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In manufacturing, we all know that tracking statistics on your operation is essential for understanding how you're doing, as well as identifying areas for improvement. But what does the efficiency metric actually tell you?
Mechanical efficiency is an important index of gearing, especially for epicyclic gearing. Because of its compact size, light weight, the capability of a high speed ratio, and the ability to provide differential action, epicyclic gearing is very versatile, and its use is increasing. However, attention should be paid to efficiency not only to save energy, but sometimes also to make the transmission run smoothly or to avoid a self-locking condition.
Bob McCulley of Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists describes how even the most energy intensive industrial processes can be made "green."
Our question this issue deals with high-ratio hypoid gears, and it should be noted here that this is a tricky area of gearing with a dearth of literature on the topic. That being the case, finding â€śexpertsâ€ť willing to stick their necks out and take on the subject was not a given.
The effect of various lubricant factors on wormgear efficiency has been evaluated using a variety of gear types and conditions. In particular, the significant efficiency improvements afforded by certain types of synthetic lubricants have been investigated to determine the cause of these improvements. This paper describes broad wormgear testing, both in the laboratory and in service, and describes the extent to which efficiency can be affected by changes in the lubricant; the effects of viscosity, viscosity index improvers and, finally, synthetic lubricants are discussed. The work concludes that lubricant tractional properties can play a significant role in determining gear efficiency characteristics.
Minimizing gear losses caused by churning, windage and mesh friction is important if plant operating costs and environmental impact are to be minimized. This paper concentrates on mesh friction losses and associated scuffing risk. It describes the preliminary results from using a validated, 3-D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Tooth Contact Analysis (TCA) program to optimize cylindrical gears for low friction losses without compromising transmission error (TE), noise and power density. Some case studies and generic procedures for minimizing losses are presented. Future development and further validation work is discussed.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
We talked energy efficiency with some major players in the lubricants industryâ€” but with a focus on their productsâ€™ impact regarding energy efficiency of gears and gearboxes in wind turbines.
A response to last issue's "Ask the Expert" feature on efficiency of hypoid gearing.
In most transmission systems, one of the main power loss sources is the loaded gear mesh. In this article, the influences of gear geometry parameters on gear efficiency, load capacity, and excitation are shown.
One of the hot items on the public agenda these days is "The Environment." Suddenly everyone wants to save the whales and the rain forest. Politicians, rock stars, and big business have all discovered that you can't get anything but good press for saying that you're in favor of trees and marine mammals.
Two-shaft planetary gear drives are power-branching transmissions, which lead the power from input to output shaft on several parallel ways. A part of the power is transferred loss-free as clutch power. That results in high efficiency and high power density. Those advantages can be used optimally only if an even distribution of load on the individual branches of power is ensured. Static over-constraint, manufacturing deviations and the internal dynamics of those transmission gears obstruct the load balance. With the help of complex simulation programs, it is possible today to predict the dynamic behavior of such gears. The results of those investigations consolidate the approximation equations for the calculation of the load factors...
Gearbox performance, reliability, total cost of ownership (energy cost), overall impact on the environment, and anticipation of additional future regulations are top-of-mind issues in the industry. Optimization of the bearing set can significantly improve gearbox performance.
By increasing the number of gears and the transmission-ratio spread, the engine will run with better fuel efficiency and without loss of driving dynamics. Transmission efficiency itself can be improved by: using fuelefficient transmission oil; optimizing the lubrication systems and pumps; improving shifting strategies and optimizing gearings; and optimizing bearings and seals/gaskets.
It is widely recognized that the reduction of CO2 requires consistent light-weight design of the entire vehicle. Likewise, the trend towards electric cars requires light-weight design to compensate for the additional weight of battery systems. The need for weight reduction is also present regarding vehicle transmissions. Besides the design of the gearbox housing, rotating masses such as gear wheels and shafts have a significant impact on fuel consumption. The current technology shows little potential of gear weight reduction due to the trade-off between mass optimization and the manufacturing process. Gears are usually forged followed or not by teeth cutting operation.
Over the past few months I've talked with several different gear manufacturers who are in the process of upgrading their gear making equipment with modern CNC machine tools. Each of these manufacturers has come to the realization that in order to stay competitive, he needs to streamline operations and become more efficient...
The efficiency of a gearbox is the output energy divided by the input energy. It depends on a variety of factors. If the complete gearbox assembly in its operating environment is observed, then the following efficiency influencing factors have to be considered
This paper will present data from both laboratory and field testing demonstrating that superfinished components exhibit lower friction, operating temperature, wear and/ or higher horsepower, all of which translate directly into increased fuel economy.
The U.S. heat treat industry is in the middle of a labor shortage. Here's a look at what companies in the industry are doing about it.
For years, politicians, educators and business leaders have generated various ideas to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and engineering. These include manufacturing initiatives, internal training programs and an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the classroom. The declining expertise in these fields, however, continues to be a growing problem in every facet of manufacturing and engineering.
The passage last year of both NAFTA and GATT has gone a long way toward leveling the playing field for American manufacturers and other hoping to compete in the global economy. Add to this news the fact that the domestic economy keeps growing, and it seems as though good times are ahead for the gear industry.
We asked Fred Young, president of Forest City Gear Co., to answer some of the gear industry's burning questions.
Lack of skilled workers mirrors U.S. manufacturing's decline.
Faithful Addendum readers are accustomed to finding upbeat, whimsical and oddball stories about gears in this space. What follows is not about gears, exactly. Rather, it is, as opposed to the usual bleak news about America losing its manufacturing mojo—a look at a positive, hopeful development in that regard.
Popular wisdom has it that manufacturing in the United States is no longer a viable entity. We are told that quality is poor, skilled labor is difficult to obtain, if not impossible, demand is low, and the government is helping to discourage business. So what should we do, give up?
What can be done about the rising cost of labor? Mr. Robert Reich, U.S. Secretary of Labor, has already indicated the administration's intention of pushing the minimum wage from $4.25 to $4.50 per hour and indexing it for inflation. That means that every jiggle in the inflation chart will push the minimum wage higher.
"More than half our young people leave school without the knowledge or foundation required to find and hold a job." according to a 1991 report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. A huge gap exists between the needs of employers (especially in manufacturing) and the training received by most high school students.
Getting and keeping a work force capable of meeting the demands of the 21st century is one of the key challenges most U.S. manufacturers face today. That's not even news anymore. I - and others - have been talking about it in editorials and speeches for ten years now. It's also not news that the job is a tough one and that industry-wide response often has not been particularly effective.
A fundamental characteristic of the gear industry is that it is capital intensive. In the last decade, the gear manufacturing industry has been undergoing an intense drive toward improving and modernizing its capital equipment base. The Department of Commerce reports that annual sales of gear cutting equipment have increased nearly 60% since 1990. While this effort has paid off in increased competitiveness for the American gear industry, it is important to remember that there is another capital crucial to manufacturing success - "human capital."
Last issue, when I went over the results from our annual State of the Gear Industry survey, I was being too nice. Sure, there's still a lot of optimism about the business climate. Gear manufacturers are mostly busy. For most, 2018 looks like it will be at least a little better than 2017. But there are dark clouds ahead, and they've been building for some time.
It wasnâ€™t so very long ago that a high school-educated, able-bodied person with a will to work typically had little trouble finding a decent job in manufacturing. Whether at an area job shop, an OEM plant or auto plantâ€”work was to be had. Work that paid well enough to marry, buy a home, feed, raise and educate a familyâ€”with even enough left over for a modest retirement pension.
Apprenticeship programs are back in the USA - sort of.
Kaukauna, Wisconsin may hold the secrets to solving the problem of our skilled labor shortage.
It's probably no surprise to anyone that the majority of the gear industry had a pretty good year in 2017, and that most gear manufacturers are expecting a pretty good 2018 as well. After all, most major economic indicators - including the ones that focus on the manufacturing sector - have been positive for some time.
Emerging technologies such as robotics/automation, new materials, additive manufacturing and IIoT can and will change the course of gear manufacturing for the foreseeable future.
Results from our annual survey of gear manufacturers reveal that business is good, but the skilled labor situation is not.
As you might imagine, I talk to many gear industry people through the course of my day-to-day activities. And there is one question that I hear over and over again. "Joe, we need an experienced gear process engineer. Do you know anyone who's available?"
This paper outlines the comparison of efficiencies for worm gearboxes with a center distance ranging from 28 - 150 mm that have single reduction from 5 to 100:1. Efficiencies are calculated using several standards (AGMA, ISO, DIN, BS) or by methods defined in other bibliographic references. It also deals with the measurement of torque and temperature on a test rig — required for the calibration of an analytical model to predict worm gearbox efficiency and temperature. And finally, there are examples of experimental activity (wear and friction measurements on a blockon- ring tribometer and the measurements of dynamic viscosity) regarding the effort of improving the efficiency for worm gear drivers by adding nanoparticles of fullerene shape to standard PEG lubricant