Gear Production

SEP 2015

Gear Production

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September 2015—7 process should be used. The demand for tighter tolerances is the primary driver behind the recent growth in grinding technology. After much research, the team decided on the following lineup of machining processes, in order to provide particular capabilities: • Grinding is an abrasive process that uses a grinding wheel as the cutting tool. The process is used to perform fnishing of high accuracy external or internal gear teeth after heat treatment. • Shaping is a machining process that is commonly used to create teeth on a cylindrical part. It is very versatile in that it can be used to create either external or internal teeth. • Hobbing is essentially a specialized milling process that is used to create external teeth for gears, sprockets and splines. It is the most common method for general gear manufacture. • Shaving is a fnishing process used to improve the accuracy of involute gear teeth after a process such as hobbing or shaping. It is normally performed prior to heat treatment. • Turning is a machining process performed on a lathe to form the basic shape of a cylindrical gear blank. Turning is normally the initial operation performed on all gear products prior to cutting teeth. With these processes in place, Global Gear had solidifed its identity. Now it was time to identify new customers. Expanded Capabilities In its days as a captive gear shop, Global Gear specialized in making parts for class 4 and 5 medium-duty trucks, which still represent the majority of its work. Once it had invested in new technologies such as grinding, it was able to increase its range through the class 8 market, which includes commercial trucks with diesel engines with displacement volumes ranging from 3.9 to 15 liters. Not only did this make it possible to increase its offerings for truck engines, it opened up entirely new markets that the company had never been able to approach or service before, such as energy production and off- highway. Today, the company produces gears for engines up to 95 liters. In his role as director of sales, Brad Rapciak was responsible for reaching out to potential customers. "I've been in the engine business for about 30 years," he says, "so Cory and I relied on industry contacts to get our foot in the door." An open doorway didn't automatically lead to new business, however. Typically, customers interested in testing the company's capabilities would begin with small orders of aftermarket, or "service only" gears. They would frst conduct an audit, send a team for a visit to the company's 132,000-square-foot facility to observe process fows and equipment layout, slowly building order volumes over time. The result of these efforts is that Global Gear has added 11 customers and entered seven new markets since 2010. From a captive shop with a limited customer base, the company now services the medium- to heavy-duty truck, agriculture, oil and gas, marine, power generation, mining and automotive markets. It A spot inspection assigns a pass/fail grade to each gear before it is cleared to move on to the next machining process.

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