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Gear Technology's bimonthly aberration - gear trivia, humor, weirdness and oddments for the edification and amusement of our readers. Contributions are welcome.
It’s been said that the best ideas are often someone else's. But with rebuilt, retrofitted, re-controlled or remanufactured machine tools, buyer beware and hold onto your wallet. Sourcing re-work vendors and their services can require just as much homework, if not necessarily dollars, as with just-off-the-showroom-floor machines.
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.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show provided one of the biggest ever marketplaces for buying and selling gear-making equipment, with 121601 attenders, making it the largest IMTS ever. The show took place September 4-11 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
The chamfering and deburring operations on gear teeth have become more important as the automation of gear manufacturing lines in the automotive industry have steadily increased. Quieter gears require more accurate chamfers. This operation also translates into significant coast savings by avoiding costly rework operations. This article discusses the different types of chamfers on gear teeth and outlines manufacturing methods and guidelines to determine chamfer sizes and angles for the product and process engineer.
Some gear-related highlights from the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany.
Rotary gear honing is a crossed-axis, fine, hard finishing process that uses pressure and abrasive honing tools to remove material along the tooth flanks in order to improve the surface finish (.1-.3 um or 4-12u"Ra), to remove nicks and burrs and to change or correct the tooth geometry. Ultimately, the end results are quieter, stronger and longer lasting gears.
There are a number of companies working to change the way broaching is perceived, and over the past 10 years, they’ve incorporated significant technological changes to make the process more flexible, productive and accurate.
Booth previews from exhibitors showing products and services for the gear industry.
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
Question: We are interested in purchasing our first gear hobbing machine. What questions should we ask the manufacturer, and what do we need to know in order to correctly specify the CNC hardware and software system requirements?
The complete Industry News section from the June/July 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Over many years of being in the machine tool business, it has been interesting to observe the way we suppliers are forced to quote and sell machine tools to many large companies.
Machine tool manufacturers supplying machines to the gearing world have been in existence for many years. The machines have changed, and so has the acceptance criteria for the machines.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Robots, computers and other signs of high technology abounded at IMTS 94, supporting the claim by many that this was one of the best shows ever. Many of the machines on display had so many robotic attachments and computer gizmos that they looked more like they belonged in some science fiction movie than on the floor of a machine shop.
Faster, more efficient manufacturing offered with table-top design from American Broach & Machine.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hobs, broaches, shaper cutters, shaver cutters, milling cutters, and bevel cutters used in the manufacture of gears are commonly made of high speed steel. These specialized gear cutting tools often require properties, such as toughness or manufacturability, that are difficult to achieve with carbide, despite the developments in carbide cutting tools for end mills, milling cutters, and tool inserts.
The proper design or selection of gear cutting tools requires thorough and detailed attention from the tool designer. In addition to experience, intuition and practical knowledge, a good understanding of profile calculations is very important.
The grinding/abrasives market is rapidly changing, thanks to new technology, more flexibility and an attempt to lower customer costs. Productivity is at an all-time high in this market, and it’s only going to improve with further R&D. By the time IMTS 2014 rolls around this September, the gear market will have lots of new toys and gadgets to offer potential customers. If you haven’t upgraded any grinding/abrasives equipment in the last five years, now might be a good time to consider the investment.
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.
Whether you spent time at Gear Expo in Indianapolis or EMO in Hannover, there was certainly new technology attracting attention. Machine tools are faster, more efficient and can integrate numerous functions in a single setup. Grinding technology is turning science upside down and inside out with high-speed removal rates and increased throughput.
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 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.
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.
Two high-volume gear production cells grace the shop floor at Delta Research Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to lean manufacturing, these cells have never shipped a defective part to a customer since they were developed over three years ago.
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 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.
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.
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.
Physical Vapor Deposited (PVD) coatings such as TiN (Titanium nitride) have been a boon for cutting tool manufacturers. They reduce wear and, therefore, extend tool life, which in turn reduces production costs. But PVD coatings are expensive, and when they fail, they cost both time and money, and they causes of the failure are not always readily apparent.
A gear shaper cutter is actually a gear with relieved cutting edges and increased addendum for providing clearance in the root of the gear being cut. The maximum outside diameter of such a cutter is limited to the diameter at which the teeth become pointed. The minimum diameter occurs when the outside diameter of the cutter and the base circle are the same. Those theoretical extremes, coupled with the side clearance, which is normally 2 degrees for coarse pitch cutters an d1.5 degrees for cutters approximately 24-pitch and finer, will determine the theoretical face width of a cutter.
The hob is a perfect example of how a little manufacturing ingenuity can make a reliable, highly productive cutting tool. It's an engineering specimen that creates higher cutting speeds, better wear resistance and increases rigidity. The cutting tool alone, however, can't take all the credit for its resourcefulness. Advanced coating technology from companies like Sulzer, Oerlikon Balzers, Ionbond, Seco Tools and Cemecon helps improve cutting tools by reducing overall costs, increasing tool life and maintaining the highest levels of productivity. The following is a quick recap of new technologies and the latest information in the coating market.
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.
The complete product news section from the March/April 2014 issue, featuring quick-change spline rolling racks from U.S. Gear Tools.
The complete Industry News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Preview of some of the exhibits relevant to gear manufacturing at the upcoming EMO 2013.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been gathering, validating and sharing manufacturing knowledge for more than 80 years. Traditionally, SME resources were purchased by individuals for their own personal use or by colleges and universities as textbooks. Recently, these same colleges and universities were looking for digital resources to provide to their instructors and students. Companies were requesting SME content digitally for their employees as well.
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.
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.
Hainbuch offers workholding solutions for United Gear.
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.
At Andrew Tool, CMMs have been an integral part of their manufacturing processes for years, but they had never faced a project with such intricate measurements, tight tolerances, heat treatments and a very short time frame requirement.
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.
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.
Universal machines capable of cutting both spur and helical gears were developed in 1910, followed later by machines capable of cutting double helical gears with continuous teeth. Following the initial success, the machines were further developed both in England and France under the name Sunderland, and later in Switzerland under the name Maag.
Gear shaping is one of the most popular production choices in gear manufacturing. While the gear shaping process is really the most versatile of all the gear manufacturing methods and can cut a wide variety of gears, certain types of gears can only be cut by this process. These are gears closely adjacent to shoulders; gears adjacent to other gears, such as on countershafts; internal gears, either open or blind ended; crown or face gears; herringbone gears of the solid configuration of with a small center groove; rack; parts with filled-in spaces or teeth, such as are used in some clutches.
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.
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.
Question: I have just become involved with the inspection of gears in a production operation and wonder why the procedure specifies that four involute checks must be made on each side of the tooth of the gear being produced, where one tooth is checked and charted in each quadrant of the gear. Why is this done? These particular gears are checked in the pre-shaved, finish-shaved, and the after-heat-treat condition, so a lot of profile checking must be done.
Cutter Sharpening Cutter sharpening is very important both during manufacturing and subsequently in resharpening after dulling. Not only does this process affect cutter "over cutting edge" quality and the quality of the part cut, but it can also affect the manner in which chip flow takes place on the cutter face if the surface finished is too rough or rippled.
Today, because of reduced cost of coatings and quicker turnaround times, the idea of all-around coating on three-face-sharpened blades is again economically viable, allowing manufacturers greater freedoms in cutting blade parameters, including three-face-sharpened and even four-face-sharpened blades.
High-speed machining using carbide has been used for some decades for milling and turning operations. The intermittent character of the gear cutting process has delayed the use of carbide tools in gear manufacturing. Carbide was found at first to be too brittle for interrupted cutting actions. In the meantime, however, a number of different carbide grades were developed. The first successful studies in carbide hobbing of cylindrical gears were completed during the mid-80s, but still did not lead to a breakthrough in the use of carbide cutting tools for gear production. Since the carbide was quite expensive and the tool life was too short, a TiN-coated, high-speed steel hob was more economical than an uncoated carbide hob.
The objective, according to Dr.- Ing. Hansjörg Geiser, head of development and design for gear machines at Liebherr, was to develop and design a combined turning and hobbing machine in which turning, drilling and hobbing work could be carried out in the same clamping arrangement as the hobbing of the gearings and the subsequent chamfering and deburring processes.
Klingelnberg's new tool and machine concept allow for precise production.
Q&A with Liebherr's Dr. Alois Mundt.
Machine tool companies are expanding capabilities to better accommodate the changing face of manufacturing. Customers want smaller-sized equipment to take up less valuable floor space, multifunctional machines that can handle a variety of operations and easy set-up changes that offer simplified operation and maintenance.
The Raso 200 Dynamic has been developed to offer all the characteristics of a gear shaving machine with a competitive price.
Industry News from October/November 1984 Gear Technology.
CNC technology offers new opportunities for the manufacture of bevel gears. While traditionally the purchase of a specific machine at the same time determined a particular production system, CNC technology permits the processing of bevel gears using a wide variety of methods. The ideological dispute between "tapered tooth or parallel depth tooth" and "single indexing or continuous indexing" no longer leads to an irreversible fundamental decision. The systems have instead become penetrable, and with existing CNC machines, it is possible to select this or that system according to factual considerations at a later date.
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.
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 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.
Part I of this series focused on gear shaving, while Part II focuses on gear finishing by rolling and honing.
Recently, I was approached by a colleague who is a manufacturer outside the gear industry...
The auction has been held. The warehouse is bare. The computers and furniture are being packed, and Cadillac Machinery, the company started by my father in 1950, and of which I was president for more than 25 years, is close to being no more.
The complete Product News section from the May 2009 issue of Gear Technology.
Hofler Rapid 6000 Makes North American Debut at Highway Machine Company.
Modern gearboxes are characterized by high torque load demands, low running noise and compact design. In order to fulfill these demands, profile and lead modifications are being applied more often than in the past. This paper will focus on how to produce profile and lead modifications by using the two most common grinding processes—threaded wheel and profile grinding. In addition, more difficult modifications—such as defined flank twist or topological flank corrections—will also be described in this paper.
There are several methods available for improving the quality of spur and helical gears following the standard roughing operations of hobbing or shaping. Rotary gear shaving and roll-finishing are done in the green or soft state prior to heat treating.
A new method for cutting straight bevel gears.
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.
New freedom of motion available with CNC generators make possible improving tooth contact on bevel and hypoid gears. Mechanical machines by their nature are inflexible and require a special mechanism for every desired motion. These mechanisms are generally exotic and expensive. As a result, it was not until the introduction of CNC generators that engineers started exploring motion possibilities and their effect on tooth contact.
Power train designs which employ gears with cone angles of approximately 2 degrees to 5 degrees have become quite common. It is difficult, if not impossible, to grind these gears on conventional bevel gear grinding machines. Cylindrical gear grinding machines are better suited for this task. This article will provide an overview of this option and briefly introduce four grinding variation possibilities.
When you have a multi-million-dollar transfer line sitting on the shop floor waiting for gears that might take up to two months to get, you have a costly bottleneck.
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.
In the process of developing gear trains, it occasionally occurs that the tip of one gear will drag in the fillet of the mating gear. The first reaction may be to assume that the outside diameter of the gear is too large. This article is intended to show that although the gear dimensions follow AGMA guidelines, if the gear is cut with a shaper, the cutting process may not provide sufficient relief in the fillet area and be the cause of the interference.
Gear grinding is one of the most expensive and least understood aspects of gear manufacturing. But with pressures for reduced noise, higher quality and greater efficiency, gear grinding appears to be on the rise.
Product announcements so often trumpet minor, incremental advances with works like "revolutionary" and "unique" that even the best thesaurus can fail to offer a fresh alternative to alert the reader when something really innovative and important is introduced. In the case of Mitsubishi's new CNC gear shaper, the ST25CNC, both terms apply.
Come with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear...Ok, this is not the Cisco Kid, but we do have a little game for you. Guess the year the following advertisements and excerpt were printed - they all appeared in a dingle issue of Machinery Magazine.
By virtue of collected anecdotal accounts, equations and problem solving, balancing is discussed as more math and common sense, and less smoke and mirrors.
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.
The complete Industry News section from the October 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
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?
In today's economy, when purchasing a new state-of-the-art gear shaper means a significant capital investment, common sense alone dictates that you develop strategies to get the most for your money. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of the sophistication of the machine to make it more than just a single-purpose tool.
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 Shaping Process - A Quick Review of the Working Principle. In the shaping process, cutter and workpiece represent a drive with parallel axes rotating in mesh (generating motion) according to the number of teeth in both cutter and workpiece (Fig. 1), while the cutter reciprocates for the metal removal action (cutting motion).
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).
These days it's hard to get through breakfast without reading or hearing another story about how the computer is changing the way we live, sleep, eat, breathe, make things and do business. The message is that everything is computerized now, or, if it isn't, it will be by next Tuesday at the latest, Well, maybe.
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.
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.
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?
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 machine concept facilitates highly productive profile grinding for large workpieces. The range for external and internal gears comprises models for manufacturing workpieces up to 2,000 millimeters – for industrial gear units, wind power, and marine propulsion applications