Gear Production

APR 2016

Gear Production

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April 2016—7 because that's often where the problem actually occurs. Sometimes people even try to force the alignment when they're putting in a gearbox in order to get a bolt in a hole, and that will tear your gear set apart." The Leading Edge At the same time that CGS' repair service is taking apart older gearboxes, many of which CGS originally made—an excellent opportunity to review performance and rethink dated designs— the OEM division is constantly striving to learn about the latest cutting tools, software, materials and machining processes for manufacturing new gears that will allow the company to remain competitive in a crowded feld. This has led to major capital investments, including a Giddings & Lewis vertical turning center, a Johnford horizontal mill, an Amera-Seiki vertical turning lathe, Reishauer and Gleason high-speed forming grinders, and a Usach CNC outer- diameter grinder. According to Kenneth Kiehl, vice president of sales and engineering, with a nice balance of advanced new equipment and reliable "old iron" on hand, CGS is prepared to meet whatever tolerances a customer requires and to machine gears from 3 / 4 inch in diameter to 4 meters in diameter at American Gear Manufacturers Association quality levels up to Q15. Mr. Kiehl goes on to describe advances made in machining processes the company utilizes that have led to faster, easier production of higher quality new gears as well as better reconditioned gears for the gearbox rebuild operation. When it comes to milling, for instance, new techniques enable gearbox cases to be machined in ways that allow for improved material removal in areas that couldn't be reached before, resulting in lighter enclosures with more room for the gear sets. This even makes it possible to "re-ratio" the gear sets to carry heavier loads within the same outer dimensions of the original gearbox design. And these gears—whether they are new or reground—beneft from improvements that have been made in both grinding machines and the abrasives adhered to the wheel, resulting in gears that run more quietly, smoothly and for longer than in days past. It's also possible to bring secondary or tertiary operations such as deburring and chamfering "into the machine," eliminating an extra setup in many cases. Cutting tools are in a constant state of evolution, as any machine operator knows, but Mr. Kiehl says CGS has a unique way of getting the exact tooling it requires, thanks to an experienced on-site cutting tool engineer. "When he needs a tool for a particular machining process, he'll order the closest thing he can fnd from our vendor and then make slight modifcations that 'tailor' the tool to the machine and process for which it is intended," he says. Fixturing is also developed in house for each individual job and workpiece. Another manufacturing need that is constantly being improved is available CAD/CAM software that automates and streamlines many processes that once required manual adjustments. CGS uses SolidEdge software for its CAD design and A reconditioned gearbox awaits new gearing, bearings and seals to be mounted, at which time a sealant will be applied before the nuts are carefully tightened on their bolts.

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