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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.
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.
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.
The modern day requirement for precision finished hobbed gears, coupled with the high accuracy characteristics of modern CNC hobbing machines, demands high tool accuracy.
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.
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.
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.
Gear manufacturing schedules that provide both quality and economy are dependent on efficient quality control techniques with reliable measuring equipment. Given the multitude of possible gear deviations, which can be found only by systematic and detailed measuring of the gear teeth, adequate quality control systems are needed. This is especially true for large gears, on which remachining or rejected workpieces create very high costs. First, observation of the gears allows adjustment of the settings on the equipment right at the beginning of the process and helps to avoid unproductive working cycles. Second, the knowledge of deviations produced on the workpiece helps disclose chance inadequacies on the production side: e.g., faults in the machines and tools used, and provides an opportunity to remedy them.
The first commandment for gears reads "Gears must have backlash!" When gear teeth are operated without adequate backlash, any of several problems may occur, some of which may lead to disaster. As the teeth try to force their way through mesh, excessive separating forces are created which may cause bearing failures. These same forces also produce a wedging action between the teeth with resulting high loads on the teeth. Such loads often lead to pitting and to other failures related to surface fatigue, and in some cases, bending failures.
Gleason's GMS analytical gear inspection systems provide all the right features at Eaton Corp.
Anyone involved in the design, manufacture and use of gears is concerned with three general characteristics relative to their application: noise, accuracy, and strength or surface durability. In the article, we will be dealing with probably the most aggravating of the group, gear noise.
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.
A reader clarifies technology presented in the March/April 2011 issue.
Gear flank breakage can be observed on edge zone-hardened gears. It occurs, for example, on bevel gears for water turbines, on spur gears for wind energy converters and on single- and double-helical gears for other industrial applications.
Presumably, everyone who would be interested in this subject is already somewhat familiar with testing of gears by traditional means. Three types of gear inspection are in common use: 1) measurement of gear elements and relationships, 2) tooth contact pattern checks and 3) rolling composite checks. Single Flank testing falls into this last category, as does the more familiar Double Flank test.
How well you conduct your inspections can be the difference-maker for securing high-value contracts from your customers. And as with most other segments of the gear industry, inspection continues striving to attain “exact science” status. With that thought in mind, following is a look at the state of gear inspection and what rigorous inspection practices deliver—quality.
Our experts discuss runout and helix accuracy, as well as the maximum number of teeth in a shaper cutter.
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.
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?
Temperature Induced Dimensional Changes Temperature causes various materials to change size at different rate, known as their Coefficients of Expansion (COE). The effects of this phenomenon on precision dimensional measurements are continuous and costly to industry. Precautions can be taken to allow parts and gages to temperature stabilize before conducting gage R & R studies, but the fact remains that on the shop floor temperatures vary all the time. The slow pace at which industry has accepted this reality probably has to do with the subtlety of these tiny size variations and our inability to sense gradual, but significant temperature changes.
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.
Question: What is functional measurement and what is the best method for getting truthful answers?
AGMA introduced ANSI/AGMA 2015–2–A06— Accuracy Classification System: Radial System for Cylindrical Gears, in 2006 as the first major rewrite of the double-flank accuracy standard in over 18 years. This document explains concerns related to the use of ANSI/AGMA 2015–2–A06 as an accuracy classification system and recommends a revised system that can be of more service to the gearing industry.
Runout is a troublemaker! Good shop practice for the manufacture or inspection of gears requires the control of runout. Runout is a characteristic of gear quality that results in an effective center distance variation. As long as the runout doesn't cause loss of backlash, it won't hurt the function of the gear, which is to transmit smooth motion under load from one shaft to another. However, runout does result in accumulated pitch variation, and this causes non-uniform motion, which does affect the function of the gears. Runout is a radial phenomenon, while accumulated pitch variation is a tangential characteristic that causes transmission error. Gears function tangentially. It is also possible to have a gear with accumulated pitch variation, but little or no runout.
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.
This article provides an overview of the benefits of using psychoacoustic characteristics for describing gear noise. And with that, human hearing and the most important psychoacoustic values are introduced. Finally, results of noise tests with different gear sets aree presented. The tests are the basis for a correlation analysis between psychoacoustic values and gear characteristics.
Meeting the many challenges of large gear inspection.
The presence of significant errors in the two-flank roll test (a work gear rolled in tight mesh against a master gear) is well-known, but generally overlooked.
The status on traceability of gear artifacts in the United States.
In this paper, a method is presented for analyzing and documenting the pitting failure of spur and helical gears through digital photography and automatic computerized evaluation of the damaged tooth fl ank surface. The authors have developed an accurate, cost-effective testing procedure that provides an alternative to vibration analysis or oil debris methods commonly used in conjunction with similar test-rig programs.
The German National Metrology Institute has developed a novel calibration concept that allows for highly accurate calibration of product-like artifacts.
Many years ago, when asked how the five-meter gear was checked, the quality manager responded, “When they’re that big, they’re never bad!” That may have been the attitude and practice in the past, but it no longer serves the manufacturer nor the customer. Requirements have been evolving steadily, requiring gears to perform better and last longer.
AGMA has started to replace its 2000-A88 standard for gear accuracy with a new series of documents based largely on ISO standards. The first of the replacement AGMA standards have been published with the remainder coming in about a year. After serving as a default accuracy specification for U.S. commerce in gear products for several decades, the material in AGMA 2000-A88 is now considered outdated and in need of comprehensive revision.
It may not be widely recognized that most of the inspection data supplied by inspection equipment, following the practices of AGMA Standard 2015 and similar standards, are not of elemental accuracy deviations but of some form of composite deviations. This paper demonstrates the validity of this “composite” label by first defining the nature of a true elemental deviation and then, by referring to earlier literature, demonstrating how the common inspection practices for involute, lead (on helical gears), pitch, and, in some cases, total accumulated pitch, constitute composite measurements.
The two-flank roll test measures kickout (tooth-to-tooth composite error) and tooth thickness. In this article, it will be shown that measured values vary with the number of teeth on the master gear.
A trial test of the calibration procedures outlined in ISO 18653—Gears: Evaluation of Instruments for the Measurement of Individual Gears, shows that the results are reasonable, but a minor change to the uncertainty formula is recommended. Gear measuring machine calibration methods are reviewed. The benefits of using workpiece-like artifacts are discussed, and a procedure for implementing the standard in the workplace is presented. Problems with applying the standard to large gear measuring machines are considered and some recommendations offered.
As in nearly all industries, more costeffective solutions are currently called for in the gear manufacturing industry.
In comparison with the traditional gear design approach based on preselected, typically standard generating rack parameters, the Direct Gear Design method provides certain advantages for custom high-performance gear drives that include: increased load capacity, efficiency and lifetime; reduced size, weight, noise, vibrations, cost, etc. However, manufacturing such directly designed gears requires not only custom tooling, but also customization of the gear measurement methodology. This paper presents definitions of main inspection dimensions and parameters for directly designed spur and helical, external and internal gears with symmetric and asymmetric teeth.
A new inspection method has several advantages over traditional methods, especially for very large or very small gears.
When parts you manufacture pass through numerous processes such as deep hole drilling, machining, hobbing and grinding, a CMM is essential when your customers require 100 percent in-process and final inspection.
Xspect Solutions Provides Wenzel Bridge-Type CMM Equipped with OpenDMIS Software for Basic Gear Measuring Capability with CMM Flexibility.
Good timing leads to partnership between Process Equipment and Schafer Gear.
Klingelnberg measuring centers eliminate trial-and-error with modern analysis tools.
Investment in Gleason GMM Series inspection equipment helps drive Milwaukee Gear's expansion into profitable new markets around the world—all hungry for high-precision custom gears and gear drives.
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.
The working surfaces of gear teeth are often the result of several machining operations. The surface texture imparted by the manufacturing process affects many of the gear's functional characteristics. To ensure proper operation of the final assembly, a gear's surface texture characteristics, such as waviness and roughness, can be evaluated with modern metrology instruments.
Mitutoyo offers capable, affordable and flexible gear inspection option via coordinate measuring machines and gear inspection software.
Our experts tackle the topic of measuring involute masters, including both master gears and gear inspection artifacts.
Forest City Gear applies advanced gear shaping and inspection technologies to help solve difficult lead crown correction challenges half a world away. But these solutions can also benefit customers much closer to home, the company says. Here's how…
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
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.
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.
A programmable algorithm is developed to separate out the effect of eccentricity (radial runout) from elemental gear inspection date, namely, profile and lead data. This algorithm can be coded in gear inspection software to detect the existence, the magnitude and the orientation of the eccentricity without making a separate runout check. A real example shows this algorithm produces good results.
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.
Having outlasted the worldwide Great Recession, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts a constant growth in wind energy, i.e.: "increase in worldwide capacity to 460,000 MW by 2015."
What are the ins-and-outs of quality inspection of girth gears, from both a manufacturer and buyer perspective? Our experts respond.
Part I of this paper describes the theory behind double-flank composite inspection, detailing the apparatus used, the various measurements that can be achieved using it, the calculations involved and their interpretation. Part II, which will appear in the next issue, includes a discussion of the practical application of double-flank composite inspection, especially for large-volume operations. Part II covers statistical techniques that can be used in conjunction with double-flank composite inspection, as well as an in-depth analysis of gage R&R for this technique.
Part I of this paper, which appeared in the January/February issue of Gear Technology, described the theory behind double-flank composite inspection. It detailed the apparatus used, the various measurements that can be achieved using it, the calculations involved and their interpretation. The concluding Part II presents a discussion of the practical application of double-flank composite inspection -- especially for large-volume operations. It also addresses statistical techniques that can be used in conjunction with double-flank composite inspection, as well as an in-depth analysis of gage R&R for this technique.
Gleason 350GMS helps put higher quality, more reliable gears into its next-generation TC10 automatic transmission.
It's not easy being big. Maybe that's not exactly how the phrase goes, but it's applicable, particularly when discussing the quality requirements of large gears. The size alone promises unique engineering challenges. BONUS Online Exclusive: Big or Small - Inspection is Key to Success.
Video from C&B Machinery; Introducing the Gear Technology Blog, featuring technical editor Charles D. Schultz; plus an online-exclusive article on big gear inspection.
Methods of examining large ring gear teeth to detect surface breaking discontinuities have often been time-consuming and limited in terms of data collected. Methods such as visual and magnetic particle inspection can miss critical discontinuities. However, a new ASTM international standard provides a more effective method for gear examination using eddy current array, a technology that has been widely used but, until now, not standardized.
Although a comprehensive on-site gearbox inspection is desirable in many situations, there may be constraints that limit the extent of the inspection such as cost, time, accessibility and qualified personnel. This article describes the equipment and techniques necessary to perform an on-site gearbox inspection.
In today’s globalized manufacturing, all industrial products having dimensional constraints must undergo conformity specifications assessments on a regular basis. Consequently, (standardization) associated with GD&T (geometrical dimensioning and tolerancing) should be un-ambiguous and based on common, accepted rules. Of course gears - and their mechanical assemblies - are special items, widely present in industrial applications where energy conversion and power transmission are involved.
No one (not even you and I) consistently makes parts with perfect form and dimensions, so we must be able to efficiently check size and shape at many stages in the manufacturing and assembly process to eliminate scrap and rework and improve processes and profits. Automated inspection systems, which are widely used in all kinds of manufacturing operations, provide great efficiencies in checking individual features, but may not be as effective when asked to evaluate an entire part. You need to know why this is true and what you can do to improve your part yields.
The trend toward moving coordinate measuring machines to the shop floor to become an integral part of the manufacturing operations brings real time process control within the reach of many companies. Putting measuring machines on the shop floor, however, subjects them to harsh environmental conditions. Like any measuring system, CMMs are sensitive to any ambient condition that deviates from the "perfect" conditions of the metrology lab.
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.
There are problems in dimensional measurement that should be simple to solve with standard measuring procedures, but aren't. In such cases, using accepted practices may result in errors of hundreds of microns without any warning that something is wrong.
Question: We just received permission to purchase our first CNC gear inspection system. With capital approvals so hard to come by, especially for inspection equipment, I want to be sure to purchase a system I can count of for years to come. My past experience with purchasing CNC equipment has shown me that serviceability of the computer and the CNC controller portion of the system can be a problem in just a few years because of the obsolescence factor. What information do I need to look for when selecting a supplier to reduce the risk of obsolescence, as well as to reduce the long-term servicing costs in the computer and controls portion of the system?
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.
Gear metrology is a revolving door of software packages and system upgrades. It has to be in order to keep up with the productivity and development processes of the machines on the manufacturing floor. Temperature compensation, faster inspection times and improved software packages are just a few of the advancements currently in play as companies prepare for new opportunities in areas like alternative energy, automotive and aerospace/defense.
I have heard that X-ray diffraction does not tell the whole story and that I should really run a fatigue test. I understand this may be the best way, but is there another method that gives a high degree of confidence in the residual stress measurement?
"God is in the details," says the philosopher. What he meant was that on the scale of the universe, it's not just the galaxies, the planets, the mountain ranges, or the major rivers that are important. So are the subatomic particles and the genes. It's the little things that make all the difference.
The purpose of this article is to discuss ISO 4156/ANSI B92.2M-1980 and to compare it with other, older standards still in use. In our experience designing and manufacturing spline gauges and other spline measuring or holding devices for splined component manufacturers throughout the world, we are constantly surprised that so many standards have been produced covering what is quite a small subject. Many of the standards are international standards; others are company standards, which are usually based on international standards. Almost all have similarities; that is, they all deal with splines that have involute flanks of 30 degrees, 37.5 degrees or 45 degrees pressure angle and are for the most part flank-fitting or occasionally major-diameter-fitting.
The purpose of this article is to clarify some terms and methods used in measuring the size of gears. There is also an explanation given of the error induced and how to correct for it in certain cases when the measurement is made using pins instead of balls.
In recent years, gear inspection requirements have changed considerably, but inspection methods have barely kept pace. The gap is especially noticeable in bevel gears, whose geometry has always made testing them a complicated, expensive and time-consuming process. Present roll test methods for determining flank form and quality of gear sets are hardly applicable to bevel gears at all, and the time, expense and sophistication required for coordinate measurement has limited its use to gear development, with only sampling occurring during production.
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.
Surface roughness measuring of gear teeth can be a very frustrating experience. Measuring results often do not correlate with any functional characteristic, and many users think that they need not bother measuring surface roughness, since the teeth are burnished in operation. They mistakenly believe that the roughness disappears in a short amount of time. This is a myth! The surface indeed is shiny, but it still has considerable roughness. In fact, tests indicate that burnishing only reduces the initial roughness by approximately 25%.
Several articles have appeared in this publication in recent years dealing with the principles and ways in which the inspection of gears can be carried out, but these have dealt chiefly with spur, helical and bevel gearing, whereas worm gearing, while sharing certain common features, also requires an emphasis in certain areas that cause it to stand apart. For example, while worm gears transmit motion between nonparallel shafts, as do bevel and hypoid gears, they usually incorporate much higher ratios and are used in applications for which bevel would not be considered, including drives for rotary and indexing tables in machine tools, where close tolerance of positioning and backlash elimination are critical, and in situations where accuracy of pitch and profile are necessary for uniform transmission at speed, such as elevators, turbine governor drives and speed increasers, where worm gears can operate at up to 24,000 rpm.
In 1993, M & M Precision Systems was awarded a three-year, partial grant from the Advanced Technology Program of the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Working with Pennsylvania State University, M&M embarked on a technology development project to advance gear measurement capabilities to levels of accuracy never before achieved.
Powder metallurgy (P/M) is a precision metal forming technology for the manufacture of parts to net or near-net shape, and it is particularly well-suited to the production of gears. Spur, bevel and helical gears all may be made by made by powder metallurgy processing.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) announced at Gear Expo '95 that a national service for the calibration of involute artifacts is now available at the Department of Energy's Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN.
The data discussed in this article was taken from an upright vacuum cleaner. This was a prototype cleaner that was self-propelled by a geared transmission. It was the first time that the manufacturer had used a geared transmission in this application.
Compact, custom and portable solutions are gaining more attention in manufacturing today as companies seek out the tools that offer the greatest productivity gains on the shop floor. Gear inspection seems to be following suit.
Your May/June issue contains a letter from Edward Ubert of Rockwell International with some serious questions about specifying and measuring tooth thickness.
Q&A with Liebherr's Dr. Alois Mundt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fred Young, CEO of Forest City Gear, talks about sophisticated gear manufacturing methods and how they can help solve common gear-related problems.
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.
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.
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.
Some results of evaluation by this method in the automotive industry.
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.
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 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.
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.
New tool from LMT-Fette provides combination of operations.
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.
Bevel gear manufacturers live in one of two camps: the face hobbing/lapping camp, and the face milling/grinding camp.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
I would like to comment on David Arnesen's article, "Dry Hobbing Saves Automaker Money, Improves Gear Quality," in the Nov/Dec, 1996 issue.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
This article was originally published 20 years ago, in Gear Technology’s first issue. It describes a method of evaluating the smoothness, or lack of smoothness, of gear motion. This lack of smoothness of motion, known as “transmission error,” is responsible for excitation of gear noise and problems of gear accuracy and sometimes has a relationship to gear failure.
"Frenco--Inspecting All Flanks in Minutes."
When gears are case-hardened, it is known that some growth and redistribution of stresses that result in geometric distortion will occur. Aerospace gears require post case-hardening grinding of the gear teeth to achieve necessary accuracy. Tempering of the case-hardened surface, commonly known as grinding burn, occurs in the manufacturing process when control of the heat generation at the surface is lost.
Much of the information in this article has been extracted from an AGMA Technical Paper, "What Single Flank Testing Can Do For You", presented in 1984 by the author
What does it mean to make "better" gears? Better gears more closely resemble the intended design parameters.
Decades ago, technology shifted from HSS to indexable inserts in turning and milling. This movement wasn't immediately realized in gear hobbing because coated PM-HSS hobs and complex gear profiles remained highly effective and productive methods. Only fairly recently have gear manufacturers started to take a serious look at indexable technology to cut gear teeth.
Recently, a new type of hob with carbide inserts has been introduced, providing higher cutting speeds, longer tool life and higher feed rates when compared to re-grindable, high-speed steel hobs. But with this kind of hob, new challenges occur due to positional errors of the cutting edges when mounted on the tool. These errors lead to manufacturing errors on the gear teeth which must be controlled. In this paper, the tooth quality of a gear manufactured by hobs with different quality classes is analyzed using a simulation model in combination with Monte Carlo methods.
The hobbing and generation grinding production processes are complex due to tool geometry and kinematics. Expert knowledge and extensive testing are required for a clear attribution of cause to work piece deviations. A newly developed software tool now makes it possible to simulate the cutting procedure of the tool and superimpose systematic deviations on it. The performance of the simulation software is illustrated here with practical examples. The new simulation tool allows the user to accurately predict the effect of errors. With this knowledge, the user can design and operate optimal, robust gearing processes.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Two questions on hobbing cover the various types of hobs and their unusual names, as well as the importance of hob swivel angle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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).
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?
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.