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As the founder, president and co-host of Manufacturing Talk Radio, as well as publisher of Metals & Manufacturing Outlook eZine, I am excited to report that the economic outlook for 2018 is just too good not to tout. Whatever "final GDP number" the government divines for 2017, the year will finish above 3% for the first time in a decade.
This article summarizes the development of an improved titanium nitride (TiN) recoating process, which has, when compared to conventional recoat methods, demonstrated tool life increases of up to three times in performance testing of hobs and shaper cutters. This new coating process, called Super TiN, surpasses the performance of standard TiN recoating for machining gear components. Super TiN incorporates stripping, surface preparation, smooth coating techniques and polishing before and after recoating. The combination of these improvements to the recoating process is the key to its performance.
The last decade has been a period of far-reaching change for the metal working industry. The effect of higher lubricant costs, technical advances in machine design and increasing competition are making it essential that manufacturers of gears pay more attention to testing, selecting and controlling cutting fluid systems. Lubricant costs are not a large percentage of the process cost relative to items such as raw materials, equipment and labor, and this small relative cost has tended to reduce the economic incentive to evaluate and to change cutting fluids.
Depending on who you ask, the Industrial Internet of Things is growing more slowly than anyone predicted. Why is that, and what does that mean for the gear manufacturing industry?
During a year with a strong dollar, tanked oil prices and a number of soft markets that just aren't buying, one might expect spline manufacturers to be experiencing the same tumult everyone else is. But when I got a chance to speak with some of the suppliers to spline manufacturers at IMTS about how business is going, many of the manufacturing industry's recent woes never came up, and instead were replaced by a shrug and an "eh, business is doing pretty well."
As in nearly all industries, more costeffective solutions are currently called for in the gear manufacturing industry.
The gear industry is full of storytellers. It's a niche market that boasts a remarkable cast of characters that have been sharing their stories with us for 30 years. In that time, the editors and staff of Gear Technology magazine have had the privilege to report the ins and outs of this highly-specialized industry. From technical articles to case studies and features, the main focus of this magazine has been to "provide a forum of discovery and innovation for you, the gear manufacturing industry." Our Publisher, Michael Goldstein, said as much in our inaugural issue of May/June 1984.
It is very common for those working in the gear manufacturing industry to have only a limited understanding of the fundamental principals of involute helicoid gear metrology, the tendency being to leave the topic to specialists in the gear lab. It is well known that quiet, reliable gears can only be made using the information gleaned from proper gear metrology.
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."
In 1985 a new tooling concept for high volume gear production was introduced to the gear manufacturing industry. Since then this tool, the wafer shaper cutter, has proven itself in scores of applications as a cost-effective, consistent producer of superior quality parts. This report examines the first high-production installation at the plant of a major automotive supplies, where a line of twenty shapers is producing timing chain sprockets.
Several innovations have been introduced to the gear manufacturing industry in recent years. In the case of gear hobbingâ€”the dry cutting technology and the ability to do it with powder-metallurgical HSSâ€”might be two of the most impressive ones. And the technology is still moving forward. The aim of this article is to present recent developments in the field of gear hobbing in conjunction with the latest improvements regarding tool materials, process technology and process integration.
During the revision of ISO 1328-1:2013 Cylindrical gears â€” ISO system of flank tolerance classification, ISO Technical Committee TC 60 WG2 delegates discussed proposals that the standard should be modified to ensure that it is compatible with the ISO Geometrical Product Specification (GPS) series of standards (Refs. 1-3). This seems sensible because the gears are geometrical components, but after reviewing the implications, it was rejected because ISO TC 60 WG2 did not think the gear manufacturing industry was ready for such a radical change in measurement strategy. The feasibility of the implementation of gears into the GPS matrix of standards has been carried out and the results conclude that this is practical, provided some key issues related to measurement uncertainty and establishing appropriate KPIs are addressed.
Before we get into projections and prognostications about the future, letâ€™s take a minute to review 2012. For many in the gear industry, the year was better than expected. Some manufacturers had a very successful year leading up to an even more successful manufacturing trade show (IMTS 2012). Others were searching for more business, hoping that the general state of the economy wouldnâ€™t make things worse. In some cases, it did.
Nashville - One of the highlights of this year's SME Advanced Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic was a tour of the new GM Saturn automobile manufacturing plant outside the city. There in the Tennessee hills is a hopeful vision of the future of the American automobile industry. It may well be the future of American large-scale manufacturing in general.
The struggles of the manufacturing economy in 2009 are well documented. Even among those of us with long careers, most of us have never seen activity come to a screeching halt the way it did last year. 2009 was tough on all of us. So, what should we expect in 2010?
Sometimes in the pressure to meet deadlines and handle the Crisis of the Day, we lose sight of the forest for the trees. As a partial cure for this syndrome, I recently reviewed the six interviews with gear industry leaders that have appeared in our pages during the last year, trying to get a grasp of a larger picture. It struck me with renewed force how six men, each with a lifetime of experience in this business, see the gear industry forest the same way.
Gear Technology's annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry.
From a technological perspective, there typically aren't many EUREKA! breakthroughs in the "state of the gear industry" to report, and 2014 was really no different.
Most companies spend this time of year crystal ball gazing. Managers want to know the future so they can make projections, plan schedules, determine budgets and make major decisions that will ensure their success.
Gear Technologyâ€™s annual State-of- the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear manufacturing companies around the world.
If you are like most navigators of the printed page, the first thing you read in this final 2013 issue of Gear Technology was our State of the Gear Industry Survey. And who would blame you? Itâ€™s not Sabermetrics, but once youâ€™ve read it youâ€™ll have a pretty clear snapshot of last year and a peek into the next. But if you also like to get a little closer to the bone about things, what follows are the collected opinions of five well-regarded people in the gear industry speaking to a number of issues with relevance.
Gear manufacturers are generally an optimistic bunch, as revealed by our 2013 State-of-the-Gear-Industry Survey, which appears in this issue.
Trying to figure out whatâ€™s going on in this crazy economy of ours seems a bit like reading tea leavesâ€”one part pseudoscience and three parts wild conjecture. Of course some pundits are telling us that this bull market has legs, while others insist that weâ€™re due for a major correction. Some pump us up with positive news, while others remind us about scary stuff like the budget deficit, the European financial crisis and unemployment.
In March 1989, the U.S. Trade Representative requested the U.S. International Trade Commission to conduct an investigation and prepare a report on the competitive position of the U.S. gear industry in U.S. and global markets.
Gear Technologyâ€™s annual state-of-the-gear-industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear manufacturing companies around the world.
Economic times are good right now in America and in the gear industry. We're in the seventh year of an up cycle. The tough shake-outs of the 1980s and early 90s are over. Orders are up. Backlogs are at comfortable levels. We're looking at what promises to be the biggest, most successful trade show in the industry's history coming up in Detroit in October. The most pressing question on the immediate horizon seems to be "How long can the good times go on?"
More Gears in Cyberspace Dial in to the web site of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry for an online version of the museum's Gears from the Century of Progress exhibit.
It always strikes me as something of an irony that the brightest holidays of the year fall in the deepest part of the darkest season. They come when the days are the shortest, the clouds the thickest, the weather (at least in Chicago), the worst. And yet it is at precisely this time when we celebrate the happier human emotions of family, love, and charity and somewhat arbitrarily declare a "new" year.
Another year has passed and, because of the short term ups and downs of the economy, it's still hard to judge whether we are in an appreciably different place than we were a year ago. The economy doesn't seem to be worse than it was, but it also doesn't seem to be a whole lot better.
From the Economics to 4.0 â€” Industry Leaders Have Their Say
Next year will be the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' famous "discovery" of America. Poor Columbus has fallen on hard times of late, what with revisionist historians smacking their lips over his more notable failures and reminding us that American natives have a vastly different point of view on this Great American Success Story. But before we relegate the Great Navigator to the scrap heap of trashed-over heros, let's take one last look at some of the positive lessons to be learned from the Columbus experience - ones that could be instructive to our current situation in the American gear industry.
Dear Editor: Re: Your editorial and "Viewpoint" by Joe Arvin. Both you and Mr. Arvin make some valid points. Your editorial appears to be a response to Mr. Arvin's "Viewpoint." This is a response to both
This past fall, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore to witness first-hand the status of the power transmission and machine tool industries in these areas. Points of interest included equipment, material handling, computerization, wage and tax structures, inventory controls, and workforce attitude.
Five years of effort by AGMA came to fruition in January with the publishing of a report from the Department of Commerce. This "National Security Assessment of the U.S. Gear Industry" indicates that if serious measures are not taken, the gear industry's future is in jeopardy. It also sets the tone for confronting major challenges now looming large in our industry.
In May of this year the U.S. International Trade Commission made public its Report to the President on the condition of the U.S. gear industry. This 200+ page document is the result of a two-year study by the commission, with the help of the AGMA staff and members. It is the most comprehensive and current analytical coverage of the industry conditions and tends presently available. Because of the importance of this report to the industry, GEAR TECHNOLOGY is devoting a good portion of this issue to reprinting the Executive Summary for our readers.
Over the past several months, many gear manufacturers and industry suppliers have been telling me how busy they are. Their backlogs are the largest in history, their sales the highest theyâ€™ve been in many years. Theyâ€™ve invested in new capabilities, new machinery and people.
In November, Gear Technology conducted an anonymous survey of gear manufacturers. Invitations were sent by e-mail to thousands of individuals around the world. More than 300 individuals responded to the online survey, answering questions about their manufacturing operations and current challenges facing their businesses.
Publisher Michael Goldstein discusses why some gear manufacturing companies are enjoying record years.
Results of Gear Technology research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
Results of research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
Latest News from the Industry
Latest news from around the industry
Gear Technology's annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear manufacturing companies around the world.
Overall, the gear industry enjoyed a very strong 2018, and the optimism expressed by survey respondents is the highest in recent years. When asked about their optimism regarding their companiesâ€™ ability to compete over the next five years, 85.8% of respondents indicated some level of optimism.
If anyone should ever need convincing that the state of American manufacturing is in ongoing decline, consider this: the state of Michigan has the highest concentration of engineers in the country, yet also has the highest unemployment rate. But there are ripples of hope out there as grassroots and otherwise organized groups are fighting the good fight in an attempt to reverse that trend.
Two high-volume gear production cells grace the shop floor at Delta Research Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to lean manufacturing, these cells have never shipped a defective part to a customer since they were developed over three years ago.
This article gives readers a glimpse of some companies that manufacture gears in the Far East. We've talked with more than a dozen companies in India, Taiwan and Korea...
When Forest City Gear started manufacturing gears for medical components in the 1980s, it was a minuscule part of the company's business. Today, the medical device industry represents 18-20%.
POLCA: An alternative to Kanban for high-variety or custom-engineered products.
Publisher Michael Goldstein discusses the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability and what we should do about it.
A series of short reports on global manufacturing growth and the gear industry's role.
Make no mistake -- lean manufacturing is here to stay. And no wonder. As a fiercely competitive global economy continues to alter companiesâ€™ â€śMain Streetâ€ť thinking, that relatively new dynamic is spurring the need for â€śI-need-it-yesterdayâ€ť production output. And for increasingly more industries -- big or small -- that means getting as lean as you can, as fast as you can.
Reader Survey Results. Gear Technology's annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear industry companies â€“ primarily in North America, but also including some respondents from around the world.
What was once recognized as the unique genius of America is now slipping away from us and, in many areas, is now seen as a "second rate" capability. Unless action is taken now, this country is in real danger of being unable to regain its supremacy in technological development and economic vigor. First Americans must understand the serious implications of the problem; and second, we must dedicate ourselves to national and local actions that will ensure a greater scientific and technological literacy in America.
Gear industry experts give their opinions about the most important trends facing gear manufacturers today.
Weâ€™ve just come off a very strong year for gear manufacturing, and most of you are looking forward to another good year in 2019. At least, thatâ€™s what the results of our annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey tell us.
The good news and the bad news about the gear industry and its role in the overall economy.
More than any other field, IIoT overlaps directly with metrology's mission to analyze and measure as much of the manufacturing process as possible, and it's no surprise that the latter is utilizing the former.
This report describes Klingelnberg's vision of Industry 4.0 gear production.
Results from our annual survey of gear manufacturers reveal that business is good, but the skilled labor situation is not.
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.
At the mid-year point of 2017, it appears that the U.S. economy, and the manufacturing sector in particular, are gradually accelerating, with most markets seeing an upside breakout from the flat or down conditions of 2015 and 2016.
Suppliers are working hard to make sure their heat treating equipment is controllable, repeatable and efficient, and manufacturers continue to incorporate technology that gives heat treaters and their customers more information about what's going on inside the magic box.
The results of our Annual State of the Gear Industry Survey (See page 26) provided insight on 2016 as well as forecasts for 2017. Here is additional insight from some of the industry's leaders.
Gear Technology's annual State of the Gear Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry.
For many of us, 2016 was a rough year - and the results of our annual State of the Gear Industry Survey show it. 40% of respondents indicated their companies had cut staff, while only 27% indicated an increase in employment. Clearly, there have been widespread cutbacks.
It's Monday morning, December 15, 2036. An autonomous vehicle drops off two engineers in front of a gear manufacturing facility in Metro Detroit. They punch in for work on their wristwatches and pay Uber for the ride on a smartphone. One of the engineers begins walking the shop floor, monitoring a series of collaborative robots using a tablet the size of a paperback novel. These robots interact right on the floor with the minimal staff scheduled to oversee manufacturing operations. Another engineer wears an interactive headset and begins training a group of new engineers (in real time) from China using some form of augmented reality.
News about the latest products in the industry.
The oil industry is (pardon the pun) tanking. That may conjure up horrific images of other industries following suit in a domino effect of collective collapse into the overabundant oil slick the industry is currently drowning in, but not everyone is getting knocked down alongside the oil sector.
In October, Gear Technology conducted an anonymous survey of gear manufacturers. Invitations were sent by e-mail to thousands of individuals around the world. More than 300 individuals responded to the online survey, answering questions about their manufacturing operations and current challenges facing their businesses.
Never have so few served so many. That, in essence, describes gear makers and the role they play in our world. Think of itâ€”although the gear cutting industry represents much less than one percent of the global workforceâ€”the gears it produces are what make things run in practically every industry and profession imaginable. From bulldozers to Rolexes, gears are an integral part of the mix.
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?
Job shops may be ill-advised to undertake a complete reorganization into FLEAN (Flexible and Lean) cells. A FLEAN cell would (i) be flex-ible enough to produce any and all orders for parts that belong in a specific part family and (ii) utilize lean to the maximum extent possible to eliminate waste.
The complete Product News section from the March/April 2015 issue of Gear Technology.
News from around the Gear Industry
The complete product news section from the September / October 2014 Issue Gear Technology.
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 complete Industry News section from the August 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Product News section from the January/February 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
The final installment of our Job Shop Lean series includes a wide variety of educational resources to help you continue your own lean journey.
The complete Product News section from the October 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Product News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Readers respond to our "Job Shop Lean" column and the "My Gear is Bigger than Your Gear" article.
The complete Industry News section from the August 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
We are well into an odd-number year, so it must be just about time for another Gear Expo. Indeed, the big show -- Gear Expo 2013 -- kicks off in Indianapolis at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 17, wrapping up Thursday the 19th at 4:00 p.m. And whether you are exhibiting or attending, the bottom line is you are going -- a good thing for you, your company and the tightly knit U.S. gear industry.
The complete Industry News section from the March/April 2015 issue of Gear Technology.
Although a cell is dedicated to produce a single part family, it must have the requisite equipment capabilities, routing flexibility, cross-trained employees and, to the extent possible, minimal external process dependencies. Cells are often implemented in job shops since they provide the operational benefits of flowline production.
The complete Industry News section from the May 2013 issue of Gear Technology
Itâ€™s been said that the best ideas are often someone else's. But with rebuilt, retrofitted, re-controlled or remanufactured machine tools, buyer beware and hold onto your wallet. Sourcing re-work vendors and their services can require just as much homework, if not necessarily dollars, as with just-off-the-showroom-floor machines.
The Tiger Team from Hoerbiger looks for ways to cut waste and improve throughput in the company's assembly cell.
"Design for manufacturability" (DFM) is a well-established practice, essential to realizing the successful transformation of concepts into mass-produced gears and motion control devices. And yet, all too often issues that could have been avoided are identified very late in the process that impact production costs and schedules. This suggests that key DFM principles are often underutilized in practice and are not applied consistently - or to the degree necessary - to avoid these negative results.
This is the first article in an eight-part "reality" series on implementing continuous improvement at Hoerbiger Corporation. Throughout 2013, Dr. Shahrukh Irani will report on his progress applying the job shop lean strategies he developed during his time at Ohio State University.
The complete Product News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
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.
In the August issue, we examined the lean tools that will and will not work in high-mix, low-volume manufacturing facilities. Now, we will examine how to implement the tools that will work in the job shop with an approach that expands the capabilities of value stream mapping.
Why traditional lean manufacturing approaches need to be adapted for job shop environments.
Computers are everywhere. It's gotten so that it's hard to find an employee who isn't using one in the course of his or her day - whether he be CEO or salesman, engineer or machinist. Everywhere you look, you find the familiar neutral-colored boxes and bright glowing screens. And despite the gear industry's traditional reluctance to embrace new technology, more and moe of what you find on those screens are gears.
In this special section, our editors have gathered recent news and information related to the heat treatment of gears. Here youâ€™ll find a comprehensive assortment of news and upcoming events that will help you understand the various heat treatment processes available for gears and choose the best option for your projects, whether you heat treat in-house or send your gears to a commercial heat treating provider.
News about New Products
Results of research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
Latest news about the Latest Products
Writing about additive manufacturing (AM) and the 3-D printing of gears is somewhat akin to publishing an updated dictionary. A new edition dictionary is literally already out of date before it hits Amazon's or your local bookseller's shelves. New words are coined and definitions are updated constantly. So it is with AM: The technology is evolving so quickly that technical papers and other sources of AM information require constant revision.
The complete Industry News section from the May 2020 issue of Gear Technology.
Gleason skiving machines equipped with on-board cutter sharpening; Helios celebrates anniversary of cutter sharpener line; and more product news.
The future gives the gear market plenty to think about in areas like automation, additive manufacturing and machine learning.
When you push 850 horsepower and 9,000 rpm through a racing transmission, you better hope it stands up. Transmission cases and gears strewn all over the racetrack do nothing to enhance your standing, nor that of your transmission supplier.
How 3-D printing is changing the powder metal performance game.
Motion + Power Technology Expo VIP Exhibitors special advertising section.
The complete Product News section from the September/October 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the July 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
The secret to meeting today's inspection demands is influenced by the technology and those in charge of operating it.
The complete Industry News section from the March/April 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Product News section from the March/April 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
In helicopter applications, the two-piece gear is typically joined by welding, bolts, or splines. In the case of the U.S. Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter, a decision was made to eliminate these joints through the use of integral design. Integral shaft spiral bevel gears must be designed such that the shaft does not interfere with gear tooth cutting and grinding. This paper discusses techniques to iterate in the design stage before manufacturing begins.
New machining fluids for automotive, jaw boring rings, virtual machine simulation and coordinate measuring software are highlighted in the March/April 2018 issue of Gear Technology.
Fraunhofer CMI focuses on new U.S. gear and transmission technologies group, plus other news from around the industry.
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.
Gear Technology hosts dinner for technical contributors to the gear industry during this year's AGMA Fall Technical Meeting and Gear Expo in Columbus, OH. Plus other news from around the industry.
The presidents of two manufacturing companies were having a drink in the lobby before the start of their trade association's annual meeting...
The latest from Liebherr, Gleason, Klingelnberg and more.
News from around the Gear Industry
In a capitalist society, the way things usually work is that government and academia focus on research and development, while industry focuses on commercialization. The result is an increasingly wide disconnect in the applied research sector, which deals primarily with technology development and demonstration.
News From Around the Gear Industry
Our special advertising section featuring some of the premier gear industry suppliers at IMTS 2016.
Latest News from around the industry
Onshore and offshore wind turbines boast some of the most critical assets in order to run effectively.
Latest new from the Gear Industry
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
AGMA's Gear Expo '91, "The World of Gearing," opens October 20 and runs through October 23 at the Cobo Conference & Exhibition Center in "The Heart of the Manufacturing Industry," Detroit, MI. Gear Expo '91 is "the largest trade show ever specifically organized for the gear industry," according to Rich Norment, AGMA's Executive Director.
News Items About manufacturing industry
1 U.S. Speed Changer, Industrial High-Speed Drive, and Gear Manufacturing Industry Shipment (June 12, 2015)
This latest Speed Changer, Industrial High-Speed Drive, and Gear Manufacturing Industry report provides the most updated market research ... Read News