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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.
The Pentac Plus is the latest generation of Gleason’s Pentac bevel gear cutting system. It is designed to allow much higher tool life and improved productivity, especially for cutters using multiple face blade geometry.
A large number of technologies aimed primarily at higher productivity were presented by exhibitors at the AMB, International Exhibition for Metal Working at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre in September. Following the successful 2010 show, AMB 2012 boasted further developments in energy and resource efficiency, higher productivity, life cycle performance, quality assurance and user-friendliness.
In comparison to the visionary Industry 4.0 — or the Fourth Industrial Revolution — the machine tool industry can appear rather down-to-earth.
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.
Adaptation key to success for gear software developers.
Traditionally, high-quality gears are cut to shape from forged blanks. Great accuracy can be obtained through shaving and grinding of tooth forms, enhancing the power capacity, life and quietness of geared power transmissions. In the 1950s, a process was developed for forging gears with teeth that requires little or no metal to be removed to achieve final geometry. The initial process development was undertaken in Germany for the manufacture of bevel gears for automobile differentials and was stimulated by the lack of available gear cutting equipment at that time. Later attention has turned to the forging of spur and helical gears, which are more difficult to form due to the radial disposition of their teeth compared with bevel gears. The main driver of these developments, in common with most component manufacturing, is cost. Forming gears rather than cutting them results in increased yield from raw material and also can increase productivity. Forging gears is therefore of greater advantage for large batch quantities, such as required by the automotive industry.
Ever since the first cavemen bartered clamshells and spears, business has been about people interacting. In simpler times, commerce was conducted according to the look in someone's eye or the feel of his handshake. Today we have computers, fax machines, modems, e-mail and cell phones - all powerful tools that have increased our productivity. Those devices have shrunk our world, but, in some ways, they've also distanced us from each other by reducing personal interaction. In the name of efficiency, profitability and progress, we've found ways to place orders, sell products and exchange information without ever coming into contact with another human being.
The grinding of gears with dish wheels (Maad type grinding machines) is widely viewed as the most precise method of gear grinding because of the very short and simple kinematic links between the gear and the tool, and also because the cutting edges of the wheels represent planar surfaces. However, in this grinding method, depending on the parameters of the gears and one of the adjustments (such as the number of teeth encompassed by the grinding wheels), so-called overtravel at the tip or at the root of the teeth being ground generally occurs. When this happens, machining with only one wheel takes place. As a result, the profile error and the length of the generating path increases while productivity decreases.
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.
Increased productivity in roughing operations for gear cutting depends mainly on lower production costs in the hobbing process. In addition, certain gears can be manufactured by shaping, which also needs to be taken into account in the search for a more cost-effective form of production.
For eight days every other year, the sponsor of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), strives to turn Chicago's McCormick Place into a "productivity marketplace," the largest and most completer display and demonstration of manufacturing technology ever seen in the Americas. If the growth of the show is any indicator, that effort has been very successful indeed. With over 1.4 million square feet of exhibit space taking up all five levels and all three exhibit halls of McCormick Place, each level would rank as one of the nation's 200 largest trade shows. That wasn't always the size or scope of the show. Its inception, while impressive for the time, was humble by today's standards.
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.
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.
Multiple CAM initiatives at Snyder Industries are improving safety, quality and productivity for parts ranging from 50 to 5,000 lbs.
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.
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.
Arrow Gear Company of Downers Grove, IL, has implemented a computer system that fully integrates exchange between all of its computer applications. The ELIMS (Electronic Linkage of Information Management Systems) project has increased manufacturing productivity and reduced lead times.
Technology creates excitement. Just consider the natural buzz around IMTS, where manufacturers will go to explore ways they can increase productivity, improve quality, decrease costs or provide better service.
Many CAD (Computer Aided Design) systems have been developed and implemented to produce a superior quality design and to increase the design productivity in the gear industry. In general, it is true that a major portion of design tasks can be performed by CAD systems currently available. However, they can only address the computational aspects of gear design that typically require decision-making as well. In most industrial gear design practices, the initial design is the critical task that significantly effects the final results. However, the decisions about estimating or changing gear size parameters must be made by a gear design expert.
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.
How machine tools R&D helps drive gear manufacturing productivity.
Flexibility and productivity are the keywords in today’s grinding operations. Machines are becoming more flexible as manufacturers look for ways to produce more parts at a lower cost. What used to take two machines or more now takes just one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bore finishing system from Sunnen helps Cloyes Gear and Products achieve high accuracy, productivity and process capability.
In co-operation with Voith, a major transmission manufacturer in Germany, Heller has developed a process that significantly enhances the productivity of pre-milling and gear milling operations performed on a single 5-axis machining center.
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.
Not long ago, many manufacturing managers thought sensitivity to environmental protection standards meant additional expenses, decreased productivity, and a plethora of headaches and hassles.
Higher productivity, faster setup times and single unattended operations are just a few of the capabilities gear manufacturers seek in the multifunctional machine tool market.
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.
Happy days are here again, says the old song, and given the current economic numbers, one can scarcely argue. Productivity is up; unemployment is down; inflation is practically nonexistent; the budget deficit is shrinking fast.
Following is a report from The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). Founded in 1933, the alliance contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing by providing economic research, professional development, and an independent, expert source of manufacturing information.
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.
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.
News Items About productivity
1 Morris Group Names Fonte Productivity Specialist (November 13, 2012)
Morris Group, Inc. has announced the appointment of George J. Fonte to the position of productivity specialist for The Robert E. Morris C... Read News
2 Fanuc Offers Control Productivity (October 8, 2013)
The Fanuc CNC Series 30i/31i-L Model B high-speed laser controls offer fabricators streamlined efficiency and increased productivity usin... Read News
3 Mazak Quick Turn-250MSY Turning Center Offers Productivity-Enhancing Features (November 3, 2016)
For those shops looking to boost productivity as well as profitability, Mazak's Quick Turn-250MSY Turning Center sports several new p... Read News
4 Sandvik Opens Productivity Center (April 18, 2012)
Sandvik Coromant officially unveiled its new California productivity center at a VIP event and ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, April 2... Read News
5 Mazak VTC-805E Offers Versatility and Productivity for Long and Heavy Parts Manufacturers (February 1, 2017)
The new Mazak VTC-805E Vertical Traveling Column Machining Center brings high versatility and productivity to those shops that need to ta... Read News
6 Techniks Boring Tools Maximize Productivity (April 29, 2011)
Pinzbohr High Precision Modular Boring Tools from Techniks offer accuracy, rigidity and repeatability. All Pinzbohr boring tools are buil... Read News
7 StarragHeckert’s Machining Centers for Large-Scale Gear Housings Improve Productivity (August 16, 2007)
Flender Guss GmbH & Co. KG manufacturers of large scale gear housings for wind power plants, recently discovered its rate of or... Read News
8 LMC Face Drivers Improve Turning Productivity (October 11, 2011)
Gear hobbing is easier and more productive with Neidlein's FDNC face driver from LMC Workholding. With Neidlein's FDNC Face Drive... Read News
9 Surface Grinder Operates with Maximum Productivity, Minimum Cycle Times (February 4, 2009)
The TechMaster 844, from Jones and Shipman, offers 800 mm x 400 mm grinding capacity with a vertical capacity of 360 mm. The machine is ... Read News
10 Okuma Presents Job Shop Productivity Open House (October 17, 2012)
CNC machine tool manufacturer Okuma America Corporation and distributor Morris Midwest are hosting an event that will focus on machine to... Read News
11 LFG Machine Offers Precision and Productivity (May 1, 2013)
This machine concept facilitates highly productive profile grinding for large workpieces. The range for external and internal gears compr... Read News
12 Kitagawa NorthTech Productivity Team Designs Custom Engineered Workholding Services (March 15, 2017)
Kitagawa NorthTech, Inc. provides turnkey and custom engineered workholding services. Known for their standard and advanced chucks, the c... Read News
13 Thread Former Boosts Productivity and Quality (April 18, 2012)
Walter USA, LLC has introduced the Walter Prototyp Protodyn HSC thread former, a solid carbide tool engineered to boost thread forming cu... Read News
14 Sandvik and Hofler Team Up in Schaumburg Productivity Center (November 22, 2011)
The collaboration between Sandvik Coromant and Höfler Maschinenbau began in 2009. Since then it has developed into several joint act... Read News