Now that the new tax bill has been passed, the time has come to begin evaluating how it will affect investment strategies in the machine tool business. Your first reaction may be to think that any motivation to invest in capital improvements in your company is gone, because both the investment tax credit and the accelerated depreciation on capital investment have been removed from the tax law. After all, if Uncle Sam is not going to help us out through some short term tax gains, why should we bother? Can we afford to bother?
Curvic Couplings were first introduced in 1942 to meet the need for permanent couplings and releasing couplings (clutches), requiring extreme accuracy and maximum load carrying capacity, together with a fast rate of production. The development of the Curvic Coupling stems directly from the manufacture of Zerol and spiral bevel gears since it is made on basically similar machines and also uses similar production methods. The Curvic Coupling can therefore lay claim to the same production advantages and high precision associated with bevel gears.
In robot configurations it is desirable to be able to obtain an arbitrary orientation of the output element or end-effector. This implies a minimum of two independent rotations about two (generally perpendicular) intersecting axes. If, in addition, the out element performs a mechanical task such as in manufacturing or assembly (e.g., drilling, turning, boring, etc.) it may be necessary for the end-effector to rotate about its axis. If such a motion is to be realized with gearing, this necessitates a three-degree-of-freedom, three-dimensional gear train, which provides a mechanical drive of gyroscopic complexity; i.e., a drive with independently controlled inputs about three axes corresponding to azimuth, nutation, and spin.
In conventional gear grinders, grinding wheels with Alundum grains and a hardness of about 2000 HV have been used for finishing steel gears with hardnesses up to about 1000HV. In this case, the accuracy of the gears ground is greatly affected by wear of the grinding wheel because the difference in hardness is comparatively small when the gears are fully hardened.
When a gear set is to be designed for a new application, the minimum size gears with the required capacity are desired. These gears must be capable of meeting the power, speed, ratio, life, and reliability requirements.
These are changing times for industry. Trauma and uncertainty are always a part of change, and change is not always for the better. Change is usually forced, most frequently by competition. Our competitive free enterprise system should be able to respond to competition because that's its basis. These are critical years. If we do not respond effectively to change and competition, it could be disasterous.