Gear Production

SEP 2016

Gear Production

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8—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E Next-Generation Gear Finishing Vibratory finishing, centrifugal barrel finishing and turbo-abrasive machining are the three top techniques for finishing gears, improving performance and extending service life. D ave Davidson has surface finishing in his DNA. His manufacturing beginnings trace to the 1970s working in a longstanding family business that manufactured wooden shoe pegs used for tumble-polishing small plastic items using steam-era machinery. To get a leg up on the technology, Mr. Davidson, who is now retired but remains active as a consultant in the industry, joined the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Burr, Edge and Surface Technology division. And with the help of SME mentors, he developed a line of abrasive and polishing products as well as new mass finishing processes for barrel, vibratory and centrifugal finishing systems. He is a master at problem-solving customer challenges. That includes gear-making. Depending on the particular application, Mr. Davidson describes three mass-finishing methodologies for producing surface finishes on gears that contribute to improved performance and extended service life. They are: Vibratory Finishing—Conventional and predominant, the familiar vibratory bowls or tubs come in small or large sizes and have been around for decades. There is a relatively recent wrinkle in vibratory finishing, chemically assisted vibratory finishing, which uses specially formulated chemical compounds along with non-abrasive media to produce a conversion Isotropic finishing can have a dramatic impact on gear performance and service life, so much so that some racing teams disassemble stock gear sets and components and send them out to be isotropically finished for the perfor- mance and extended service life benefits. (Photo courtesy of Mark Riley, BV Products.)

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