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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The complete Industry News section from the June/July 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
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.
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.
Preview of some of the exhibits relevant to gear manufacturing at the upcoming EMO 2013.
The complete Industry News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
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.
Booth previews from exhibitors showing products and services for the gear industry.
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.
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.
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.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
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.
A main limiting factor in extending the use of hard coatings to machine component application is the lack of knowledge about how these inert coatings perform under lubricated conditions using today's lubricants.
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 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.
Several trends in mechanical engineering are leading to greater surface stress on components and thus to unacceptable wear. These trends include greater stresses due to increased power densities; the need to maintain high precision of components throughout their service life; and the environmental imperative to reduce use of lubricants and additives.
Design Problem: Develop a gear drive for a pedal-powered water craft that will be easy to manufacture, use and maintain; that will be lightweight enough for the boat to be portable; and that will eliminate the environmental risk of lubricants leaking into the water.
Electroless Nickel (EN) plating, a process dating back to the 1940s, is one of the predominant metal finishing methods today. It is especially suitable for the gear industry, whose end uses span innumerable other industries, providing an endless assortment of requirements, environments, materials and specifications. EN plating has a broad array of functional features, which include:
The following article is concerned with the analysis of the wear-reducing effect of PVD-coatings in gearings. Standardized test methods are used, which under near-real conditions enable statements to be made about the different forms of damage and wear (micropitting, macropitting, scuffing).
News from the Gear Industry
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 complete Product News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
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.
The complete Product News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
News from around the Gear Industry
Product news from the Gear Industry
Machine tools boost speed and throughput with automation technology.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Faster, more efficient manufacturing offered with table-top design from American Broach & Machine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gear Technology's bimonthly aberration - gear trivia, humor, weirdness and oddments for the edification and amusement of our readers. Contributions are welcome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some gear-related highlights from the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany.
Hainbuch offers workholding solutions for United Gear.
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.
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.
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.
News Items About tool coating
1 Seco Tools Acquires NC Industries and Diamond Tool Coating (January 10, 2011)
Seco Tools has signed an agreement to acquire the American companies NC Industries (NCI) and Diamond Tool Coating (DTC). NCI is a produce... Read News