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Material losses and long production times are two areas of conventional spur and helical gear manufacturing in which improvements can be made. Metalforming processes have been considered for manufacturing spur and helical gears, but these are costly due to the development times necessary for each new part design. Through a project funded by the U.S. Army Tank - Automotive Command, Battelle's Columbus Division has developed a technique for designing spur and helical gear forging and extrusion dies using computer aided techniques.
The process of forging metal into shapes possesses a surprisingly long and storied history. For example, the method of hot rolling can trace its protracted existence all the way back to an enigmatic Italian polymath named Leonardo da Vinci (you may have heard of him), who reportedly invented the rolling mill one lazy day in the 1400s.
A recent U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command project, conducted by Battelle's Columbus Laboratories. successfully developed the methodology of CAD/CAM procedures for manufacturing dies (via EDM) for forging spiral bevel gears. Further, it demonstrated that precision forging of spiral bevel gears is a practical production technique. Although no detailed economic evaluation was made in this study, it is expected that precision forging offers an attractive alternative to the costly gear cutting operations for producing spiral bevel gears.
Near-net gear forging today is producing longer life gears at significantly lower costs than traditional manufacturing techniques. Advances in forging equipment, controls and die-making capability have been combined to produce commercially viable near-net-shape gears in diameters up to 17" with minimum stock allowances. These forged gears require only minimal finishing to meet part tolerance specifications.
Traditionally, high-quality gears are cut to shape from forged blanks. Great accuracy can be obtained through shaving and grinding of tooth forms, enhancing the power capacity, life and quietness of geared power transmissions. In the 1950s, a process was developed for forging gears with teeth that requires little or no metal to be removed to achieve final geometry. The initial process development was undertaken in Germany for the manufacture of bevel gears for automobile differentials and was stimulated by the lack of available gear cutting equipment at that time. Later attention has turned to the forging of spur and helical gears, which are more difficult to form due to the radial disposition of their teeth compared with bevel gears. The main driver of these developments, in common with most component manufacturing, is cost. Forming gears rather than cutting them results in increased yield from raw material and also can increase productivity. Forging gears is therefore of greater advantage for large batch quantities, such as required by the automotive industry.
You get one shot to make a first impression. One opportunity to show your customers, vendors and suppliers that you provide a steady, reliable product that will generate repeat business. How do you make this happen? What tools and strategies are available to get gear materials (forgings, gear blanks, etc.) shipped faster and more efficiently in today's tech-heavy, fast-paced, manufacturing environment?
We asked a few industry suppliers to provide some insight into gear manufacturers' supply chain challenges during the pandemic.
Background on the development of a high-speed, automatic hardness tester for gear steels.
Business is finally starting to get back to usual in the big gear world, which offers us a chance to look back at the greatest lesson on how to survive an economic downturn. Includes the sidebar: "Brass Tacks with Klingelnberg."
What are the manufacturing methods used to make bevel gears used in automotive differentials?
A net-shaped metal forming process has been developed for manufacturing quality, durable, high-yield and cost-efficient gears for high-volume production.
the gear industry is awash in manufacturing technologies that promise to eliminate waste by producing gears in near-net shape, cut production and labor costs and permit gear designers greater freedom in materials. These methods can be broken down into the following categories: alternative ways to cut, alternative ways to form and new, exotic alternatives. Some are new, some are old and some are simply amazing.
The term "blanking" refers to the initial metal cutting operations in the process planning sequence which produce the contour of a part starting from rough material. The scope of blanking is: To remove the excess material To machine the part to print specifications, except for those surfaces with subsequent finishing operations. To leave adequate machining stock for finishing operations. To prepare good quality surfaces for location and clamping of the part throughout the process.
Traditional methods of manufacturing precision gears usually employ either hobbing or shaper cutting. Both of these processes rely upon generating the conjugate tooth form by moving the work-piece in a precise relation to the tool. Recently, attention has been given to forming gear teeth in a single step. Advantages to such a process include reduced production time, material savings, and improved performance characteristics. Drawbacks include complicated tool designs, non-uniformity of gears produced throughout the life of the tooling, and lengthy development times.
Ohio's Lt. Governor Lee Fisher talks about Ohio companies at the forefront of wind turbine industry manufacturing.
New Technique for Forging Crowned Helical Gears Createch Co. Ltd., a forging die manufacturer from Shizuoka, Japan, has developed a net-shape cold-forging process for forming helical gears and splines with crowned teeth.
If someone were to tell you that he had a gear material that was stronger per pound than aluminum, as wear-resistant as steel, easier to machine than free-machining steel and capable of producing gears domestically for 20% less than those now cut from foreign made forgings, would you consider that material to be "high tech"? Probably. Well, throw out all the pre-conceived notions that you may have had about "high tech" materials. The high-performance material they didn't teach you about in school is austempered ductile iron (ADI).
News Items About forging
1 Oelheld Introduces Forging Lubricants (June 12, 2019)
Oelheld recently announced a line of forging lubricants at Forge Fair 2019. The company is also a proud member of the Forging Industry As... Read News
2 Eaton Brings Forging Operation In-House (September 10, 2013)
Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton has announced that its South Bend, Indiana, facility has added a $1.9 million cross-wedge-rolli... Read News
3 Metaldyne Purchases Forging Technologies (January 19, 2006)
Metaldyne announced its purchase agreement with Forging Technologies Inc. related to the acquisition of Metaldyne's North American fo... Read News