Friction isn’t only bad for gears: Modernizing the AGMA’s digital assets

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At the start of 2024, the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) released a new suite of digital assets: a redesigned website and a mobile phone app (with a companion web app). Redesigning a website and implementing an app are both time intensive and a big investment. Companies in manufacturing may not want to allocate the resources to update their digital assets, often asking the questions: Why make a new website? Why get a mobile app?

The answer is simple: According to StatCounter and DataReportal, 92.3 percent of people who use the internet worldwide access it via their mobile devices. Those users are playing games, listening to music, browsing social media, and streaming video, but they’re also doing business directly from their phone. People read emails, communicate with colleagues and clients, and do work while they are away from their computer. AGMA needed both a mobile-friendly website and a mobile app to tap into the more than 90 percent of people who will somehow interact with AGMA via a smartphone.

What does mobile have to do with the new AGMA website? Responsiveness. For those unfamiliar, responsiveness refers to web design that automatically resizes a website to the device of the user, including all the buttons, images, text, videos, and so on. The old agma.org was only partially responsive, so mobile device users and those with non-standard desktop resolutions did not consistently see all the graphics and images displayed correctly for the device they used. The new website has updated visuals and functionality, providing a cleaner, more intuitive way to navigate and use AGMA’s many resources and offerings. Smartphone and desktop users alike will notice a drastic increase in browsability.

This concept of an intuitive and interactive design interface and how users interact with that interface is referred to as UX, or user experience. As the adage goes, the best UX is when the user doesn’t notice anything. To visualize this idea, think about browsing with Google. Barring a glitch in loading the webpage, the site always works as intended. There’s a lot of work that goes into making a website feel as natural to navigate as something like Google does, but it’s imperative to put in the labor to get a website as close to that ideal as possible. Any friction when browsing a website incentivizes the user to simply not use it. That would be a disastrous response for AGMA, when much of what the association offers is only available through the website. This is why it was important to diversify.

To round out and complement the new website, AGMA now has a mobile app: AGMA Mobile. It is available for download on the Apple and Google Play stores for free. To use the app and its features, users will log in with their normal AGMA Store account credentials. Once they’ve logged in, AGMA members and nonmembers alike will be able to:

  • Browse and register for AGMA events and classes.
  • Purchase, download, and view AGMA Store documents and standards.
  • Read news stories.
  • Access AGMA member job listings.
  • Chat with other users.
  • Access event schedules and materials.
  • Interact with fellow event attendees.
  • Update and customize iMIS profiles.
  • And more.

Additionally, AGMA members will be able to access the Membership Directory directly in the app. Those without a smartphone can use the web-based version of the app. These new digital resources will allow AGMA to better serve everyone, from course attendees to association members and everyone in between, no matter where they are.

Engaging the power transmission industry is so important for 2024. There are many places manufacturers and suppliers can go to get information, but AGMA should be the best resource they have. By removing any friction on the past digital assets and implementing new ways for industry professionals to communicate, access tools, and sign up for education and events, AGMA has created a great value driver that will enhance user experience.

AGMA Mobile and the web app can both be accessed by visiting agma.org/membership and scrolling down to “Connect with Colleagues.”

Questions regarding the website and AGMA Mobile can be sent to schlotman@agma.org.

Register for 2024 Annual Meeting

Join AGMA and ABMA for this member-exclusive event nestled among the vineyards of Napa, California, at the Meritage Resort & Spa. Gear and bearing professionals from companies all over the world will gather to listen to experts in economics, trade, workforce development, supply chain management, political forecasts, and more. Aside from the informative presentations and interactive workshops, attendees will have plenty of time to network during curated events, dinners, and activities.

Don’t miss out on the event that brings together the leaders in our industries and is the best place for high-level, C-suite executives to receive tangible takeaways and actionable advice back to their businesses.

For more information and to register, go to: agma.org/event/2024-agma-abma-annual-meeting.

Upcoming Webinars

Samples of metal working parts
stainless steel

State of the U.S. Steel Industry

February 15 | 1 p.m. ET | Webinar

The recent proposed acquisition of U.S. Steel by Japan’s Nippon Steel Corporation has been viewed by many as a landmark development in an industry that has a long history of trade disputes and debate over its role in U.S. national security and the U.S. industrial base. In this webinar, we will look at the current state of the U.S. steel industry from a trade and national security law lens, examining the impact of recent tariff policies, antidumping and countervailing duties, and national security laws such as the Defense Production Act on U.S. steel producers and their customers in the bearing and gear industries.  We will also provide an overview of current trends in the global industry and prospects for change in 2024 and beyond.

What’s going on with Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs? 

March 21 | 1 p.m. ET | Webinar

This year marks the sixth anniversary of U.S. tariffs on imports from China and separate tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products from various countries. These tariffs – some as high as 25 percent — have had had an effect on a range of companies and industries. In this webinar, we will examine the impact on the bearing and gear industries and prospects for the tariffs being continued or modified in 2024 and beyond.

Upcoming Education

Gearbox CSI

February 27-29 and March 5-7 | Live Online Course

A good understanding of individual failure modes and the failure scenarios that led to the actual system failure is an essential skill to designing gear/bearing systems that will operate properly for their full design life. In this course, we will define and explain the nature of many gear and bearing failures, and we will also discuss and describe various actual failure scenarios. In addition, a detailed primer on bearing technology prefaces the failure scenario discussions. You will gain a better understanding of various types of gears and bearings and grasp an understanding of how to properly apply the best gear-bearing combination to any gearbox from simple to complex.

Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing

April 8-12 | Chicago, Illinois

Learn the fundamentals of gear manufacturing in this hands-on course. Gain an understanding of gearing and nomenclature, principles of inspection, gear-manufacturing methods, and hobbing and shaping. Using manual machines, develop a deeper breadth of perspective and understanding of the process and physics of making a gear as well as the ability to apply this knowledge in working with CNC equipment commonly in use.

New course: EV Automotive Transmission System Design

April 23-25 | Ann Arbor, Michigan

This course will cover all aspects of gearbox concept, development, design, and through the initial stages of analysis as related to product requirements.  We will review all the most common EV transaxle architectures, power flow, and layout and the “whys” of packaging as such.  Independent of the architecture and/or layout, there are many similarities in the functional and operational requirements of an EV transaxle gearbox. From a high-level point of view, the “big” difference between transaxles for EVs (electric vehicles) and transmissions designed for more traditional manual transmissions (MTs) and/or automatic transmissions (ATs) is the lack of the “noisy” internal combustion engine or ICE motor. An internal combustion engine driving into a typical gearbox provides a great deal of NVH masking. Thus, we obviously need to design quieter gearboxes to reduce the potential of observed gearbox NVH, now potentially unmasked by the lack of the ICE signature and magnitude.  However, and moreover, the signature from an ICE is much different than from the electric motor. The new input signature, frequency, and magnitude cause a shift to higher frequencies and generally lower magnitudes of vibrational energies. That, in turn, becomes a more significant consideration in terms of gear design and application. We will discuss this and more throughout the course.

For a full list of the 2024 courses, go to: Course Offerings :: American Gear Manufacturers Association (agma.org)

Calendar of Events

February 15  — State of the U.S. Steel Industry — Webinar

February 15 — Helical Enclosed Drives High Speed Units Committee — WebEx

February 21-22 — Worm Gear Committee — Orlando, Florida

February 27-29 — Gearbox CSI Part I — Live Online Course

March 5-7 — Gearbox CSI Part II — Live Online Course

March 6 — 2024 Emerging Technology Webinar Series — Webinar

March 14-15 — Worm Gear Committee — WebEx

March 14-16 — 2024 AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting — Napa, California

March 21 — What’s going on with Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs? — Webinar

April 3 — 2024 Emerging Technology Webinar Series — Webinar

April 8-12 — Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing — Chicago, Illinois

April 16-19 — Detailed Gear Design — Alexandria, Virginia

April 18 — What the Bearing and Gear Industries Need to Know about New Government Contracting RequirementsWebinar

April 18 — Aerospace Committee — WebEx