Workholding solutions increase throughput which generates uptime because they greatly reduce setup and changeover times. Operators can change workpieces in a highly repeatable manner which significantly increases the quality of the finished part. The primary function of streamlining production is to develop a workholding solution that optimizes the machining of multiple parts at once while maintaining tight tolerances. Below you will find a cross-section of companies that will be showcasing their approach to workholding systems at IMTS from Sept. 12–17 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Furnaces North America 2022 (FNA 2022), presented by the Metal Treating Institute (MTI), in partnership with its media partner, Heat Treat Today, is the heat-treating industry’s marquee event every other year. FNA 2022 will attract attendees from across North America, including Fortune 500 companies. For three days attendees take part in networking, connections, and learning about the vast changes taking place on emerging technologies, industry trends, and advances in equipment.
The mere mention of artificial intelligence (AI) often conjures one dystopian vision or another—perhaps the prime example of all is the HAL 9000 going spectacularly awry in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The prospect of the widespread adoption of AI is understandably alarming to people in a host of ways, but be that as it may, various forms of it are already a central part of how things are done—from finance to health care, from heavy machinery to retail—and the reason for this is simple: AI allows computers to do things people can’t unassisted, and by pairing algorithmic accuracy with automation, this helps save valuable time and resources. However, as AI and other control mechanisms affecting systems grow increasingly sophisticated, the human link to these processes becomes critical.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a space that is maturing at insensate speed—the growth and innovation in materials and technology are staggering. Because of the inherent process of 3D printing, it may allow for a renaissance in the physical design of gears (i.e., integral channels for cooling, lightweighting, and other possibilities) but also holds the potential for gear repairs. Gear Technology spoke with JEOL, Nidec, and Fortify about the technologies they will be on-site to discuss at IMTS 2022.
AddUp, a joint venture created by Michelin and Fives, is a global metal additive manufacturing OEM and service provider of powder bed fusion (PBF) and directed energy deposition (DED) technologies. They have launched a suite of new process monitoring software to bolster the capabilities of the FormUp 350 PBF machine: AddUp Dashboards, Recoat Monitoring, and Meltpool Monitoring. This new software suite for its metal 3D printing technology optimizes part quality for prototyping and end-use industrial applications.
Nidec Machine Tool Corporation recently developed the "SE25FR Plus," a gear shaping machine dedicated to making high-precision small-module gears used in robots. The company simultaneously developed a small-module cutting tool specifically for the new gear shaping machine. By providing this dual support in high-precision gear cutting machines and cutting tools from a single source, Nidec Machine Tool responds to the need for reduction gears of increasingly higher precision in the expanding global robot market.
Noncircular gears are not a mere mathematical curiosity with limited practical utility. They were first sketched by Leonardo da Vinci around 1500 and have since found their way into a variety of useful applications. In the 18th century, noncircular gears were used in flow pumps, clocks, music boxes, toys, and other devices. Early publications on the gear type in the 19th century by Hamnet Holditch (1842), Henry T. Brown (1871), and Franz Reuleaux (1875) helped evolve the field of kinematics. First introduced by Uno Ollson in his book Non-Circular Bevel Gear in 1959, the noncircular bevel gear has remained obscure due to the complex geometry. Even though more and more publications are available on noncircular gears, the knowledge is, especially compared to cylindrical gears, still very limited. But in the last decade, there has been an increased interest in the field of noncircular gears due to certain advantages they have over circular gears.
While the Greek proverb “the mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind fine,” coined by Sextus Empiricus, was meant as a figurative expression of justice, it does hold true to gear grinding in the sense that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things because rushing the process only causes problems. Like justice, grinding takes the time it takes, but the grind is fine. So, the way to increase production, especially with the godlike largest gears, is to decrease nonproductive time with improved strategies.
In July, Raymond J. Drago, P.E.—chief engineer of Drive Systems Technology, Inc. (DST), a mechanical power transmission consulting organization that he founded in 1976—will lead an IACET-accredited course on both the geometry and rating of involute splines of various types along with their applications. Topics under discussion include spline configuration variations, including half depth, full depth, and special function designs; both fixed and flexible spline configurations in terms of usage and design; lubrication methods, including grease, oil bath, and flowing oil, as well as coatings appropriate for various spline applications; and shear and compressive stress rating methods with analyses methodology in both equation and graphical methodology via various rating charts.
When it comes to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), I’m reminded of that dog-van scene from Dumb and Dumber where Jim Carrey says, “Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?” and then proceeds to emit an astonishingly awful noise. Annoying as NVH may be, it’s a key metric in drive-system development for e-mobility, and the careful design and manufacture of gears are crucial to minimizing NVH as tolerance variations can result in large differences between nominally identical components.