Gear Production

APR 2016

Gear Production

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8—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E SmartCAM CNC for machining. The 3D model step fle, developed using SolidEdge, is used to check the machining of the modeled part before cutting chips. Often utilized on the rebuild side is the "Unknown Gear Measurement Program," which quickly determines the geometry and dimensions of unknown gears. One fnal area the gear service division addresses is making improvements to support components, such as bearings and seals, with the goal that a rebuilt gearbox is returned to the customer in better running condition than when it was initially manufactured. While bearings can sometimes be reconditioned if they are out of round, new products such as CARB toroidal roller bearings from SKF combine the self-aligning capability of spherical roller bearings with the axial displacement ability of cylindrical roller bearings. The bearing manufacturer says these bearings deliver the compact cross-section and high-load carrying capacity normally associated with needle roller bearings. Although seals are now made of more durable materials than before, they can still wear grooves in pinions and shafts over time. In some cases, CGS solves this problem by attaching a collar made of a material harder than the shaft in order to protect it from contact with the seal. Seeking Synergy Although the communication between the two CGS divisions is constant and ongoing, it's constructive to review the "back and forth" nature of the knowledge they exchange. Here are benefts Mr. Kiehl cites: Value transfer from OEM to repair division: • To remain competitive, the OEM side must be aware of new materials and gear designs, allowing the service side to return a better product to its customers. • The new machines purchased for the OEM side hold higher tolerances, improving the quality of the gears used in gearbox repair. • Investing in leading-edge machine tools allows the service side to bid on work it couldn't have otherwise. • It is good marketing for the gearbox repair service to also be an OEM as proof of its knowledge and experience. Value transfer from repair to OEM division: • The examination of gearboxes in active use for long periods of time, in various applications, helps the OEM side improve new gear set designs. • Maintaining gearboxes that were originally made by the company provides insights into how its products, including components such as seals and bearings, hold up. • Repairing gearboxes of all makes and types on a daily basis provides the company's gear repair specialists with a wealth of experience to share with OEM operations. • Developing a relationship with a customer through a gearbox repair often leads to opportunities to bid on new gear set designs. Mr. Kiehl likens the gearbox repair service to automotive maintenance. "We design, manufacture and assemble the entire box, including the shafts, gears, bearings, seals and lubrication systems, so returning your gearbox to the OEM is like taking your car to the dealer instead of an independent mechanic." Inner Resources Just as a successful gear manufacturer is constantly seeking outside resources to improve operations—training, trade shows, OEM open houses—it also draws from internal resources, such as expertise that can be translated across different platforms within the company. Learning to make new, better gears allows the repair side to thrive, while constantly reviewing older gearboxes identifes design weaknesses that can be addressed with newer and better designs, improved materials, and agile machining processes that lead to better drive systems and components. Cincinnati Gearing Systems, call 513-527-8600 or visit

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