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Most readers are at least familiar with continuous improvement programs such as lean and six sigma. Perhaps your shop or company is well along in the implementation of one or the other—if not both. But what about theory of constraints (TOC), introduced in Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt’s 1984 book, The Goal? Despite its rather negative-sounding name, this continuous improvement process has much to offer manufacturers of all stripes. And when combined with lean and six sigma, the results can be dramatic. Dr. Lisa Lang, a TOC consultant and speaker, explains why and how in the following Q&A session with Gear Technology.
When the term, “what you see is what you get” is applied in the computer industry, it means that users or customers are able to see their end results without the encumbrances of complicated software code that enables this function. Software works behind the scenes ultimately to produce transparency and the desired effects. In many ways, this concept should be extended to the relationships that exist between suppliers and buyers and even among internal company departments.
For many in the gear and gear products business, these may seem like the best of times...
The effect of various lubricant factors on wormgear efficiency has been evaluated using a variety of gear types and conditions. In particular, the significant efficiency improvements afforded by certain types of synthetic lubricants have been investigated to determine the cause of these improvements. This paper describes broad wormgear testing, both in the laboratory and in service, and describes the extent to which efficiency can be affected by changes in the lubricant; the effects of viscosity, viscosity index improvers and, finally, synthetic lubricants are discussed. The work concludes that lubricant tractional properties can play a significant role in determining gear efficiency characteristics.
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.
This article focuses on bending fatigue strength improvements of P/M gearing from recent improvements in P/M technology, combined with shot peening.
Much of the existing guidelines for making large, high-performance gears for wind turbine gearboxes exhibit a need for improvement. Consider: the large grinding stock used to compensate for heat treatment distortion can significantly reduce manufacturing productivity; and, materials and manufacturing processes are two other promising avenues to improvement. The work presented here investigates quenchable alloy steels that, combined with specifically developed Case-hardening and heat treatment processes, exhibits reduced distortion and, in turn, requires a smaller grinding stock.
Surface coatings or finishing processes are the future technologies for improving the load carrying capacity of case hardened gears. With the help of basic tests, the influence of different coatings and finishing processes on efficiency and resistance to wear, scuffing, micropitting, and macropitting is examined.
The face load factor is one of the most important items for a gear strength calculation. Current standards propose formulae for face load factor, but they are not always appropriate. AGMA 927 proposes a simpler and quicker algorithm that doesn't require a contact analysis calculation. This paper explains how this algorithm can be applied for gear rating procedures.
This article presents some of the findings of cutting investigations at WZL in which the correlation of cutting parameters, cutting materials, tool geometry and tool life have been determined.
Crossed helical gear sets are used to transmit power and motion between non-intersecting and non-parallel axes. Both of the gears that mesh with each other are involute helical gears, and a point contact is made between them. They can stand a small change in the center distance and the shaft angle without any impairment in the accuracy of transmitting motion.
In recent years, improvements in the reliability of the vacuum carburizing process have allowed its benefits to be realized in high-volume, critical component manufacturing operations. The result: parts with enhanced hardness and mechanical properties.
New innovations in the management of hear treating parts washers and yielding powerful, unexpected benefits. Simply, cost effective shop floor practices are being combined in new ways to deliver big quality improvements and significant help to the bottom line. Employing these steps early in the process can dramatically cut waste hauling expenses and greatly reduce environmental liabilities while continuously producing cleaner parts.
This article summarizes the development of an improved titanium nitride (TiN) recoating process, which has, when compared to conventional recoat methods, demonstrated tool life increases of up to three times in performance testing of hobs and shaper cutters. This new coating process, called Super TiN, surpasses the performance of standard TiN recoating for machining gear components. Super TiN incorporates stripping, surface preparation, smooth coating techniques and polishing before and after recoating. The combination of these improvements to the recoating process is the key to its performance.
Standards are unlike gears themselves: mundane, but complex, ubiquitous and absolutely vital. Standards are a lingua franca, providing a common language with reference points for evaluating product reliability and performance for manufacturers and users. The standards development process provides a scientific forum for discussion of product design, materials and applications, which can lead to product improvement. Standards can also be a powerful marketing tool for either penetrating new markets or protecting established ones.
This paper introduces mandatory improvements in design, manufacturing and inspection - from material elaboration to final machining - with special focus on today's large and powerful gearing.
Much about ISO 9000 is the subject of noisy debate. But on one thing almost everyone, true believers and critics alike, agrees: Getting ISO 9000 certification can be expensive. Companies can expect to spend at least $35,000 for basic certification and six-month checkup fees over a three-year period. These figures do not include hidden costs like time and money spent on internal improvements required to meet ISO 9000 certification. But the really big-ticket items in the process are employee time and the cost of bringing in outside consultants. Many ISO 9000 consultants charge upwards of $1,800 a day.
This is the first article in an eight-part "reality" series on implementing continuous improvement at Hoerbiger Corporation. Throughout 2013, Dr. Shahrukh Irani will report on his progress applying the job shop lean strategies he developed during his time at Ohio State University.
Computer technology has touched all areas of our lives, impacting how we obtain airline tickets, purchase merchandise and receive medical advice. This transformation has had a vast influence on manufacturing as well, providing process improvements that lead to higher quality and lower costs. However, in the case of the gear industry, the critical process of tooth contact pattern development for spiral bevel gears remains relatively unchanged.
Bodine Electric Co. of Chicago, IL., has a 97-year history of fine-and medium-pitch gear manufacturing. Like anywhere else, traditions, old systems, and structures can be beneficial, but they can also become paradigms and obstacles to further improvements. We were producing a high quality product, but our goal was to become more cost effective. Carbide hobbing is seen as a technological innovation capable of enabling a dramatic, rather than an incremental, enhancement to productivity and cost savings.
The search for greater gear life involves improvement in cost, weight and increased power output. There are many events that affect gear life, and this paper addresses those relating to fatigue, gear tooth pitting, fatigue strength losses due to the heat treating processes and shot peening technique. The capability of shot peening to increase fatigue strength and surface fatigue life eliminate machine marks which cause stress risers, and to aid in lubrication when properly controlled, suggests increased use and acceptance of the process.
In the hypercompetitive race to increase automobile efficiency, Metaldyne has been developing its balance shaft module line with Victrex PEEK polymer in place of metal gears. The collaborative product development resulted in significant reductions in inertia, weight and power consumption, as well as improvement in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance.
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.
Material losses and long production times are two areas of conventional spur and helical gear manufacturing in which improvements can be made. Metalforming processes have been considered for manufacturing spur and helical gears, but these are costly due to the development times necessary for each new part design. Through a project funded by the U.S. Army Tank - Automotive Command, Battelle's Columbus Division has developed a technique for designing spur and helical gear forging and extrusion dies using computer aided techniques.
In the past, the coffee breaks and dinner events at Sigma Pool’s gear seminars have often triggered future process development and product improvements. This was still the case during the 2009 installment where customers and suppliers talked shop inside and outside the banquet hall on the new market and technology challenges currently facing the gear industry.
A considerable improvement in the performance of the machining of hard to grind materials can be achieved by means of CBN wheels.
Now that the new tax bill has been passed, the time has come to begin evaluating how it will affect investment strategies in the machine tool business. Your first reaction may be to think that any motivation to invest in capital improvements in your company is gone, because both the investment tax credit and the accelerated depreciation on capital investment have been removed from the tax law. After all, if Uncle Sam is not going to help us out through some short term tax gains, why should we bother? Can we afford to bother?
The advent of CNC technology as applied to gear shaping machines has, in the last 10 years, led to an astonishing improvement in both productivity and quality. As is usual when developments such as this take place, the technology of the machine tool suddenly jumps ahead of that of the cutting tool, and the machine is then capable of producing faster than the cutting tool can withstand.
In the 1960's and early 1970's, considerable work was done to identify the various modes of damage that ended the lives of rolling element bearings. A simple summary of all the damage modes that could lead to failure is given in Table 1. In bearing applications that have insufficient or improper lubricant, or have contaminants (water, solid particles) or poor sealing, failure, such as excessive wear or vibration or corrosion, may occur, rather than contact fatigue. Usually other components in the overall system besides bearings also suffer. Over the years, builders of transmissions, axles, and gear boxes that comprise such systems have understood the need to improve the operating environment within such units, so that some system life improvements have taken place.
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.
On of the key questions confronting any company considering ISO 9000 certification is, how much is this going to cost? The up-front fees are only the beginning. Dissect the ISO 9000 certification procedure with an eye for hidden costs, and two segments of the process will leap out - the cost of consultants and the cost of making in-house improvements for the sake of passing certification. Most of these costs can be controlled by careful selection f the right consultant in the first place.
News Items About improvement
1 PMA Anticipates Continued Improvement (February 16, 2011)
According to the February 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate con... Read News
2 Royal Filtermist Series Continues Design Improvements (October 12, 2011)
While many companies are aware of traditional problems associated with oil mist (health and accident risks, cleaning and maintenance cost... Read News
3 Heimatec U-tec Flexible Adapter 'Represents Real Improvement in Lathe and Mill/Turn Tooling Design' (August 17, 2015)
Heimatec recently announced that its U-tec flexible adapter system is now available on all right-angle heads in the company’s line.... Read News