February 16, 2024
Mr. Hinz’s “transfer” from hydraulics to gearing points out the value of having a good understanding of basic math, science, and physics. Newbies sometimes get intimidated by all the buzzwords we throw around; if they can take a deep breath, go back to the fundamental principles they learned along the way, and think things through, gears are not all that hard to figure out. You can see the scientific method at work when Mr. Hinz recounts his investigation of the “sudden” inability to make smooth running gear sets. The particular type of gearing he was dealing with, double enveloping worms, does not lend itself to the traditional “elemental” checks most of us rely on to detect tolerance problems. It takes a very dedicated person to go over the steps in the manufacturing process with the team while listening closely for the smallest changes in procedure. Disciplining yourself to wait until all the data is collated and studied before jumping to a conclusion is what separates a good scientist from a hack. Problems don’t stay solved if you fail to determine root causes and implement procedures to keep things under control. If you apply the lessons learned in other disciplines to gears the smokescreen quickly clears away. Sometimes old lessons need to be re-learned by a new roster of participants simply because no one ever took proper notes and put them in the files. If it isn’t in writing somewhere you end up “mysteries” to solve when the roster changes.