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(SPONSORED CONTENT)Gear Tool Sharpening Optimization
The sharpening of gear tools, including hobs, milling cutters, and shaper cutters, impacts the productivity and cost-per-unit for all gear manufacturers. Learn specific areas to improve the efficiency of a gear tool sharpening operation. This includes transportation of workpieces, inspection, preparation, machining, and idle time. Supervisors and operators can comfortably roll-out these actions for measurable and lasting productivity improvements. Article Courtesy of Helios Gear Products
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Computer programs have been developed to completely design spur and helical gear shaper cutters starting from the specifications of the gear to be cut and the type of gear shaper to be used. The programs generate the working drawing of the cutter and, through the use of a precision plotter, generate enlarge scaled layouts of the gear as produced by the cutter and any other layouts needed for its manufacture.
Gear shaping is one of the most popular production choices in gear manufacturing. While the gear shaping process is really the most versatile of all the gear manufacturing methods and can cut a wide variety of gears, certain types of gears can only be cut by this process. These are gears closely adjacent to shoulders; gears adjacent to other gears, such as on countershafts; internal gears, either open or blind ended; crown or face gears; herringbone gears of the solid configuration of with a small center groove; rack; parts with filled-in spaces or teeth, such as are used in some clutches.
Our experts discuss runout and helix accuracy, as well as the maximum number of teeth in a shaper cutter.
Cutter Sharpening Cutter sharpening is very important both during manufacturing and subsequently in resharpening after dulling. Not only does this process affect cutter "over cutting edge" quality and the quality of the part cut, but it can also affect the manner in which chip flow takes place on the cutter face if the surface finished is too rough or rippled.
A gear shaper cutter is actually a gear with relieved cutting edges and increased addendum for providing clearance in the root of the gear being cut. The maximum outside diameter of such a cutter is limited to the diameter at which the teeth become pointed. The minimum diameter occurs when the outside diameter of the cutter and the base circle are the same. Those theoretical extremes, coupled with the side clearance, which is normally 2 degrees for coarse pitch cutters an d1.5 degrees for cutters approximately 24-pitch and finer, will determine the theoretical face width of a cutter.
Indexable carbide insert cutting tools for gears are nothing new. But big gears have recently become a very big business. The result is that there's been a renewed interest in carbide insert cutting tools.
The advent of CNC technology as applied to gear shaping machines has, in the last 10 years, led to an astonishing improvement in both productivity and quality. As is usual when developments such as this take place, the technology of the machine tool suddenly jumps ahead of that of the cutting tool, and the machine is then capable of producing faster than the cutting tool can withstand.
The Shaping Process - A Quick Review of the Working Principle. In the shaping process, cutter and workpiece represent a drive with parallel axes rotating in mesh (generating motion) according to the number of teeth in both cutter and workpiece (Fig. 1), while the cutter reciprocates for the metal removal action (cutting motion).
In today's economy, when purchasing a new state-of-the-art gear shaper means a significant capital investment, common sense alone dictates that you develop strategies to get the most for your money. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of the sophistication of the machine to make it more than just a single-purpose tool.
In the process of developing gear trains, it occasionally occurs that the tip of one gear will drag in the fillet of the mating gear. The first reaction may be to assume that the outside diameter of the gear is too large. This article is intended to show that although the gear dimensions follow AGMA guidelines, if the gear is cut with a shaper, the cutting process may not provide sufficient relief in the fillet area and be the cause of the interference.
Manufacturers focus on tool design, materials, coating, machine tool options and cutting parameters.
Hobs, broaches, shaper cutters, shaver cutters, milling cutters, and bevel cutters used in the manufacture of gears are commonly made of high speed steel. These specialized gear cutting tools often require properties, such as toughness or manufacturability, that are difficult to achieve with carbide, despite the developments in carbide cutting tools for end mills, milling cutters, and tool inserts.
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.
A brief introduction to the subject of Thin Film Coatings and their application to gear hobs and shaper cutters is followed by a detailed description of the Chemical Vapor Deposition Process and the Physical Vapor Deposition Process. Advantages and disadvantages of each of these processes is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon: application engineering of coated gear tools based on laboratory and field test results. Recommendations are suggested for tool design improvements and optimization of gear cutting operations using coated tools. Productivity improvements potentially available by properly utilizing coated tools are considered in terms of both tool cost and machining cost.
In 1961 I presented a paper, "Calculating Conjugate Helical Forms," at the semi-annual meeting of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA). Since that time, thousands of hobs, shaper cutters and other meshing parts have been designed on the basis of the equations presented in that paper. This article presents the math of that paper without the formality of its development and goes on to discuss its practical application.
Universal machines capable of cutting both spur and helical gears were developed in 1910, followed later by machines capable of cutting double helical gears with continuous teeth. Following the initial success, the machines were further developed both in England and France under the name Sunderland, and later in Switzerland under the name Maag.
Most gear cutting shops have shelves full of expensive tooling used in the past for cutting gears which are no longer in production. It is anticipated that these cutters will be used again in the future. While this may take place if the cutters are "standard," and the gears to be cut are "standard," most of the design work done today involves high pressure angle gears for strength, or designs for high contact ratio to reduce noise. The re-use of a cutter under these conditions requires a tedious mathematical analysis, which is no problem if a computer with the right software is available. This article describes a computerized graphical display which provides a quick analysis of the potential for the re-use of shaving cutters stored in a computer file.
In the past, the blades of universal face hobbing cutters had to be resharpened on three faces. Those three faces formed the active part of the blade. In face hobbing, the effective cutting direction changes dramatically with respect to the shank of the blade. Depending on the individual ratio, it was found that optimal conditions for the chip removal action (side rake, side relief and hook angle) could just be established by adjusting all major parameters independently. This, in turn, results automatically in the need for the grinding or resharpening of the front face and the two relief surfaces in order to control side rake, hook angle and the relief and the relief angles of the cutting and clearance side.
Gear shaving is a free-cutting gear finishing operation which removes small amounts of metal from the working surfaces of gear teeth. Its purpose is to correct errors in index, helix angle, tooth profile and eccentricity. The process also improves tooth surface finish and eliminates by means of crowned tooth forms the danger of tooth end load concentrations in service.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
What causes shaving cutter marks on gear flanks and can they be prevented?
Manufacturing involute gears using form grinding or form milling wheels are beneficial to hobs in some special cases, such as small scale production and, the obvious, manufacture of internal gears. To manufacture involute gears correctly the form wheel must be purpose-designed, and in this paper the geometry of the form wheel is determined through inverse calculation. A mathematical model is presented where it is possible to determine the machined gear tooth surface in three dimensions, manufactured by this tool, taking the finite number of cutting edges into account. The model is validated by comparing calculated results with the observed results of a gear manufactured by an indexable insert milling cutter.
In our last issue, we covered the basic principles of gear shaving and preparation of parts for shaving. In this issue, we will cover shaving methods, design principles and cutter mounting techniques.
This article describes a root fillet form calculating method for a helical gear generated with a shaper cutter.
Up until approximately 1968-69, pinion cutter-type gear shaping machines had changed very little since their conception in the early 1900's.
There are several methods available for improving the quality of spur and helical gears following the standard roughing operations of hobbing or shaping. Rotary gear shaving and roll-finishing are done in the green or soft state prior to heat treating.