Manufacturers of gear components and bevel gears have been looking for alternatives to traditional manufacturing processes for larger gears. In addition, improving machine tool flexibility has become more important because many gear-makers can no longer afford to depend on dedicated gear machine tools. They want the capability and flexibility typical of a machining center.
In cooperation 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. Both companies have applied for a patent on the jointly developed process. The process is aimed at manufacturers of vehicles, machines or machine components that can use the machining center for lower-volume production of larger gears as well as other machining tasks.
Gear milling has recently been an interest of some machine tool builders as it is more efficient to use the existing capability of a five-axis machining center for new applications beyond those typical for machining centers. According to Heller, gear milling provides an ideal opportunity to use the full potential of its 5-axis machining centers from its new F series machines to its heavy-duty MCH-C series.
Heller pointed out that traditional gear-making machine manufacturers continue to concentrate on special-purpose machines and tools dedicated to gear machining, but that manufacturers of machining centers can provide complete machining for a wide range of applications as well as solutions for gear modeling using special software. The software permits the user to generate an ideal gear geometry from which the gear-making process can be developed.
Ed's note: To read this entire extended product news piece, please check out the upcoming August issue of Gear Technology magazine.