Jack McGuinn, Senior Editor, has a diverse, 20-year history in manufacturing, including management-level positions in quality assurance and testing; product development; marketing and promotion; and industrial journalism. He has been with Gear Technology since 2005.
While high-speed rail development continues around the world, let’s take a minute to consider the achievements of George Stephenson — “the father of railways” and inventor of the first commercial locomotive and other significant achievements.
Call it new wine in old bottles, or old wine in new bottles, but
gear skiving has certainly aged well over time. Gear skiving's evolution, perhaps gaining momentum most dramatically since around 2004, has ultimately led to rather dramatic technological advancement and cost saving in the manufacture of certain gears.
When discussing the thinning of this country's potential manufacturing workforce, it is often maintained that technical training opportunities should be made available to grade school-age children who express interest. Get their attention while they're young and impressionable, the thinking goes — and
hope their parents don't talk them out of it.
Design and manufacture of gears is among the most complex and difficult disciplines of the industrial arts. From initial conception to machining and
finishing, making gears ain't bean-bag. And guess what? Once those gears roll off the assembly line, it doesn't get any simpler. That's because gears - the metal ones at least - require the correct lubrication in order to prevent - or delay as long as possible - such things as wear, scuffing and Hertzian fatigue.
Faithful readers of this space know we sometimes like to use Addendum to give relatively unknown 19th Century mechanical engineers/inventors their well-deserved props. Like, for example, William Brunton (1777-1851), who is credited - but generally unknown - with inventing the Steam Horse, also known as the Mechanical Traveler.
There is so much more to Gear Expo than gears or the machinery that makes them. That's because it takes much, much more to make a finished gear than even the most sophisticated machine. And it is exhibitors who are part of the "much, much, more" that are addressed in this article.
Your automobile's differential is easily one of its most important components. This becomes crystal clear to anyone that has ever had to pony up to replace one. The differential, that mathy-driven, mechanically complex system
that keeps axles and pinions running smoothly was invented by a watchmaker - for a watch.
NASA is now 3-D-printing spare parts up at the ISS (International Space Station). And in zero-gravity environments. And some of these parts are small gears and actuators, for starters. Every indication is that the list of power transmission-type parts to be converted will soon grow.