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Continuing our series of interviews with industry leaders, Gear Technology spoke recently with Bradley Lawton, executive vice president of Star Cutter Co., about the role and direction of cutting tools in the gear industry today.
This textbook, written for college level engineering students, gives a basic grounding in the complexities of product liability law. It also provides useful information to those of us involved in the manufacturing of gears and gear systems in that the fundamental concepts apply to all types of manufacturers.
It's every gear manufacturer's nightmare. Your company had been named as a defendant in a product liability suit - one involving serious injuries and death. You're facing endless court appearances, monumental legal fees, and, possibly, seven figure settlements our of your coffers. The very existence of your business could be on the line. The question is, how do you prevent this nightmare from becoming a painful reality.
While on holiday in England during July, my thoughts for this page were on the proposed changes to our tax law, and how they would adversely affect America's industry. But with the President undergoing cancer surgery, Congress deadlocked on deficit reduction and the budget on the back burner, nothing new was being said or done regarding a new tax law
When children are asked what they want to be when they grow up, the answers are undoubtedly diverse. Some immediately respond with doctor, lawyer or firefighter while others take a more creative approach with answers like spy, princess or superhero. The Addendum Staff has yet to come across a youngster that seems committed to a career in gear manufacturing.
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?
Given the current economic and legal climate, matters of hiring and firing are cause for considerable concern among managers. In addition to all the other factors to be considered, employers must be wary of exactly how these procedures should be carried out, so that the company is not left open to lawsuits based on charges of discrimination of one kind or another. The reasons given for a particular employment decision may be as crucial to determining liability as the decision itself.
An engineer's responsibility for verifying a new design or product concept as manufacturable early in the development cycle is a tough challenge. What appears to work on a blueprint or in a three-dimensional CAD file on a computer screen many not work on the factory floor; and the downstream impact on the manufacturing process of an undetected design flaw can be enormous. Costs can run into the millions.
Capstan Atlantic, located in Wrentham, Massachusetts, produces powder metal gears, sprockets and complex structural components. The company has provided unique powder metal products in a variety of industries including automotive, business machines, appliances, lawn and garden equipment and recreational vehicles.
In designing involute gear teeth, it is essential that the fundamental properties of the involute curve be clearly understood. A review of "the Fundamental Laws of the Involute Curve" found in last issue will help in this respect. It has previously been shown that the involute curve has its origin at the base circle. Its length, however, may be anything from zero at the origin or starting point on to infinity. The problem, therefore, in designing gear teeth, is to select that portion of the involute, which will best meet all requirements.
AGMA's Gear Expo '89, "The Cutting Edge," opens at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA, on Nov. 6 and runs through Nov. 8. This year's show is "the largest trade show ever conceived specifically for the gear industry," according to Rick Norment, AGMA's executive director. The show is 60% larger in terms of floor space than the 1987 show, and over 90%of the booths have been sold.
From tiny beginnings, the AGMA Gear Expo is growing into a fine, strapping show. This year's effort, Gear Expo '89, "The Cutting Edge," will be bigger and better than ever. What started as a few tabletop exhibits in Chicago four years ago has now grown to a full-size, international exhibition at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. With over 160 exhibitors, including major gear manufacturers and suppliers from around the world, this year's show promises to be a great success as well.
In one of my many visits to northern New York state, which included the St. Lawrence River (Thousand Islands Region) and the Adirondack Mountains, I visited Croghan, a village on the Beaver River, which is fed by the Stillwater Resevoir in the Adirondack Mountains. At the base of a dam within the village, I found the remnants of a water turbine and a bevel gear drive system. Having worked for The Gleason Works for many years, I was intrigued by the remains of the bevel gears, which appeared to have had wooden teeth at one time.