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Imagine the $10 bill with the face of Edwin R. Fellows on it and on the back, a picture of his invention: the gear shaping machine. Or the $5 bill with George B. Grant and a picture of the first hobbing machine, which he built.
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.
The object of any business transaction, be it foreign or domestic, is making a profit. That's why you go through all the effort of making and selling your product in the first place. Getting paid in a timely manner is crucial to making profit, but when your customer is in another country, this "timely and convenient" payment can become complicated; hence, your need for a banker with expertise in international markets.
You're already a veteran of the computer revolution. Only you and your controller know how much money you've spent and only your spouse knows how many sleepless nights you've had in the last ten years trying to carve out a place in the brave new world of computerized gear manufacturing. PC's, CNCs, CAD, CAM, DNC, SPC, CMM: You've got a whole bowl of alphabet soup out there on the shop floor. Overall these machines have lived up to their promises. Production time is down, quality is up. You have fewer scrapped parts and better, more efficient machine usage.
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 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.
Okay. You've been convinced. You've gritted your teeth and decided to spend the money to launch a company Web site. Everybody from your teenage propeller-head to the girl in the mail room and the salesman in the flashy suit who gave you "such a deal" on Web site services has promised that your site will be the best thing that's happened to your business since the advent of CNC machines.
When, in 1980, OSU professor Donald R. Houser created the Gear and Power Transmission Research Laboratory - then known as the Gear Dynamics and Gear and Power Transmission Laboratory (GearLab) - he did so with the seed money provided by just three companies. Thirty-three years out, the lab has continued to grow, impress and—most importantly - succeed; it now boasts a roster of some 50 sponsoring companies and government agencies.
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.
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.
What follows is the first of three articles we will be running on ISO 9000 and what it means for the gear industry. This first article will cover what ISO 9000 is, what some of its benefits - and problems - are, and whether your company should be a candidate for this certification process. In our next issue, we will consider the important question of how, when, and if to hire an ISO 9000 consultant. The final article in this series will discuss ways to save money while streamlining the certification process in your company.
On a highway, a compact pick-up truck struggles to tow a 30-foot boat up a steep grade. Inside the pick-up, the owner curses himself. He saved money leasing a smaller truck but sees now that he really needed a bigger, pricier vehicle, one suitable for this job.
Step right up! Get your U.S. government gravy here! We’re the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, and we’re printing money like we’re—well—the U.S. reasury. If you’ve got trouble, then get your assets in line!
You get calls and letters every day from people wanting you to use their ad agency, their direct mail program, their p.r. or marketing firm to promote your business. It seems everyone wants you to spend your money to communicate to your prospects and customers. But what's the best method for you?
The whole point of a trade show is to get leads that will turn into sales. No matter how attractive your booth was, no matter how smoothly the setup and the show ran, no matter how many visitors you had at your booth, if your presence at a show didn't net you any sales, then your considerable investment of time, money, and effort has been wasted.
Gear Expo '93 - another trade show, another plea to send people and/or equipment out of town, away from the office or plant. Another bid to spend time, money, and effort. Oh, please! Hasn't anybody heard that these are the "lean and mean" '90s?
One of the key questions to be answered when exporting is how you are going to get your product to your customer. All the time, effort, and money you've spent to make a sale in the first place can be wasted if the shipment is late, damaged, or lost, or if delivery becomes an expensive bureaucratic nightmare for either you or the buyer.
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.
I would like to comment on David Arnesen's article, "Dry Hobbing Saves Automaker Money, Improves Gear Quality," in the Nov/Dec, 1996 issue.
News Items About money
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