Gear Production

JUN 2015

Gear Production

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4—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E By Russ Willcutt | Editor Closing the Loop Gathering information is a worthwhile endeavor, but only if it's put to practical use. Applying measurement data to streamline the manufacturing of spiral bevel gears makes clear the true value of the closed-loop process. I n general terms, "closed-loop machining" involves returning measurement data to design software that automatically adjusts for deviances and sends revised code to the machine tool, ensuring that the end result matches the geometry of the intended goal. When referring to gear design, in particular, the benefts include reduced setups, minimal variation between parts and the high-quality surface fnish that grinding is known to produce. As a leading advocate of closed-loop gear machining, Rave Gears of Seguin, Texas, has allowed the concept to penetrate deeply into its comprehensive business model. "Closed-loop manufacturing is a philosophy as much as it's a machining process," says Thomas Alaniva, vice president of the company's gear division. "It represents a commitment to removing human error from the whole cycle so that the design and fnished product align quickly and seamlessly." While the closed-loop concept isn't new, advances in grinding and measurement technology, as well as application of the lessons Mr. Alaniva has learned over the years, have enabled Rave Gears to streamline operations while improving gear quality and reducing production costs. Making it Beta It would be hard to fnd anyone more familiar with the "closed-loop digital topography process," as it's also known, than Mr. Alaniva. He was involved in beta testing Klingelnberg's version of the software—Gleason was also a pioneer in its development—while he was working in the engines division of Honeywell nearly three decades ago. After 21 years in this position, working alongside the son of the system's creator, Dr. Ing. Soeren Weiner, he then spent six years at Bell Helicopter's Drive System Center. There he continued to embrace the closed-loop system in designing and manufacturing spiral bevel and hypoid gears, among others. When Rave Gears was launched in 2012 by CEO Nick Patel and President Bruce Roberge, Mr. Alaniva saw an opportunity to continue exploring the potential of the process in an entrepreneurial environment. Features on a pinion gear are formed on a Studer cylindrical grinder by Francisco Milan, who says working with new equip- ment in an AS9100-certifed machine shop designed to purpose from the ground up makes his job rewarding, and quality work easier to accomplish. On the cover, Jake Kammerer with the company's new Klingelnberg G60 spiral bevel gear grinder.

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