Last year, when I wrote this column about our annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey, I urged most of you to consider whether you were working for one of those gear industry companies engaged with the future or one of those ignoring it. I feel like I could run the same words again, and they would still apply.
Gear Technology TV is the home for original gear-related content created by our editors in conjunction with a lot of really smart people in our industry whom we’ve had the pleasure to interview on camera or include in one of our discussion panels. For years, we’ve been building our library of video content, and we’ve just added a bunch more.
Since our founding in 1984, Gear Technology’s goal has been to improve your knowledge, bringing you the best possible technical information about gear design, manufacturing, inspection, heat treating and much more. We keep you informed about the business of gear manufacturing, including the trends and technologies that will shape your companies in the coming years.
The Motion + Power Technology Expo is a three-day show that’s designed for the gear and power transmission industry, representing the entire community of professionals involved in the life of a gear, gearbox or other power transmission device—from design to manufacturing, testing, heat treating and more. You can find the suppliers of the equipment to make gears as well as gear and gear drive manufacturers themselves, along with related suppliers of things like software, tooling, lubrication, bearings and more.
Electric vehicles are changing the gear industry. If your business is at all attached to the manufacture of automobiles, construction equipment, motorcycles, aircraft, I hope you’re paying attention. The gears you used to make are going to be changing if they haven’t already. E-mobility isn’t going away anytime soon.
I’m a fan of The History Channel’s survival competition TV series Alone, where contestants are left in the wilderness to fend for themselves with limited resources in extremely harsh conditions. They have to build their own shelters, find food and survive. The last one to tap out wins.
At first glance, the gear industry might seem like a small industry, easily navigable for someone new to it. But it’s only small in terms of the number of people involved. In fact, once you’re in it, you quickly realize the gear industry is extremely broad.
A significant amount of work is being done to advance the technology of gears specifically for use in electric vehicles. No longer hidden by the noise of the internal combustion engine, the transmission has taken center stage as the noisiest component in most electric-driven cars.
This year’s State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey generated a wide variety of responses. The industry doesn’t seem to be moving in just one direction, but rather, in multiple. In some cases, this is a story of the haves and the have-nots. Depending on what’s going on the world, companies serving one industry will outperform companies serving another. But overall, companies that are well positioned—those that have invested in technology, found ways to hire and maintain a skilled workforce and who have anticipated and prepared for paradigm shifts like the electrification movement—seem to have a much more positive outlook.