Gear Production

JUN 2015

Gear Production

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10—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E By Matthew Jaster | Associate Editor Lean Hobbing Gears on a Multi-Axis Machine Flexible machine tool provides this gear manufacturer with the ability to exceed customer expectations on quality, part accuracy and lead times, all while offering additional design benefts. H obbing is a metal-cutting operation where the tool (the hob) and the workpiece rotate simultaneously to generate the gear teeth. This is typically performed on dedicated gear cutting equipment, but the process has become increasingly popular by utilizing multi- axis machine tools. By consolidating processes in a single machine, setup times are reduced and the machine can be tailored to suit a variety of different manufacturing operations such as turning and cutting, etc. This enables gear manufacturers to come up with new and creative ways to standardize their processes, while also reducing their cost per part. W.M. Berg—a division of the Rexnord Corp., which is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin— reevaluated its own hobbing operation fve years ago in order to fnd new and more effcient methods to manufacture its spur and helical gears. According to Ted Schmidt, manufacturing engineer, the company began researching multi-axis tools during IMTS 2010. "We were interested in the milling and turning capabilities as well as the toolchanger that keeps the hobs resident inside the machine," he says. "We also wanted equipment that ft into the lean process and equipment improvements that Jim Reif, a senior CNC programmer, changes the hob on the DMG MORI NT1000, which is capable of holding 70-plus tools to machine a diverse range of parts.

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