Getting Down To Basics with Manufacturers

How to Make Gears All production processes are geared towards creating added value. In gear manufacturing, the creation of benefit focuses on achieving QCD (costs, volumes, and deadlines). A combination of various production processes are employed in the manufacture of gears. These processes may include forging, casting, powder metallurgy, blanking, and extrusion. Various types of gears are available to suit different needs. Examples of gear types include bevel gears, worm gears, spur and helical gears. Gears are classified depending on the positioning of the shafts. Differences between gear types depend on the particular mechanical configuration of how force is transmitted in its application field. The gear selection process requires the evaluation of factors such as the gears dimensions, precision grades, the number of teeth, its torque, and efficiency. Advances in gear manufacturing technology have made it easier for manufacturers to produce stock or custom made gears. A variety of machines are available that facilitate the manufacture of gears. Production processes can be either fully automated, manual, or semi-automatic. Machining is the most common process used that utilises shaping or hobbing techniques. A majority of gears are produced through a machine-based process. Machine hobbing is performed on dedicated machines using either vertical or horizontal work spindles. In this process, a gear blank is fashioned on a rotating hob. Once the right depth is reached, a hob cutter is passed across the gears face until all gear teeth are complete. The grinding process utilizes a multi-point cutter on a grinding wheel to create the desired gear type. The majority of present hardened gears are produced using the grinding process. Gear grinding is slow and is only utilized for the manufacture of high quality hardened gears.
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Quality manufacture of gears requires a working knowledge of the mechanical properties of materials used in production. Comprehension of mechanical properties is especially necessary when relying on standardized gear designs. Required knowledge includes an understanding of formulas used to determine gear sizes and strengths, speed ratios, technical language, gear types and rotational directions. Other factors that affect the production process include ISO and AGMA classifications, teeth forms, teeth thicknesses, and backlashes.
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Accordingly, the gear design process relies on industry level standards to improve the quality and performance of gears. Accordingly, production of gears necessitates the need for benchmarking of manufacturers facilities and techniques. A major techniques used to benchmark manufacturing standards is reverse engineering gears. Benchmarking by reverse engineering requires the calculation of production parameters for known gear types and related mechanical applications. Despite gear calculations and parameters being standardized, the task is often complex. Typically, results obtained by reverse engineering are normally accurate. As the process is iterative, it requires the performance of repetitive measurements. Obtained measurements provide guidelines on gear deviation from design requirements, inaccuracy of measurements, and the effect of the application environment on a gear’s integrity.