Gear Production

JUN 2015

Gear Production

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12—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E Mr. Schmidt says the decision to choose a multi-axis machine ultimately came down to fexibility. While being equally capable of producing high-quality gears on dedicated equipment, he felt that the unique capabilities of the NT1000 best ft their needs. "For example, if one of the customers needed to change the bore on a gear by a value as small as 0.0001 inch it would require new workholding equipment on a dedicated gear cutter," he says. "We're able to make a simple program change on this machine." The part quality was also a factor. The NT1000 is hobbing the workpiece and then boring it; i.e., all critical operations are done in the same clamping which ensures good geometrical tolerances. Everything is done in a single operation. There's no need to go from fxture to fxture. "You have much more control of the process in this machine," Mr. Schmidt adds. "There are fewer variables than you'd fnd on dedicated gear cutting equipment." Additionally, tooling costs have been reduced. The tooling is custom, but the company can change the hobs out with off-the-shelf carbide hobs. There are eight hobs in the NT1000 at all times, with a total of 76 stations available. Mr. Schmidt says that the hobs last much longer than the tooling on older gear cutters. There's also much longer tool life between sharpenings. Another major factor in purchasing the equipment was the automation capabilities. Mr. Schmidt says that W.M. Berg can't afford for the components to be dinged or nicked during the production process by dropping them into a bucket, for example. The tilting second spindle on the machine allows the part to come out The Benefts of Remote Monitoring The DMG MORI NT1000 is the frst machine on the foor at W.M. Berg that includes remote monitoring technology, but it will not be the last according to Jim Reif, senior CNC programmer. "This machine is running 24/7 and the ability to monitor over the weekend, make sure everything is running correctly and see where we are on a particular order is a great tool when you're manufacturing complex components," he says. DMG MORI machines are equipped with MAPPS control and come with the MTConnect adapter. This gives the customer a plug- and-play solution critical to keeping tabs on shop activities. The machine updates on his mobile phone can inform Mr. Reif if there's an excessive load on the spindle or if there's a machine emergency that needs immediate attention. He can download complete machine history, cycle times and downtime reports from his desktop computer while monitoring the NT1000 from his offce. "In the past I had no way of knowing what was going on unless I was standing in front of the machine babysitting it," he says. "We've really been able to reduce downtime by keeping tabs on the work 24/7." The next step is installing the same remote monitoring equipment on the NLX2500. Mr. Reif believes that any shop utilizing multiple shifts (nights and weekends) would beneft from a remote monitoring package. He recalls the day when obtaining such a system as this became a priority. "I was sitting at my desk working on the computer when an executive tapped me on the shoulder and asked why the machine wasn't running. I had no idea that it had ever stopped," he says. "It really caught me off-guard, and I never want to fnd myself in that situation again. Now that we have this technology on the foor, I'm confdent that I won't." Mr. Reif monitors the machine with his mobile phone. Remote monitoring technology enables W.M. Berg to keep track of the NT1000 when it's running nights and weekends.

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