Notes from Detroit...Overall, Gear Expo 97, the AGMA biennial trade show, was a success. While attendance may not have been what some people had hoped for, the quality of the attendees was high. Serious buyers came and brought their checkbooks.
Computers are everywhere. It's gotten so that it's hard to find an employee who isn't using one in the course of his or her day - whether he be CEO or salesman, engineer or machinist. Everywhere you look, you find the familiar neutral-colored boxes and bright glowing screens. And despite the gear industry's traditional reluctance to embrace new technology, more and moe of what you find on those screens are gears.
A major source of helicopter cabin noise (which has been measured at over 100 decibels sound pressure level) is the gearbox. Reduction of this noise is a NASA and U.S. Army goal. A requirement for the Army/NASA Advanced Rotorcraft Transmission project was a 10 dB noise reduction compared to current designs.
We are all looking for ways to increase production without sacrificing quality. One of the most cost-effective ways is by improving the substrate material of your hob. Solid carbide hobs are widely used in many applications throughout the world. LMT-Fette was the first to demonstrate the use of solid carbide hobs in 1993 on modern high-speed carbide (HSC) hobbing machines. Since then the process of dry hobbing has been continuously improving through research and product testing. Dry hobbing is proving to be successful in the gear cutting industry as sales for dry hobbing machines have steadily been rising along with the dramatic increase in sales of solid carbide hobs.
No one (not even you and I) consistently makes parts with perfect form and dimensions, so we must be able to efficiently check size and shape at many stages in the manufacturing and assembly process to eliminate scrap and rework and improve processes and profits. Automated inspection systems, which are widely used in all kinds of manufacturing operations, provide great efficiencies in checking individual features, but may not be as effective when asked to evaluate an entire part. You need to know why this is true and what you can do to improve your part yields.
Over the years the Addendum Staff has brought you odd, little known and sometimes useless facts about almost every conceivable topic concerning gears. This month, as part of our never-ending campaign to upgrade the tone of the industry, we are venturing into the world of high fashion. Lose those pocket protectors, gear fans. Welcome to the land of gear haute couture. Appearing now, in select magazines, are ads that rival those of Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany. These gear "gems" come courtesy of Winzeler Gear, Chicago, IL.