Gear Production

JUN 2015

Gear Production

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June 2015—5 He was drawn to the two men's plan to create a high-precision gear manufacturing company serving the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, racing, and military/defense markets, using the latest equipment, processes and technologies. "We originally took the path of purchasing a couple of rebuilt machines, but we quickly realized that wasn't what we wanted to do," Mr. Roberge recalls, adding that he and Mr. Patel had worked together years earlier at another gear manufacturing company and therefore knew exactly how they did—and didn't—want to proceed. "We decided to go with buying all-new equipment, and we haven't looked back since." The result is a 20,000-square-foot facility— soon to be expanded—that resembles a showroom as much as it does a shop foor, with brand-new turning, milling and grinding centers from Höfer, Mori Seiki, Haas, Mazak, Mitsubishi, Junker and Studer arranged to create a streamlined workfow. Its latest acquisition is a second massive Klingelnberg/Oerlikon G60 spiral bevel gear grinder, which will support Rave's continuing development of deep grinding, or grinding gears straight from a solid. The company has had so much success with deep grinding, in fact, that it has become standard operating procedure for the gears it produces. "We don't have a gear cutter on the foor that's used to cut teeth," Mr. Roberge says. "Grinding gear teeth from solid has become so commonplace for us that it's no longer remarkable, it's just the way we go about our work. And the closed-loop process that Thomas has spent so many years studying and perfecting is a big reason for that." The Daily Grind Although many companies offer software for the closed-loop design/manufacture of different types of gears—and other components, as well—the A gear is loaded onto a Haas VF-2SSYT VMC in order to perform additional machining operations.

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