There have always been plenty of reasons to attend Gear Expo. For decades, it’s been the best place to see all of the technology, vendors and solutions in the gear industry, all under one roof. Now that it's the Motion + Power Technology Expo, it's even more true.
The oil-off (also known as loss-of-lubrication or oil-out) performance evaluation of gears is of significant interest to the Department of Defense and various rotorcraft manufacturers, so that the aircraft can safely land in an accidental loss-of-lubricant situation. However, unlike typical gear failure modes such as pitting or bending fatigue where early detection is possible, gear failure in an oil-off situation is very rapid and likely catastrophic. Failures rapidly result in the loss of torque transmission and the inability to control the aircraft.
Finding capable, dependable machinists is one of the great challenges of modern manufacturing. Most gear manufacturers we talk to would hire more machine
operators - if only they could find them. They lament the fact that their workforce is getting older and grayer, and they don't know what to do.
Last year, Hot Wheels celebrated its 50th anniversary. While a writing gig in manufacturing and engineering probably sounded surreal to the 8-year-old version of this author, truth be told, he was obsessed with Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys for most of his childhood. Somewhere in a box in the basement there’s a 1967 Camaro and a 1953 Corvette
that would still bring a smile to this face.