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Gear manufacturing schedules that provide both quality and economy are dependent on efficient quality control techniques with reliable measuring equipment. Given the multitude of possible gear deviations, which can be found only by systematic and detailed measuring of the gear teeth, adequate quality control systems are needed. This is especially true for large gears, on which remachining or rejected workpieces create very high costs. First, observation of the gears allows adjustment of the settings on the equipment right at the beginning of the process and helps to avoid unproductive working cycles. Second, the knowledge of deviations produced on the workpiece helps disclose chance inadequacies on the production side: e.g., faults in the machines and tools used, and provides an opportunity to remedy them.
The large gears found in mining, steel, construction, off-road, marine and energy applications—massive and robust in nature—need to tackle the greatest production demands. This, in turn, means that a special emphasis must be put on the heat treating methods used to increase the wear resistance and strength properties of gears this size.
Multiple possibilities are available to increase the transmissible power of girth gears. These solutions include: using a larger module, increasing of the gear diameter through the number of teeth, enlarging the face width, and increasing the hardness of the base material. The first three parameters are mostly limited by cutting machine capability. Module, outside diameter, and face width (for a cast gear) can theoretically be increased to infinity, but not the cutting machine dimensions. There are also practical limits with respect to the installation of very large diameter/large face width gears.
Meeting the many challenges of large gear inspection.
A road map is presented listing critical considerations and optimal use of materials and methods in the construction of large gears.
Investment in Gleason GMM Series inspection equipment helps drive Milwaukee Gear's expansion into profitable new markets around the world—all hungry for high-precision custom gears and gear drives.
Let’s talk about large gears. Not the size or scope or inspection process, but the forecast and market potential in areas that utilize these massive components. We’ll examine key industry segments like energy and mining and tap IHS Economics for a forecast for 2016 and 2017 (spoiler alert: it’s not great). Additionally, we’ll discuss some of the critical factors influencing global big gear manufacturers Ferry-Capitain and Hofmann Engineering.
It's not easy being big. Maybe that's not exactly how the phrase goes, but it's applicable, particularly when discussing the quality requirements of large gears. The size alone promises unique engineering challenges. BONUS Online Exclusive: Big or Small - Inspection is Key to Success.
Some years back, most spiral bevel gear sets were produced as cut, case hardened, and lapped. The case hardening process most frequently used was and is case carburizing. Many large gears were flame hardened, nitrided, or through hardened (hardness around 300 BHN) using medium carbon alloy steels, such as 4140, to avoid higher distortions related to the carburizing and hardening process.
Natural resources—minerals, coal, oil, agricultural products, etc.—are the blessings that Mother Earth confers upon the nations of the world. But it takes unnaturally large gears to extract them.
In order to increase the load carrying capacity of hardened gears, the distortion of gear teeth caused by quenching must be removed by precision cutting (skiving) and/or grinding. In the case of large gears with large modules, skiving by a carbide hob is more economical than grinding when the highest accuracy is not required.
News Items About large gears
1 Grieve No. 1030 Oven Provides Heat Treat for Large Gears (January 19, 2017)
No. 1030 is a 550 degrees Fahrenheit floor-level electric cabinet oven from Grieve, currently used for heating large gears at the custome... Read News
2 Grieve Furnace Treats Large Gears (July 24, 2013)
No. 1030 is a 550ºF floor-level electric cabinet oven from Grieve, currently used for heating large gears at the customer’s fa... Read News
3 LMT Fette Focuses on Efficiency in Large Gears (November 30, 2012)
The market for large gear wheels is growing – in a great variety of industries: wind turbines, construction vehicles and ships need... Read News