Gear Production

SEP 2015

Gear Production

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September 2015—17 Mazak Corp., call 859-342-1700 or visit a 20"-long shaft part with a gear pattern at its center. This means that 10" of the part would interfere with the machine's milling spindle, and the gears would have to be hobbed or machined with special disc mill-type, fat-bottomed cutters. Those particular cutting tools, similar in appearance to slotting cutters, typically have 10 or 12 inserts and cut gear teeth profles one at a time. The tools provide the fexibility to produce a range of diametral gear pitches, which is especially applicable to prototyping and producing very low gear volumes. A power skiving tool, on the other hand, generates multiple teeth for a particular diametral pitch gear. However, the power skiving process is much faster. Adding Capabilities Economically Regardless of the tooling and processes used, interest continues to grow in cutting gears on multitasking machines. And many shops involved in key industries such as heavy equipment, motorsports and others currently beneft from doing so for their low- to medium-volume gear production. Others that beneft are shops that want to bring gear cutting back in-house, and those that are simply unable to justify the cost of replacing worn out existing pieces of dedicated gear cutting equipment. But, it should be noted that dedicated gear cutting equipment is not going away. Multitasking machines simply provide another option for machine shops doing smaller batches of gear cutting in addition to other part-processing operations.

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