AGMA Plans Ahead for the Next 100 Years


The AGMA centennial celebration has showcased 100 years of the industry’s accomplishments. From the unveiling of the mural timeline at the 2015 Gear Expo, to the publication of the book “Celebrating 100 Years of Gearing,” to June’s Midwest celebration event in Chicago, we have honored and embraced the rich history and amazing accomplishments of the association and its members. Even as we look back, AGMA is actively planning for the future, and the next 100 years will be every bit as exciting as the last.

In addition to AGMA’s core mission of technical standards, education, business information, and networking, the AGMA Strategic Planning Committee has identified four strategic issues that are increasingly important to the membership. These issues are power transmission systems, emerging technologies, expanded education and workforce training, and the international reach of the gear manufacturing industry. Each of these strategic issues builds upon our current strengths and is intended to bring value to members and their customers.

Power Transmission Systems

Gears are only one part of the larger mechanical power transmission system, and AGMA members are moving into all parts of that system, beyond gears alone. One issue we found is that the identity of AGMA projects does not accurately convey the extent of how it touches the larger power transmission industry — both directly and indirectly. Many people only think of loose gears when the American Gear Manufacturers Association is mentioned. Considering the name, this notion is understandable. Most do not realize that everything that touches the gear, surrounds the gear, lubricates the gear, connects to the gearbox, and even monitors its performance is within the realm of AGMA.

Many additional standards, educational opportunities, and business resources exist outside AGMA but relate to a power transmission system. Where these resources are of value, the association is working to provide them through AGMA or connect members directly to the appropriate resource. The goal is to make the broad range of AGMA offerings more visible and more integrated throughout the market, both vertically and horizontally.

Emerging Technologies

As evidenced by the last 100 years, change is constant in the gear industry. It is also evident that the rate of change is increasing. Emerging technologies have affected, and will continue to affect, the business of gearing. AGMA has been identifying and monitoring the technological horizon for the better part of 100 years through its technical committees and, more recently, its Fall Technical Meeting (FTM). In addition, AGMA actively engages members to identify process improvements (both evolutionary and revolutionary), changes in environmental conditions, and emerging technologies from the quaint to the massively impactful. Currently, AGMA is monitoring and reporting on these four technologies:

  • 3D printing/additive manufacturing
  • Superalloys
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)/Industry 4.0 — automation
  • and robotics
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)/Industry 4.0 — sensor technology

AGMA’s goals are to establish a relevant forum for emerging technologies, develop a briefing for members, and position the association as the technological leader in the power transmission industry.

Expanded Education and Training

One of the most pressing issues that companies face is an inadequate supply of manufacturing and technical talent for the gear industry. AGMA is a premier provider of training for both basic and advanced gear education. Take a look at the main page of the AGMA website that includes a link to a skills assessment tool that can be used to assist companies in the hiring of new employees and to evaluate current employees. This tool is Excel-based and is free to anyone. Once this analysis of an employee’s skills is complete and requirements for further training are identified, companies can turn to AGMA for educational options — I would highly recommend the three online workforce training programs, which are free to AGMA members. As part of AGMA’s strategy to expand education and training, the association is currently developing a core gear curriculum and is providing links to resources and training that currently exist inside and outside of AGMA. Hopefully, the gear industry will find AGMA the first — and most valuable — stop in developing talent.

Global Industry

Gear manufacturing is a global industry. Approximately 25 percent of AGMA members are outside of North America, and this is not a new trend. In the 1920s, the association had members located in Australia and France. As the world has become more connected, so has AGMA. As secretariat of ISO/TC 60 Technical Committee for Gears, AGMA and its technical committees continue to develop standards for members wherever they operate in the world. AGMA will continue to expand and engage international members, strengthen partnerships with other associations, develop and encourage the use of ISO standards, hold bilateral trade delegations, and continue to support the gear industry across the globe.

AGMA is entering into the next 100 years as a strong and focused organization. It has a dynamic new president, Matt Croson, a talented and dedicated staff, and vibrant membership. As the gear industry changes, power transmission systems become more integrated, new technologies emerge, workforce needs evolve, and the world becomes more connected, AGMA plans to be there.

New AGMA Standards

The AGMA Technical Committees have been hard at work. The following standards were published in early 2016. Help shape tomorrow’s standards for the gear industry by joining one of AGMA’s 23 active Technical Committees. Complete information is available on the AGMA website at

ANSI/AGMA 2002-C16, Tooth Thickness and Backlash Measurement of Cylindrical Involute Gearing

This standard establishes the procedures for determining the specification limits for tooth thickness of external and internal cylindrical involute gearing. It includes equations and calculation procedures for the commonly used measuring methods. A specific tooth thickness specification limit can be established from the design thickness or from another tooth thickness measurement. The procedures can be used with an established design tooth thickness or with actual tooth thickness dimensions. The effect of tooth geometric quality variations on tooth thickness dimensions is discussed. Calculations for backlash are included and are based on the specified tooth thickness, center distance, and tolerances.

The new standard was developed within the AGMA Gear Accuracy Committee and replaces ANSI/AGMA 2002-B88.

ANSI/AGMA 9005-F16, Industrial Gear Lubrication

This standard provides lubrication guidelines for enclosed and open gearing installed in general industrial power transmission applications. It is not intended to supplant specific instructions from the gear manufacturer.

The new standard was developed within the AGMA Industrial Gear Lubrication Committee and replaces ANSI/AGMA 9005-E02.

ANSI/AGMA 6013-B16 and ANSI/AGMA 6113-B16 (metric), Standard for Industrial Enclosed Gear Drives

This standard includes design, rating, lubrication, testing, and selection information for enclosed gear drives, including foot-mounted, shaft-mounted, screw conveyor drives, and gear motors. These drives may include spur, helical, herringbone, double helical, or bevel gearing in single or multistage arrangements as either parallel, concentric, or right-angle configurations.

The new standards were developed within the AGMA Enclosed Drives for Industrial Applications Committee and replace ANSI/AGMA 6013-A06 and ANSI/AGMA 6113-A06.

ANSI/AGMA 9006-A16, Flexible Couplings – Basis for Rating

This standard presents criteria and guidelines for the establishment of the basis for ratings of standard flexible couplings. Due to the diversity of coupling types, details of design such as formulas and analysis used to derive the stresses are often considered proprietary and are not considered in this standard. This standard is of importance to coupling manufacturers, users, and equipment designers for the proper selection, comparison, and application of flexible couplings.

The new standard was developed within the AGMA Flexible Couplings Committee.


Meetings and Courses

AGMA Fall Technical Meeting – October 2-4, 2016 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  

$1,495 members; $1,995 non-members

Each year, the Fall Technical Meeting (FTM) provides an outstanding opportunity to share ideas with others in the gear industry on design, analysis, manufacturing, and application of gears, gear drives, and related products, as well as associated processes and procedures. Authors have the opportunity to present the results of their work to an audience of knowledgeable professionals from the United States and around the world and to participate in discussions with that audience.

This meeting will have presentations in the following sessions:

  • Session 1 – Manufacturing, Inspection, and Quality Control
  • Session 2 – Materials & Heat Treatment
  • Session 3 – Application and Design & Rating
  • Session 4 – Efficiency, Lubrication, Noise, and Vibration
  • Session 5 – Gear Wear & Failure

A complete list of papers and presenters is available on the AGMA website at

AGMA Advanced Gear Engineering Academy

AGMA’s Advanced Gear Engineering Academy offers seven advanced gear engineering courses for continued education in the gear industry. Over the past eight years, more than 1,600 individuals have participated in these courses. For those who complete at least five of the seven courses offered (representing more than 100 classroom hours), AGMA and the AGMA Education Advisory Council award these dedicated individuals with an AGMA Advanced Gear Engineering Certificate.

The following individuals have become part of the AGMA Advanced Gear Engineering Academy in 2016:

Scott Samborn, B&P Process Equipment
Scott Davidson, Boeing Rotorcraft
Brandon Pider, L-3 Communications

Advanced Gear Engineering Academy Courses include:

  • Bevel Gear System Design
  • Detailed Gear Design
  • Gearbox CSI
  • Gear Materials
  • Gear Manufacturing and Inspection
  • Gearbox System Design
  • Gear Failure Analysis

Detailed Gear Design –Beyond Simple Service Factors

November 15-17, 2016  – Las Vegas, Nevada  

$1,495 members; $1,995 non-members

Instructor: Raymond J. Drago

This course explores all factors that go into good gear design including life cycle, load, torque, tooth optimization, and evaluating consequences. Students should have a good understanding of basic gear theory and nomenclature. Interact with a group of your peers and with a talented and well-respected instructor who will push your thinking beyond its normal boundaries.


  • Following this seminar, participants will be able to:
  • Improve their gear designs
  • Apply their understanding of gear rating theory and analysis methods
  • Investigate differences in stress states among various surface durability failure modes
  • Discuss time dependent and time independent failure modes related to tooth design
  • Use computer-generated graphics to examine mesh action and tooth interaction
  • Discuss the concepts presented