Gehring L.P., located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, was founded in 1976; however, its parent company, Gehring Technologies GmbH headquartered in Ostfildern, Germany, is celebrating 90 years of innovation in the field of honing technology. At IMTS 2016 in Chicago, Gehring featured machine demonstrations of its newest products, professional expert advice, and presentations on the company’s philosophy, digital solutions, technical training, and history.
“IMTS 2016 was a huge success for Gehring, with a record number of new visitors and existing customers experiencing our innovative booth concept that showcased our products and technologies, and that facilitated networking and productive exchange of ideas during the entire show week,” said Rita Conroy-Martin, Gehring’s director of marketing.
The company started in 1926 in Naumburg/Saale, Germany, with C.W. Gehring. Its roots began with repairing engines and offering the first mass production of honing tools. In 1938, Gehring started production of the first six-spindle honing machine with combined drive in the spindle case. In 1941, the first Gehring honing machines with hydraulic stroke drive, central lubrication, and oil processing were built. The company headquarters in Ostfildern was established in 1948. In 1961, the first honing machine with pneumatic in-process gauging system was built. In 1979, Diato GmbH, a leading manufacturer of diamond and boron nitride (CBN) abrasives and a subsidiary of Gehring Technologies, was founded in Ostfildern. In 1992, Gehring introduced laser technology and laser honing for combustion engines.
In 2006, Gehring developed its Lifehone machine series for small bore diameters, addressing a problem in the industry of less favorable bore length and diameter ratios and less available space. The Lifehone series has continuously been improved, providing cost-efficient machines with short delivery times and functionally advanced components. Whether constructed as a multi-spindle transfer solution for mass production or as single-spindle design for small batches, highly accurate parts with honing diameters up to 90 mm can be processed optimally with the appropriate machine.
The Gehring honing control allows for precision-controlled stroke speeds and reversal precisions. The user-friendly interface of the Gehring operator panel (GOP) and the program assistant simplify machine operation significantly. Once relevant data on components, material, and tools are entered, the process and stock removal can be defined to immediately start the honing process after the tools are positioned. Stroke position and all relevant parameter for machining are automatically calculated.
The bore diameter and the conicity are calculated by the pneumatic gauging system and graphically displayed on the honing control display. In-process as well as pre- and post-gauging systems can be installed.
Gehring Lifehone machine Model L630 is especially designed for the machining of transmission parts, including gears. The integrated gripper transport offers the ability to cycle gears with different diameters. Furthermore, the user only needs one fixture below the two spindles.
For pinion gears, Gehring offers a three-spindle Lifehone machine that hones the workpieces horizontally. The machine is loaded via a handling system from the pallet. In general, the number of workpieces per pallet is between five to 10 pinion gears. The advantage of this pallet method is the shortened processing time per workpiece.
“Gehring has become the defined leader in gear honing solutions and is currently the top supplier to the automotive OEM customer base worldwide,” said Conroy-Martin. “Our international production and customer service footprint ensures global yet local support for all of our honing projects.”
All elements of the honing system are coordinated according to customer application specifications. Gehring components include gauging units, conveyors, and gantry solutions, and the company offers addition support with spare parts, retrofit and upgrades, and tools and abrasives.
In addition, customers receive the added benefit of advice from Gehring experts to assist them in defining the correct process chains and parameters and selecting the optimal part properties relevant to the manufacturing technology being used.
Gehring also offers customers the option to perform honing trials to guarantee high assurance in the process control. The company can process prototype jobs for small and medium size quantities, offering a temporary, economical, and feasible addition to the customers’ production capacity.
As a worldwide leader in honing technology, Gehring serves its customers in industries including automotive, defense, and aerospace. Today, along with two locations in Germany, Gehring has subsidiaries and facilities in the U.K., France, Brazil, China, and India. In addition, Gehring will add a tooling rework facility to its portfolio of service locations in Mexico in 2017. Gehring L.P. in Farmington Hills is a 50,000-square-foot facility offering a full-service machine tool operation, engineering, and assembly of customer-specific precision honing machines, tooling rework, a qualified team of service technicians, as well as a large spare-parts warehouse. Additionally, the facility can provide in-house manufacturing of super abrasives by Diato L.P. Gehring has a comprehensive research and development facility that also carries out contract honing in Livonia, Michigan. This facility is ITAR compliant — a necessary requirement for handling defense contracts.
Gehring has built its success on its employees, too, providing opportunities for open communication, customized training programs, and leadership concepts with a continued effort on outstanding qualifications, both professionally and individually.
Gehring recently developed its Gehring Academy, a training platform in which Gehring experts share their comprehensive knowledge to support its customers globally and to be a reliable partner in supplying opportunities for exchanging knowledge with experts in the field of honing technology and laser structuring. The modularly designed qualification programs offer individually created courses in the field of machine operation, machine maintenance, and process technology.
“The initiative to develop the Academy concept was driven both by our goal to provide maximum value to our customers —trained operators means higher production efficiency and uptime — as well as furthering our mission to promote advanced honing technology solutions to relevant stakeholders in the industry,” said Conroy-Martin.
Gehring L.P. is also passionate about giving back to the community through donations to organizations such as Workforce for Warriors, a nonprofit school based in San Diego, California, that trains, certifies, and helps place veterans into advanced manufacturing careers.
“Our partnership with Workshop for Warriors has been a win-win for all involved,” said Conroy-Martin. “We receive the benefit of accessing highly trained, disciplined, and motivated employees that are excited to be transitioning into advanced manufacturing careers that we offer at Gehring.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.gehringlp.com