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Hobbing is one of the most fundamental processes in gear manufacturing. Its productivity and versatility make hobbing the gear manufacturing method of choice for a majority of spur and helical gears.
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.
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.
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?
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).
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).
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.
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 forming of gear teeth has traditionally been a time-consuming heavy stock removal operation in which close tooth size, shape, runout and spacing accuracy are required. This is true whether the teeth are finished by a second forming operation or a shaving operation.
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.
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.
Two questions on hobbing cover the various types of hobs and their unusual names, as well as the importance of hob swivel angle.
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.
The modern day requirement for precision finished hobbed gears, coupled with the high accuracy characteristics of modern CNC hobbing machines, demands high tool accuracy.
NC and CNC metal cutting machines are among the most popular machine tools in the business today, There is also a strong trend toward using flexible machining centers and flexible manufacturing systems. The same trend is apparent in gear cutting. Currently the trend toward CNC tools has increased, and sophisticated controls and peripheral equipment for gear cutting machines are now available; however, the investment in a CNC gear machine has to be justified on the basis of economic facts as well as technical advantages.
Question: When cutting worm gears with multiple lead stock hobs we find the surface is "ridged". What can be done to eliminate this appearance or is to unavoidable?
There are different types of spiral bevel gears, based on the methods of generation of gear-tooth surfaces. A few notable ones are the Gleason's gearing, the Klingelnberg's Palloid System, and the Klingelnberg's and Oerlikon's Cyclo Palliod System. The design of each type of spiral bevel gear depends on the method of generation used. It is based on specified and detailed directions which have been worked out by the mentioned companies. However, there are some general aspects, such as the concepts of pitch cones, generating gear, and conditions of force transmissions that are common for all types of spiral bevel gears.
The finished gear engineer, the man who is prepared for all emergencies, must first of all know the basic design principles. Next he must be well versed in all sorts of calculations which come under the heading of "involute trigonometry."
Question: What is functional measurement and what is the best method for getting truthful answers?
The quality of a gear and its performance is determined by the following five parameters, which should be specified for each gear: Pitch diameter, involute form, lead accuracy, spacing accuracy, and true axis of rotation. The first four parameters can be measured or charted and have to be within tolerance with respect to the fifth. Pitch diameter, involute, lead, and spacing of a gear can have master gear quality when measured or charted on a testing machine, but the gear might perform badly if the true axis of rotation after installation is no longer the same one used when testing the gear.
Whether gear engineers have to replace an old gear which is worn out, find out what a gear's geometry is after heat treatment distortion, or just find out parameters of gears made by a competitor, sometimes they are challenged with a need to determine the geometry of unknown gears. Depending on the degree of accuracy required, a variety of techniques are available for determining the accuracy of an unknown gear. If a high degree of precision is important, a gear inspection device has to be used to verify the results. Frequently, several trial-and-error attempts are made before the results reach the degree of precision required.
Carburized and hardened gears have optimum load-carrying capability. There are many alternative ways to produce a hard case on the gear surface. Also, selective direct hardening has some advantages in its ability to be used in the production line, and it is claimed that performance results equivalent to a carburized gear can be obtained. This article examines the alternative ways of carburizing, nitriding, and selective direct hardening, considering equipment, comparative costs, and other factors. The objective must be to obtain the desired quality at the lowest cost.
A widespread weakness of gear drawings is the requirements called out for carburize heat treating operations. The use of heat treating specifications is a recommended solution to this problem. First of all, these specifications guide the designer to a proper callout. Secondly, they insure that certain metallurgical characteristics, and even to some extent processing, will be obtained to provide the required qualities in the hardened gear. A suggested structure of carburizing specifications is give.
Curvic Couplings were first introduced in 1942 to meet the need for permanent couplings and releasing couplings (clutches), requiring extreme accuracy and maximum load carrying capacity, together with a fast rate of production. The development of the Curvic Coupling stems directly from the manufacture of Zerol and spiral bevel gears since it is made on basically similar machines and also uses similar production methods. The Curvic Coupling can therefore lay claim to the same production advantages and high precision associated with bevel gears.
Rotary gear honing is a hard gear finishing process that was developed to improve the sound characteristics of hardened gears by: Removing nicks and burrs; improving surface finish; and making minor corrections in tooth irregularities caused by heat-treat distortion.
In this discussion of gear roll-finishing particular attention is called to the special tooth nomenclature resulting from the interaction between the rolling die teeth and the gear teeth. To eliminate confusion the side of a gear tooth that is in contact with the "approach" side of a rolling die tooth is also considered to be the approach side. The same holds true for the "trail" side. Thus, the side of the gear tooth that is in contact with the trail side of a rolling die is also considered to be the trail side.
Transmission of power between nonparallel shafts is inherently more difficult than transmission between parallel shafts, but is justified when it saves space and results in more compact, more balanced designs. Where axial space is limited compared to radial space, angular drives are preferred despite their higher initial cost. For this reason, angular gear motors and worm gear drives are used extensively in preference to parallel shaft drives, particularly where couplings, brakes, and adjustable mountings add to the axial space problem of parallel shaft speed reducers.
Below are listed a variety of commonly used constants arranged numerically to permit ease of reference. Wherever an asterisk (*) is shown, the constant is exact as given, it being generally a mathematical constant or one fixed by definition. In cases where the first constant listed is followed by another in parenthesis, the first is the round number generally used, while the second is the more exact value.
In designing involute gear teeth, it is essential that the fundamental properties of the involute curve be clearly understood. A review of "the Fundamental Laws of the Involute Curve" found in last issue will help in this respect. It has previously been shown that the involute curve has its origin at the base circle. Its length, however, may be anything from zero at the origin or starting point on to infinity. The problem, therefore, in designing gear teeth, is to select that portion of the involute, which will best meet all requirements.
It has previously been demonstrated that one gear of an interchangeable series will rotate with another gear of the same series with proper tooth action. It is, therefore, evident that a tooth curve driven in unison with a mating blank, will "generate" in the latter the proper tooth curve to mesh with itself.
The most conclusive test of bevel and hypoid gears is their operation under normal running conditions in their final mountings. Testing not only maintains quality and uniformity during manufacture, but also determines if the gears will be satisfactory for their intended applications.
Rules and Formula for worm gears, bevel gears and strength of gear teeth.
When specifying a complete gear design, the novice designer is confronted with an overwhelming and frequently confusing group of options which must be specified. This array of specifications range from the rather vague to the very specific.
In our last issue, the labels on the drawings illustrating "Involutometry" by Harlan Van Gerpan and C. Kent Reece were inadvertently omitted. For your convenience we have reproduced the corrected illustrations here. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused our readers.
Gears are toothed wheels used primarily to transmit motion and power between rotating shafts. Gearing is an assembly of two or more gears. The most durable of all mechanical drives, gearing can transmit high power at efficiencies approaching 0.99 and with long service life. As precision machine elements gears must be designed.
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.
Primitive gears were known and used well over 2,000 years ago, and gears have taken their place as one of the basic machine mechanisms; yet, our knowledge and understanding of gearing principles is by no means complete. We see the development of faster and more reliable gear quality assessment and new, more productive manufacture of gears in higher materials hardness states. We have also seen improvement in gear applications and design, lubricants, coolants, finishes and noise and vibration control. All these advances push development in the direction of smaller, more compact applications, better material utilization and improved quietness, smoothness of operation and gear life. At the same time, we try to improve manufacturing cost-effectiveness, making use of highly repetitive and efficient gear manufacturing methods.
Involute Curve Fundamentals. Over the years many different curves have been considered for the profile of a gear tooth. Today nearly every gear tooth uses as involute profile. The involute curve may be described as the curve generated by the end of a string that is unwrapped from a cylinder. (See Fig. 1) The circumference of the cylinder is called the base circle.
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 following excerpt is from the Revised Manual of Gear Design, Section III, covering helical and spiral gears. This section on helical gear mathematics shows the detailed solutions to many general helical gearing problems. In each case, a definite example has been worked out to illustrate the solution. All equations are arranged in their most effective form for use on a computer or calculating machine.
The following excerpt is from the Revised Manual of Gear Design, Section III, covering helical and spiral gears. This section on helical gear mathematics shows the detailed solutions to many general helical gearing problems. In each case, a definite example has been worked out to illustrate the solution. All equations are arranged in their most effective form for use on a computer or calculating machine.
Engineering design requires many different types of gears and splines. Although these components are rather expensive, subject to direct wear, and difficult to replace, transmissions with gears and splines are required for two very simple reasons: 1) Motors have an unfavorable (disadvantageous) relation of torque to number of revolutions. 2)Power is usually required to be transmitted along a shaft.
Question: Could you explain what is meant by "horological gearing"? I never heard of this before, although I understand it has something to do with watches. Could you also explain the meaning of a "going gear train"?
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.
Grinding in one form or another has been used for more than 50 years to correct distortions in gears caused by the high temperatures and quenching techniques associated with hardening. Grinding improves the lead, involute and spacing characteristics. This makes the gear capable of carrying the high loads and running at the high pitch line velocities required by today's most demanding applications. Gears that must meet or exceed the accuracy requirements specified by AGMA Quality 10-11 or DIN Class 6-7 must be ground or hard finished after hear treatment.
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.
AGMA and members of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) are three years into a joint project to develop specifications and an information sheet on rating powder metal gears. According to committee vice chairman Glen A. Moore of Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co., the first phase of the project, the publication of AGMA Standard "6009-AXX, Specifications for Powder Metallurgy Gears," should be completed in late 1996 or early 1997.
Increasingly gear designers and product engineers are capitalizing on the economic advantages of powder metallurgy (P/M) for new and existing gear applications. Powder metal gears are found in automobiles, outdoor power equipment transmissions and office machinery applications as well as power hand tools, appliances and medial components.
Today gear drive operations have several options when selecting the proper lubricant for their gearboxes. As in the past, the primary lubricant used for gearbox lubrication is mineral oil. But with the advances in technology, synthetic hydrocarbons (PAOs) and polyglycols show very specific advantages in certain applications. With gear drives becoming more and more precise, it is now also to the benefit of the gear operator to verify that he or she has the proper additive package and viscosity in the lubricant selected. Fig. 1 shoes that a gear oil is a combination of a base oil and specific additives. The base oils can be either mineral oil, a synthetic or even in some cases a combination of the two.
In the quest for ever more exacting and compact commercial gears, precision abrasives are playing a key production role - a role that can shorten cycle time, reduce machining costs and meet growing market demand for such requirements as light weights, high loads, high speed and quiet operation. Used in conjunction with high-quality grinding machines, abrasives can deliver a level of accuracy unmatched by other manufacturing techniques, cost-effectively meeting AGMA gear quality levels in the 12 to 15 range. Thanks to advances in grinding and abrasive technology, machining has become one of the most viable means to grind fast, strong and quiet gears.
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.
In 1961 I presented a paper, "Calculating Conjugate Helical Forms," at the semi-annual meeting of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA). Since that time, thousands of hobs, shaper cutters and other meshing parts have been designed on the basis of the equations presented in that paper. This article presents the math of that paper without the formality of its development and goes on to discuss its practical application.
Gearing is a self-training course for teaching the basic fundamentals of gears and gearing to those totally unfamiliar with the subject.
This back-to-basics article describes the main methods used for hardness testing of gears: Rockwell, Brinell, Vickers and Knoop.
Video from Hexagon Metrology, Back-to-Basics archive, e-mail newsletter updates and what's happening on LinkedIn
How does one determine the center of a worm and a worm wheel? Also, what are the differences between the common worm tooth forms?
What is the difference between pressure angle and operating pressure angle?
Although gears can be manufactured using a wide variety of profiles, the involute curve is the most commonly used. Here are some of the basics.
It is very common for those working in the gear manufacturing industry to have only a limited understanding of the fundamental principals of involute helicoid gear metrology, the tendency being to leave the topic to specialists in the gear lab. It is well known that quiet, reliable gears can only be made using the information gleaned from proper gear metrology.
In the last section, we discussed gear inspection; the types of errors found by single and double flank composite and analytical tests; involute geometry; the involute cam and the causes and symptoms of profile errors. In this section, we go into tooth alignment and line of contact issues including lead, helix angles, pitch, pitchline runout, testing and errors in pitch and alignment.
Gear shaving is a free-cutting gear finishing operation which removes small amounts of metal from the working surfaces of gear teeth. Its purpose is to correct errors in index, helix angle, tooth profile and eccentricity. The process also improves tooth surface finish and eliminates by means of crowned tooth forms the danger of tooth end load concentrations in service.
NC and CNC machines are at the heart of manufacturing today. They are the state-of-the-art equipment everybody has (or is soon going to get) that promise to lower costs, increase production and turn manufacturers into competitive powerhouses. Like many other high tech devices (such as microwaves and VCRs), lots of people have and use them - even successfully - without really knowing much about how they operate. But upgrading to CNC costs a lot of money, so it's crucial to separate the hype from the reality.
This section will deal with the use of gear inspection for diagnostic purposes rather than quality determination. The proper evaluation of various characteristics in the data can be useful for the solution of quality problems. It is important to sort out whether the problem is coming from the machine, tooling and/or cutters, blanks, etc. An article by Robert Moderow in the May/June 1985 issue of Gear Technology is very useful for this purpose.
The purpose of gear inspection is to: Assure required accuracy and quality, Lower overall cost of manufacture by controlling rejects and scrap, Control machines and machining practices and maintain produced accuracy as machines and tools wear, Determine hear treat distortions to make necessary corrections.
There is one dimension common to both members of a pair of properly mating spur gears - the base pitch (BP). This base pitch is equal to the circular pitch of the gear on the base circle (see Fig. 1). For a helical gear, the base pitch can be described in either the transverse or normal plane, and is called the transverse base pitch (TBP) or normal base pitch (NBP), respectively. For parallel axis helical gears, both the TBP and NBP must be the same on both mating gears. For skew axis helical gears, only the NBP must be common.
The phenomena of deterioration of surfaces are generally very complex and depend on numerous conditions which include the operating conditions, the type of load applied, the relative speeds of surfaces in contact, the temperature, lubrication, surfaces hardness and roughness, and the compatibility and nature of materials.
Grinding is a technique of finish-machining, utilizing an abrasive wheel. The rotating abrasive wheel, which id generally of special shape or form, when made to bear against a cylindrical shaped workpiece, under a set of specific geometrical relationships, will produce a precision spur or helical gear. In most instances the workpiece will already have gear teeth cut on it by a primary process, such as hobbing or shaping. There are essentially two techniques for grinding gears: form and generation. The basic principles of these techniques, with their advantages and disadvantages, are presented in this section.
The term "blanking" refers to the initial metal cutting operations in the process planning sequence which produce the contour of a part starting from rough material. The scope of blanking is: To remove the excess material To machine the part to print specifications, except for those surfaces with subsequent finishing operations. To leave adequate machining stock for finishing operations. To prepare good quality surfaces for location and clamping of the part throughout the process.
Question: When evaluating charts from a gear inspection machine, it is sometimes found that the full length of the profile traces vary, and that sometimes they are less than the length of active profile (above start of active profile-SAP) by up to 20%. This condition could be caused by a concentricity error between tooth grinding and shaping, or by unequal stock removal when grinding. (See Fig. 1.) Is it possible that some of the variation is coming from the inspection machine? How can variation from the inspection machine be reduced?
Experience has proven that the involute provides the most satisfactory profile for spur and helical gear teeth, and fulfills the requirements for transmitting smooth, uniform angular motion.
In a very general sense, increasing the hardness of a steel gear increases the strength of the gear. However, for each process there is a limit to its effectiveness. This article contains background information on each of the processes covered. In each section what is desired and what is achievable is discussed. Typical processes are presented along with comments on variables which affect the result. By reviewing the capabilities and processes, it is possible to determine the limits to each process.
One of our readers in England has asked for our help in locating published technical data and information on the design, manufacture, and inspection of camshaft gears. Although millions of these gears have been made and are in constant use, we are not aware of any formal material having been published. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who had knowledge of such information.
Questions: I have heard the terms "safety factor," "service factor," and "application factor" used in discussing gear design. what are these factors an dhow do they differ from one another? Why are they important?
The use of dimensionless factors to describe gear tooth geometry seems to have a strong appeal to gear engineers. The stress factors I and J, for instance, are well established in AGMA literature. The use of the rack shift coefficient "x" to describe nonstandard gear proportions is common in Europe, but is not as commonly used in the United States. When it is encountered in the European literature or in the operating manuals for imported machine tools, it can be a source of confusion to the American engineer.
Most steel gear applications require appreciable loads to be applied that will result in high bending and compressive stresses. For the material (steel) to meet these performance criteria, the gear must be heat treated. Associated with this thermal processing is distortion. To control the distortion and achieve repeatable dimensional tolerances, the gear will be constrained during the quenching cycle of the heat treatment process. This type of fixture quenching is the function of gear quench pressing equipment.
Quality gear inspection means doing the "right" inspections "right." A lot of time and money can be spent doing the wrong types of inspections related to function and doing them incorrectly. As we will discover later, such things as runout can creep into the manufacturing and inspection process and completely ruin any piece of data that is taken. this is one of the most important problems to control for quality inspection.
Could the tip chamfer that manufacturing people usually use on the tips of gear teeth be the cause of vibration in the gear set? The set in question is spur, of 2.25 DP, with 20 degrees pressure angle. The pinion has 14 teeth and the mating gear, 63 teeth. The pinion turns at 535 rpm maximum. Could a chamfer a little over 1/64" cause a vibration problem?
This article discusses briefly some common manufacturing problems relating to coarse pitch gears and their suggested solutions. Most of the discussion will be limited to a low-quality production environment using universal machine tools.
The first part of this article included abrasive wear with two bodies, streaks and scoring, polishing, and hot and cold scuffing. This part will deal with three-body wear, scratches or grooves, and interference wear. Normal, moderate, and excessive wear will be defined, and a descriptive chart will be presented.
How do we know when the gear material we buy is metallurgically correct? How can we judge material quality when all gear material looks alike?
Worm gears are among the oldest types of gearing, but that does not mean they are obsolete, antiquated technology. The main reasons for the bad experiences some engineers have with worm gearing are misapplication and misuse. No form of gearing works for every application. Strengths and weaknesses versus the application must be weighed to decide which form of gearing to use. For proper application and operation of worm gears, certain areas that may differ from other types of gearing need to be addressed.
Dear Editor: In Mr. Yefim Kotlyar's article "Reverse Engineering" in the July/August issue, I found an error in the formula used to calculate the ACL = Actual lead from the ASL = Assumed lead.
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.
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 is part four of an eight-part series on the tribology aspects of angular gear drives. Each article will be presented first and exclusively by Gear Technology, but the entire series will be included in Dr. Stadtfeld’s upcoming book on the subject, which is scheduled for release in 2011.
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.
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.
In this paper, the potential for geometrical cutting simulations—via penetration calculation to analyze and predict tool wear as well as to prolong tool life—is shown by means of gear finish hobbing. Typical profile angle deviations that occur with increasing tool wear are discussed. Finally, an approach is presented here to attain improved profile accuracy over the whole tool life of the finishing hob.
Fred Young, CEO of Forest City Gear, talks about sophisticated gear manufacturing methods and how they can help solve common gear-related problems.
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.
In this paper a new method for the introduction of optimal modifications into gear tooth surfaces—based on the optimal corrections of the profile and diameter of the head cutter, and optimal variation of machine tool settings for pinion and gear finishing—is presented. The goal of these tooth modifications is the achievement of a more favorable load distribution and reduced transmission error. The method is applied to face milled and face hobbed hypoid gears.
Q&A with Liebherr's Dr. Alois Mundt.
Helical gears can drive either nonparallel or parallel shafts. When these gears are used with nonparallel shafts, the contact is a point, and the design and manufacturing requirements are less critical than for gears driving parallel shafts.
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.
Gear gashing is a gear machining process, very much like gear milling, utilizing the principle of cutting one or more tooth (or tooth space) at a time. The term "GASHING" today applies to the roughing, or roughing and finishing, of coarse diametral pitch gears and sprockets. Manufacturing these large coarse gears by conventional methods of rough and finish hobbing can lead to very long machining cycles and uneconomical machine utilization.
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.
New material technology allows for more efficient and flexible hobbing.
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.
Bevel gear manufacturers live in one of two camps: the face hobbing/lapping camp, and the face milling/grinding camp.
In addition to the face milling system, the face hobbing process has been developed and widely employed by the gear industry. However, the mechanism of the face hobbing process is not well known.
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.
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.
Some results of evaluation by this method in the automotive industry.
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.
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.
The complete Product News section from the May 2009 issue of Gear Technology.
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 seemingly simple process of placing a uniform chamfer on the face ends of spur and helical gears, at least for the aerospace industry, has never been a satisfactory or cost effective process.
With reference to the machining of an involute spur or helical gear by the hobbing process, this paper suggests a new criterion for selecting the position of the hob axis relative to the gear axis.
New tool from LMT-Fette provides combination of operations.
There are great advantages in dry hobbing, not only for friendliness toward the environment, but also for increasing productivity and for decreasing manufacturing cost. Dry hobbing, however, often causes failures in hob cutting edges or problems with the surface quality of gear tooth flanks. These difficulties are not present when hobbing with cutting oil. Pinching and crushing of generated chips between the hob cutting edge and the work gear tooth flank is considered a major cause of those problems.
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 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.
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.
Today it is common practice when climb hobbing to keep the direction of the hob thread the same as that of the helical gear. The same generalization holds true for the mass production of gears for automobiles. It is the authors' opinion, however, that conventional hobbing with a reverse-handed hob is more effective for the high-speed manufacture of comparatively small module gears for automobiles. The authors have proven both experimentally and theoretically that reverse-handed conventional hobbing, using a multi-thread hob with a smaller diameter is very effective for lengthening the life of the hob and for increasing cutting efficiency at high speeds.
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.
I would like to comment on David Arnesen's article, "Dry Hobbing Saves Automaker Money, Improves Gear Quality," in the Nov/Dec, 1996 issue.
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 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.
Question: We are contemplating purchasing a hobbing machine with dry hobbing capabilities. What do we need to know about the special system requirements for this technology?
Question: When we purchase our first CNC gear hobbing machine, what questions should we ask about the software? What do we need to know to correctly specify the system requirements?
Chicago- Results of recent studies on residual stress in gear hobbing, hobbing without lubricants and heat treating were reported by representatives of INFAC (Instrumented Factory for Gears) at an industry briefing in March of this year.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
For two days in Saline, Michigan, Liebherr's clients, customers and friends came together to discuss the latest gear products and technology. Peter Wiedemann, president of Liebherr Gear Technology Inc., along with Dr.-Ing. Alois Mundt, managing director, Dr.-Ing. Oliver Winkel, head of application technology, and Dr.-Ing. Andreas Mehr, technology development shaping and grinding, hosted a variety of informative presentations.
In our last issue, we covered the basic principles of gear shaving and preparation of parts for shaving. In this issue, we will cover shaving methods, design principles and cutter mounting techniques.
A gear can be defined as a toothed wheel which, when meshed with another toothed wheel with similar configuration, will transmit rotation from one shaft to another. Depending upon the type and accuracy of motion desired, the gears and the profiles of the gear teeth can be of almost any form.
Gear shaving is a free-cutting gear finishing operation which removes small amounts of metal from the working surfaces of the gear teeth. Its purpose is to correct errors in index, helical angle, tooth profile and eccentricity. The process can also improve tooth surface finish and eliminate, by crowned tooth forms, the danger of tooth end load concentrations in service. Shaving provides for form modifications that reduce gear noise. These modifications can also increase the gear's load carrying capacity, its factor of safety and its service life.
Faster, more efficient manufacturing offered with table-top design from American Broach & Machine.
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.
Much information has been written on gear inspection, analytical. functional. semiautomatic and automatic. In most cases, the charts, (if you are lucky enough to have recording equipment) have been explained.
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?
Gearing for Munchkins Gene Kasten, president of Repair Parts, Inc., of Rockford, IL, is the proud owner of a miniature Barber-Colman hobber, the only one of its kind in the world. The machine, a replica of the old B-C "A" machine, was built between 1933 and 1941 by W. W. Dickover, who devoted 2, 640 hours of his spare time to the project.
This article describes a method of obtaining gear tooth profiles from the geometry of the rack (or hob) that is used to generate the gear. This method works for arbitrary rack geometries, including the case when only a numerical description of the rack is available. Examples of a simple rack, rack with protuberances and a hob with root chamfer are described. The application of this technique to the generation of boundary element meshes for gear tooth strength calculation and the generation of finite element models for the frictional contact analysis of gear pairs is also described.
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.
The newer profile-shifted (long and short addendum) gears are often used as small size reduction gears for automobiles or motorcycles. The authors have investigated the damage to each cutting edge when small size mass-produced gears with shifted profiles are used at high speeds.
Among the various types of gearing systems available to the gear application engineer is the versatile and unique worm and worm gear set. In the simpler form of a cylindrical worm meshing at 90 degree axis angle with an enveloping worm gear, it is widely used and has become a traditional form of gearing. (See Fig. 1) This is evidenced by the large number of gear shops specializing in or supplying such gear sets in unassembled form or as complete gear boxes. Special designs as well as standardized ratio sets covering wide ratio ranges and center distanced are available with many as stock catalog products.
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.
The quality of the finished gear is influenced by the very first machining operations of the blank. Since the gear tooth geometry is generated on a continuously rotating blank in hobbing or shaping, it is important that the timed relationship between the cutter and workpiece is correct. If this relationship is disturbed by eccentricities of the blank to its operating centerline, the generated gear teeth will not be of the correct geometry. During the blanking operations, the gear's centerline and locating surfaces are established and must be maintained as the same through the following operations that generate the gear teeth.
Today, as part of filling a typical gear hobbing or shaping machine order, engineers are required to perform an SPC acceptance test. This SPC test, while it is contractually necessary for machine acceptance, is not a machine acceptance test. It is a process capability test. It is an acceptance of the machine, cutting tool, workholding fixture, and workpiece as integrated on the cutting machine, using a gear measuring machine, with its work arbor and evaluation software, to measure the acceptance elements of the workpiece.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
Selection of the number of teeth for each gear in a gear train such that the output to input angular velocity ratio is a specified value is a problem considered by relatively few published works on gear design.