Gear Production

JUN 2015

Gear Production

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June 2015—11 were taking place at Rexnord at the time." With a company-wide push for lean manufacturing, W.M. Berg focused on bringing equipment to the shop foor that could run relatively unattended, offer a stable and repeatable process, and reduce the numerous setups necessary to hob gears in conventional machines. Cost per part and machine performance were key factors in determining what would work best for the changing needs of their customers. Frank Gentile, plant manager at W.M. Berg, says "We continually drive our business toward specialized engineered solutions. Our customers are coming up with unique gear designs and applications and we need fexible equipment to address these needs, whether we're producing a single gear or 1,000. While we successfully meet the high-quality demands of our customers, there's always a push to exceed their expectations." Once the company researched the pros and cons of dedicated hobbing equipment versus multi-axis machine tools, it decided to purchase the NT1000 lathe and milling machine from DMG MORI. W.M. Berg was eager to utilize this technology for the production of gears, but the machine offered additional advantages once it was installed on the shop foor, according to Mr. Schmidt. Precision Component Pedigree W.M. Berg began as a privately-held family organization in Long Island, New York, in 1967 with an emphasis on engineering and application support. Through the years the company has established itself as a provider of miniature precision mechanical components including gears, gearboxes, sprockets, chains, bearings, couplings and more. The precision components it manufactures are used in a variety of industries including medical, aerospace and communications. These components range in diameter from a quarter-inch to 16", with lot sizes anywhere from one to several thousand pieces. When the company moved to Wisconsin to join the Rexnord Special Components Division, it reevaluated the hobbing operation. Mr. Schmidt says that W.M. Berg began test runs on the NT1000 at the DMG MORI facility in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. "The reduction in setup time on this machine was a contributing factor from day one," he says. "Once our parts were approved from the test run we decided to purchase the machine, and within a short period of time we were making AGMA 10-quality catalog gears." Multi-Axis Advantages "When W.M. Berg came to us with their application, we considered a lathe platform and a multi-axis platform to machine the parts," says Nitin Chaphalkar, gear business product manager for DMG MORI. Mr. Chaphalkar suggested the NT1000 because it offers integrated automation capabilities with a bar feed and rotating second spindle. "The machine was suitable for this application as it could hold the 70-plus tools and hobs required to machine all of the customers' parts. The B-axis minimum adjustment of 0.0001 degrees allowed W.M. Berg to seamlessly change from hob 1 to hob 2 with different lead angles." Flexibility was one of the key factors in W.M. Berg's decision to go with a multi-axis machine over a dedicated gear cutter.

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