Yefim Kotlyar is the Application Engineering Manager at Machine Tool Builders (MTB), responsible for the development of new gear manufacturing and gear metrology technologies. His broad experience in the art of gearing includes the development of various gear cutting technologies, analytical inspection and evaluation technologies for gears and hobs, as well as the gear systems design and validation. Kotlyar has served on a number of AGMA technical committees, and he has authored numerous articles on gearing.
This paper outlines the basic principles of involute
gear generation by using a milling cutter;
the machine and cutting tool requirements; similarities
and differences with other gear generative methods; the cutting strategy; and setup adjustments options. It also discusses the applications that would benefit the most: for coarse-pitch gears the generative gear milling technologies offer improved efficiency, expanded machine pitch capacity, decreased cutter cost, and a possibility for reducing the number of machining operations.
This article discusses applications of statistical process capability indices for controlling the quality of tooth geometry characteristics, including profile and lead as defined by current AGMA-2015, ISO-1328, and DIN-3960 standards. It also addresses typical steps to improve manufacturing process capability for each of the tooth geometry characteristics when their respective capability indices point to an incapable process.
Bodine Electric Co. of Chicago, IL., has a 97-year history of fine-and medium-pitch gear manufacturing. Like anywhere else, traditions, old systems, and structures can be beneficial, but they can also become paradigms and obstacles to further improvements. We were producing a high quality product, but our goal was to become more cost effective. Carbide hobbing is seen as a technological innovation capable of enabling a dramatic, rather than an incremental, enhancement to productivity and cost savings.
What is so unique about gear manufacturing and inspection? Machining is mostly associated with making either flat or cylindrical shapes. These shapes can be created by a machine's simple linear or circular movements, but an involute curve is neither a straight line nor a circle. In fact, each point of the involute curve has a different radius and center of curvature. Is it necessary to go beyond simple circular and linear machine movements in order to create an involute curve? One of the unique features of the involute is the fact that it can be generated by linking circular and linear movements. This uniqueness has become fertile soil for many inventions that have simplified gear manufacturing and inspection. As is the case with gear generating machines, the traditional involute inspection machines take advantage of some of the involute properties. Even today, when computers can synchronize axes for creating any curve, taking advantage of involute properties can be very helpful. I t can simplify synchronization of machine movements and reduce the number of variables to monitor.
Flute index or spacing is defined as the variation from the desired angle between adjacent or nonadjacent tooth faces measured in a plane of rotation. AGMA defines and provides tolerance for adjacent and nonadjacent flute spacing errors. In addition, DIN and ISO standards provide tolerances for individual flute variation (Fig. 1).
Can a gear profile generated by the hobbing method be an ideal involute? In strictly theoretical terms - no, but in practicality - yes. A gear profile generated by the hobbing method is an approximation of the involute curve. Let's review a classic example of an approximation.
Whether gear engineers have to replace an old gear which is worn out, find out what a gear's geometry is after heat treatment distortion, or just find out parameters of gears made by a competitor, sometimes they are challenged with a need to determine the geometry of unknown gears. Depending on the degree of accuracy required, a variety of techniques are available for determining the accuracy of an unknown gear. If a high degree of precision is important, a gear inspection device has to be used to verify the results. Frequently, several trial-and-error attempts are made before the results reach the degree of precision required.
The art of gear hobbing has advanced dramatically since the development and introduction of unique machine and tool features such as no backlash, super rigidity, automatic loading of cutting tools, CNC controls, additional machine power and improved cutter materials and coatings. It is essential to utilize all these features to run the machine economically.