Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed the development of a new gear shaping machine, the ST40A, capable of cutting a broad array of gears, including helical and cluster gears, with one system. The ST40A's significantly expanded range of cutting applications derives from the first application in Japan of NC programming technology to the relieving motion that prevents interference between the cutter and the workpiece. The machine made its international debut in the United States with a live demonstration of its capabilities at Gear Expo 2013, in Indianapolis. The ST40A is a totally upgraded version of the ST40, a helical gear shaping machine requiring no helical guide for each workpiece. The ST40A has extended the ST40's cutting flexibility even further by incorporating Japan's first NC-programmable relieving mechanism and making all seven of the machine's axes fully NC-programmable. This new capability enables the ST40A to accommodate various high-precision cutting applications such as crowning and tapering. In addition, stroke speed has been increased by 20 percent, from the earlier 500 strokes per minute to 600, enabling high-speed cutting with a focus on productivity. Stroke speed when machining at lower speeds meanwhile has been reduced by 50 percent, from 60 strokes per minute to 30, enabling secure cutting of hard workpieces. The new machine is also capable of tapering up to 0.3 degrees without use of a tilt table. In these ways, the ST40A has been designed to fully address diverse user needs, including demand for a broader range of optional devices and functions, and enhanced operability, safety and energy savings. The company intends to market the ST40A for a wide spectrum of gear cutting applications for various products including automobiles, construction machinery and aircraft. Read more about this shaping machine in the October issue of Gear Technology.