Klingelnberg Hosts 6th WZL Gear Conference in the USA 2016
Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor
Gear design, smart manufacturing, psychoacoustic analysis, five-axis milling and trends in gear manufacturing are just a few of the many presentations that took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan as Klingelnberg hosted the 6th WZL Gear Conference in the United States. The event took place between Klingelnberg’s gear seminar on bevel gear technology (June 27) and cylindrical gear technology (June 29).
The WZL Gear Department
For 50+ years the annual WZL Gear Conference in Aachen, Germany has focused on collaboration and communication among members of the WZL Gear Research Circle. This is the 6th time content from WZL Aachen has been made available to North American companies to learn and discuss current gear research activities.
WZL of RWTH Aachen University includes manufacturing technology, gear technology, machine tools, assembly systems, metrology and production systems while Fraunhofer IPT includes process technology, production machines, production quality and metrology and technology management.
The main working fields of the WZL Gear Department include three areas: Gear Design and Manufacturing Simulation, Gear Manufacturing Technology and Gear Testing. It is here in close collaboration between the three groups where a great deal of the industry’s scientific research and gear analysis takes place.
More than 80+ employees of the WZL Gear Department focus on areas such as gear design and simulation of gear systems and their manufacturing processes. Technology is investigated in public funded research projects and bilateral projects with industry partners. In addition to the training of its own personnel, the department offers regular seminars including Basics of Gear Technology, Innovations in Bevel Gear Technology, Trends in Gear Soft Manufacturing and Gear Finishing Technology.
6Th WZL Gear Conference in the USA
On June 28, 2016, several professors and researchers from the WZL Gear Department came to Ann Arbor, Michigan to discuss gear manufacturing. The event included a session on gear design and operating performance followed by a session on manufacturing.
Presentations such as “Smart Manufacturing Systems,” from Dr. Fritz Klocke, examined how to apply communication and information technologies in manufacturing processes to offer both economic and ecological benefits. “Smart Machine Tools for Gear Production,” from Dr. Christian Brecher looked at the requirements needed for cross-linking machine tools using a combination of existing and new elements. Philip Konowalczyk offered an in-depth look at “FE-Based Approaches for Tip Relief Design.”
As gear noise continues to be a major topic in our industry, Peter Knecht’s presentation “Psychoacoustics of Ground Bevel Gears,” aimed at investigating the influence of the topography deviations of ground bevel gears to the noise behavior. Julian Staudt discussed “Performance of Gears Manufactured by 5-Axis Milling. Jonas Pollaschek provided an informative presentation on “Inclusion-Based Bending Strength Calculation of Gears.”
Dr. Christoph Löpenhaus examined trends in gear manufacturing including current approaches for optimizing process chains, the renaissance of skiving and how new flexible hard finishing processes (such as 5-axis milling) are becoming more popular. As always, he ended the presentation with a promise of continued research on the part of WZL to discover new gear manufacturing technologies and improvements (Ed’s note: Many of these topics and presentations will be available in upcoming issues of Gear Technology).
Additionally, Dr. Hartmuth Müller at Klingelnberg presented “Optimal Flank Forms for Large Bevel Gears,” and what can only be described as an entertaining and observational look at deburring and chamfering in gear manufacturing today with his presentation, “Cutting at the Edge – Deburring and Chamfering.”
This well-attended event brought together many U.S. gear companies to discuss, debate and collaborate on how the gear industry is adapting to new manufacturing technologies such as smart machine tools and smart manufacturing systems. It will come as no surprise that both topics will be prevalent during AMB 2016 in Stuttgart (September 13-17) and IMTS 2016 in Chicago (September 12-17).
While it’s informative to catch up on WZL’s latest gear activities, several conference attendees shared similar sentiments: A day of gear manufacturing sessions pales in comparison to making a trip to Aachen, peeking behind the curtain and discovering what goes on in the laboratory itself.
For more information:
Klingelnberg America Inc.
Phone: (734) 470-6278
Laboratory for Machine Tools and
Production Engineering WZL
Phone: +49 (0) 241 80-27416