October 12, 2022
AGMA’s acquisition of the assets of Randall Publications LLC, the company responsible for both Gear Technology and Power Transmission Engineering, opens up exciting possibilities for the future of training in our industry. It will take a couple of months to complete the transition and I would like to encourage the readers of this blog to tell us what you would like to know about gears and how you would like that knowledge to be communicated. I have written extensively about the importance of mentors and educators in developing gear gals and gear guys. When I got my start back in 1971 there was no Internet, no AGMA-sponsored seminars, and certainly no magazine dedicated to gears. Occasionally, one of the general engineering magazines [Machine Design or Design News] would publish an article of interest to us, but for the most part you relied on guidance from older co-workers when a question came up. Illinois Tool Works [ITW], a leading supplier or gear cutting tools, operated a “Gear School” that covered the basics of gear cutting in its Chicago-area facility for many years. I was fortunate enough to attend in 1979 and add my name to the extensive list of folks who went through this “boot camp.” I am not aware of any other companies offering training back then. Hopefully all video records of my presentation on Using AGMA 2001 Properly at AGMA headquarters in December of 1988 have been destroyed. Everyone involved was new at “adult education” and, as the “presenter,” I have to take the brunt of the blame for not truly understanding the nature of the task at hand. The expectation of the students was much different than what AGMA and I discussed when the idea first came up. Today, AGMA has become the leading provider of independent training on gears. In addition to the “leading-edge” papers presented every year at the Fall Technical Meeting, some of the industry’s most respected engineers teach courses on many aspects of gear design and manufacture. The Gear School offered through Daley College in Chicago is a worthy successor to that ITW “boot camp,” with the added bonus of hands-on gear making. Yet, based upon the e-mails we get, there is so much more that needs to be done. Why not use this “transition period” to tell us what you need to know and how you would like to learn it?