Alex Cannella, Associate Editor of Gear Technology, has been covering the gear industry with Randall Publications LLC since 2015. (Bio last updated 2018-02-05 Contact Randy Stott, Managing Editor, with changes.)
Articles by Alex Cannella
- Pushing Boundaries (March/April 2018)
Induction hardening is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to thermochemical diffusion processes such as carburizing, and as it does so, manufacturers are on a never-ending quest to expand the scope of what's possible with the technology.
- Teaching Technicalities (January/February 2018)
Lego Technics actually just turned 40 last year. Technic kits have always differentiated themselves from their blocky contemporaries with a focus on additional parts such as gears, motors and axles to facilitate motion, and while the window dressing has changed over the years from the bulldozers and helicopters of yesteryear to the newest, coolest sports cars today, that core premise hasn't.
- Holding Fast, Bouncing Back (January/February 2018)
Business is finally starting to get back to usual in the big gear world, which offers us a chance to look back at the greatest lesson on how to survive an economic downturn. Includes the sidebar: "Brass Tacks with Klingelnberg."
- Helping Software Developers Help You (November/December 2017)
A key part of gear design software development is customer feedback. With the right feedback, you can get your software developer to work for you to provide the most relevant features possible.
- Gear Expo 2017 and ASM Heat Treat 2017 Booth Previews (September/October 2017)
The latest technology on display in Columbus, OH. October 24-26.
- An Event for All (August 2017)
WESTEC is positioning itself as an event for not only businesses of all sizes and interests, but also attendees of all ages.
- The Right Tool for the Job (August 2017)
When a gearbox remanufacturer is trying to decide whether to regrind or replace a gear, any number of factors could be running through their head. Here are some remanufacturers' processes on how they reach the conclusions they do, and why you should listen to them.
- Much Ado About Nothing (July 2017)
For over 50 years, the Do Nothing Machine has entertained the public eye with its complex machinery, a mountain of over 700 gears put together for the express purpose of doing nothing.
- Ask Not What Your Heat Treater Can Do for You... (July 2017)
When sending gears to be heat treated, manufacturers can end up unwittingly making mistakes that slow down turnaround time. We talked to some heat treaters to get their best advice on how you can help them help you.
- Babbage's Engines (June 2017)
Though we think of the computer as a distinctly 20th Century invention, Charles Babbage designed several precursors way back in the early 1800s.
- Gear Grinding Today (June 2017)
New divisions, open houses and the continued rise of the Industrial Internet of Things - There's been a lot going on in gear grinding in the past year.
- Transmission Throwdown (May 2017)
Which transmission system will come out on top is a hot topic in the automotive community. With multiple transmission-centric conferences on the horizon, there will be plenty of debate, but how much will the answer actually affect gear manufacturers, and when?
- Shifting Fortunes (March/April 2017)
Amidst the energy industry's uncertain future, gearbox manufacturers are focusing on supplying the aftermarket.
- Oil-Out Endurance Under the Lens (January/February 2017)
Oil-out conditions, or conditions in which an aircraft is operating without any oil in its gearbox or transmission, are devastating for an aircraft's hardware. Even the sturdiest gears usually can't last 30 minutes under such conditions before they catastrophically fail, and the whole system usually follows shortly after. That doesn't leave pilots with a whole lot of time to find a suitable location to land in the case of an oil-out emergency.
- Building Gears, Building Communities (November/December 2016)
Outside of our industry, there's a whole slew of hobbyists working with gears to make clocks, art pieces, watches and all manner of bizarrely shaped gears (you know, all the people that usually end up featured right here in our Addendum section).
- Most Famous Gear in Motown (September/October 2016)
It's hard for me to think of a massive Christmas exhibit as being the fifth largest tourist attraction in the entire country. I mean, sure, it's still a tradition to show up at the local Macy's to check out the Christmas decorations, but for my generation, the idea that a Christmas exhibit could draw out 1.5 million visitors, more tourists than either Yellowstone Park or the Statue of Liberty received, is stunning. But at the height of its popularity, that's exactly what the Ford Rotunda was.
- Innovating Against the Tide (September/October 2016)
During a year with a strong dollar, tanked oil prices and a number of soft markets that just aren't buying, one might expect spline manufacturers to be experiencing the same tumult everyone else is. But when I got a chance to speak with some of the suppliers to spline manufacturers at IMTS about how business is going, many of the manufacturing industry's recent woes never came up, and instead were replaced by a shrug and an "eh, business is doing pretty well."
- Mobilizing Microgears (July 2016)
We've been in the business of making things small and portable for a long time. But when it comes to shrinking things down, a team of scientists from Germany, Italy and Spain led by Roberto Di Leonardo decided to go big.
- IMTS: Welcome to the Main Event (July 2016)
It's hard to think of a show more essential to attend than IMTS. It's the cornerstone event for the industry, the center of the universe for a week, the one show to rule them all.
- Hail to the Quick-Change King (June 2016)
It's the year of the quick-change tool. From chucks to mandrels, workholding manufacturers across the industry are seeing a continuing trend from their customers: give us more quickchange.
- Off-Highway Endures Soft Markets (May 2016)
under pressure from numerous market forces. The oil sector's decline, weakened global economies (particularly China) and local government policies outnumber and outweigh relieving forces such as the FAST Act, leaving the industry in a general downturn. The outlook has yet to become truly grim, but companies are beginning to scale back.
- Adding Up Gear Spheres (March/April 2016)
Paul Nylander is something between an entrepreneur and a Renaissance man. He has degrees in engineering and physics, but he's also a creative artist who's put together sketches and 3D renderings alike. His website, bugman123. com, features everything from an in-depth explanation of a Tesla coil to 3D renderings of physics equations to an extensive library of fractal-based artwork. At first glance, one might find Nylander's many pursuits to be somewhat scattershot, but at their core, his works are tied together by his love for all things mathematical.
- Defying the Oil Ripple (March/April 2016)
The oil industry is (pardon the pun) tanking. That may conjure up horrific images of other industries following suit in a domino effect of collective collapse into the overabundant oil slick the industry is currently drowning in, but not everyone is getting knocked down alongside the oil sector.
- Mind-Boggling Gears (January/February 2016)
Square, rectangular, triangular, oval, even fish-shaped - Clayton Boyer's Weird Gears come in every shape except for circular, and they all work. If you're interested in giving them a gander, check out Boyer's Youtube video (just search "weird gears" and it'll be right there at the top) to see them in motion
- A Gear is a Gear is a Gear, Except When it Isnt (August 2015)
Look at that picture right over there on the right. Thatâ€™s one of the Bronze Wheels of Peru. Looks like a gear, doesnâ€™t it? If you knew nothing about it or the culture it sprang from and just happened to see it on the street, youâ€™d probably label it as such. So many people have had that same thought, in fact, that the set has picked up another name: the Bronze Gears of Peru.