PRODUCT SHOWCASE: Liebherr Introduces Compact, Flexible Gear Shaping Machine

Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH has expanded its machine portfolio for small workpieces with the small-footprint (Platform 1) LS 180 F shaping machine equipped with an electronically operated, movable cutter head slide. The machine can shape smaller gears in different axial positions with only short setup times. The machine is suitable for job shops, especially with aerospace work. The LS 180 F is highly productive — capable of up to 1,500 double strokes per minute and processing workpieces up to 180 mm in diameter, maximum module 5 mm.

For shaping gears that will be part of transmissions with minimum available space — for example, cluster gears with limited cutter overrun — can be machined in one clamping in the new Liebherr machine, avoiding additional setups. Previously, only larger machines could accommodate such flexible applications; smaller shaping machines did not feature the necessary movable cutter head slide. The new LS 180 F now enables Liebherr to provide the right size of machine with many features for small workpieces.

The new cutter head design also enables workpieces with both internal and external gear teeth to be machined in the same clamping operation. To accomplish this, the machine is equipped with a twin-track cam as standard. The LS 180 F continues to be available with a mechanical helical guide. The new version is also compatible with older versions, meaning that existing helical guides and removal cams can be used with the LS 180 F.

“One actual application is, for example, a component used to adjust aircraft landing flaps,” said Dr. Andreas Mehr from the Grinding and Shaping Technology Development and Application team at Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH. “Every component features three gears that have to be positioned quite accurately to each other. That is why it is absolutely necessary to machine the entire gear tooth machining procedure in one clamping.”

But there are also potential customers for the LS 180 F in pump manufacturing as well as in the motorbike and tractor industry.

“This machine is extremely versatile,” Mehr said. “Given its high stroke rate of 1,500 double strokes per minute, this machine can produce small quantities very cost-effectively.”

The LS 180 F enables Liebherr to combine the small footprint of the Platform 1 with applications that were previously only feasible using larger machines. The LS 180 (without vertical cutter head slide) will be redesigned and an LS 180 E (with electronic helical guide and movable cutter head slide) will be designed from scratch in 2017.

“Ultimately we will then be able to offer the same maximum flexibility in the smallest machine class as we have only been able to do with larger machines to date,” said Dr. Hansjörg Geiser, head of Gear Cutting Machinery Development and Design Engineering at Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH in Kempten (Germany).

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