British Columbia-based Vancouver Gear Works Ltd. has placed an order for what is believed to be the largest gear measuring machine in North America from Wenzel GearTech Division of Wenzel/Xspect Solutions, Inc of Wixom, MI. The machine is specifically designed for inspecting windmill gears and gearbox, and it is scheduled for delivery in March 2009.
"In the last several years we have focused more resources on the energy-related industries where gears and gear-related products are prominent," says Jim Mantei, general manager of Vancouver Gear Works. "We have invested upwards of $10 million during that time for state-of-the-art gear manufacturing equipment and ultimately found the need for better methods of inspecting and verifying those precision tolerances. We have recently secured contracts for the manufacture of large gears and the corresponding parts that are used in the production of windmill. This required purchasing new state-of-the-art inspection equipment to provide the necessary guarantee of our levels of quality."
The Model LHF GMM 30.60.20 is capable of measuring gears up to 3 meters in diameter in addition to large housings and components. It is a traveling bridge-type machine with a measuring range of 6 meter x 3 meter x 2 meter. The GMM uses two three-meter measuring zones. One has a 1,000 mm hydrostatic rotary table, which can accommodate gears up to 30,000 lbs. The other zone has a cast iron surface plate to inspect housings and other components using the traditional prismatic method.
"It took a number of concurrent actions that brought Wenzel and Vancouver Gear Works, Ltd. together for this unique capital equipment purchase," says Keith Mills, president of Wenzel/Xspect Solutions. "Wenzel/Xspect Solutions recently entered into a sales partnership with Great Lakes Gear Technologies, located here in Canton, Michigan, who over the years, has worked closely with Vancouver Gear."
Ray Mackowsky, president of Great Lakes Gear Technology, says, "Because of our company's sales know-how in gear manufacturing, Vancouver Gear looked to us to provide some recommendations for their specific needs. It was a fairly simple task, since there is only one company in the world that has the size and production-proven accuracy of gear measuring equipment that Vancouver needed."