to Offset its Electric Power (April 14, 2006)
Vail Resorts announced plans to buy enough wind power credits to offset the power needed for its resorts, retail stores and office buildi... Read News
4 Bison Gear, Armature Electric Partner for Power Transmission Distribution (April 13, 2005)
Bison Gear and Engineering announced the addition of Armature Electric Ltd. as the Bison power transmission distributor for western Canad... Read News
5 Schunk Releases New Electrical Miniature High-Speed Parallel Gripper (February 14, 2007)
Schunk Workholding's miniature high-speed parallel gripper (MHP) is the two-finger counterpart to the centric gripper SMG. Accord... Read News
6 Bodine Electric Doubles Size of Iowa Plant (November 25, 2008)
More than 100 new CNC machining jobs were created as a result of Bodine Electric Company's recent plant consolidation project. The ... Read News
7 Companies Join up for Electric Vehicle Transmission (November 29, 2011)
Three Swedish companies have brought together their know-how in transmission design, materials and manufacturing to produce a transmissio... Read News
8 Renishaw Named Best U.K. Electronic and Electrical Plant (October 22, 2012)
Renishaw's assembly facility at Woodchester in Gloucestershire has been named as the U.K.'s Best Electronics & Electrical Pla... Read News
9 Bodine Electric’s Low-Voltage Products Counter High Energy Costs (December 19, 2007)
With rising energy costs and environmental concerns, Bodine Electric recently announced the release of a low-voltage product line. Bodine... Read News