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August 1, 2017

How to Make Gears

Production processes are designed to create added value. In gear manufacturing, the creation of benefit focuses on achieving QCD (costs, volumes, and deadlines). Production of gears involves an interlinkage of various manufacturing processes. These processes may include forging, casting, powder metallurgy, blanking, and extrusion. A wide array of gears are available for practically any mechanical application. The various kinds include worm gears, bevel gears, gear racks, spur and helical gears.

To classify gears; manufacturers look at the positioning of the gear shaft. How a gear transmits force in its application field, determines its mechanical configuration. The selection process requires one to consider factors such as dimensions, precision grades (AGMA, DIN, or ISO), heat treatment or teeth grinding, torque and efficiency ratios.

Advances in gear manufacturing technology have made it easier for manufacturers to produce stock or custom made gears. A variety of machines are available that facilitate the manufacture of gears. Production processes can be either fully automated, manual, or semi-automatic. As such, machining is the most populate gear production process involving two main methods: shaping or hobbing. A significant percentage of all gears available today are produced using machine based technologies. Machine hobbing is performed on dedicated machines using either vertical or horizontal work spindles. In hobbing, a gear blank is moved towards a rotating hob until the proper depth is achieved. Once the right depth is reached, a hob cutter is passed across the gears face until all gear teeth are complete. Grinding employs a gear cutter to achieve the required gear design and type. Mostly, grinding is used to finish accurate and hardened gears. But the process is rather slow and only useful in the manufacture of high quality gears.
Getting Down To Basics with Manufacturing

Gear manufacturing requires the application of specialized knowledge of mechanical properties of gears. This is particularly the case even when using standardized designs. This knowledge encompasses a variety of formulas for creating gear sizes and strengths, an understanding of the various gear types and technical vocabulary, train speed ratios and rotational directions. Other factors that affect the production process include ISO and AGMA classifications, teeth forms, teeth thicknesses, and backlashes.
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Accordingly, the gear design process relies on industry level standards to improve the quality and performance of gears. To ensure the production of high quality gears, assessment of production facilities and techniques is necessary. Reverse engineering gears is commonly employed to benchmark production facilities The procedure involves the calculation of primary parameters for unknown gear pairs. Despite gear calculations and parameters being standardized, the task is often complex. Typically, results obtained by reverse engineering are normally accurate. As the process is iterative, it requires the performance of repetitive measurements. Acquired measurements provide information regarding design deviations, uncertainty in measurements, and wearing of gears in the application environment.