Home Archives


December 2008

Company Profile: Roto-Flo

Responsible for developing the cold form rolling process, this company has updated and revamped the equipment’s design, outfitting it with all the latest CNC technologies.

In 1946 George Simon, Sr., launched U.S. Equipment Company in Detroit with the purpose of buying, refurbishing, and selling used tool room and production equipment. In that same city, and at about the same time, the Michigan Tool Company was developing the cold form rolling process, choosing Roto-Flo as the name for the machines it […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Predicting Hypoidcontact Conditions

In this article experts from Romax Technology outline a numerical simulation method that allows for the prediction of standard misalignment parameters in hypoid gear sets.

Problems are often encountered in the design of automotive drive axles, since hypoid gear sets are very sensitive to the precise contact conditions. Assembling test rigs is expensive and time consuming, while Finite Element Analysis of the complete system can be problematic due to non-linear contact. This paper describes a numerical simulation method to predict […]
Mike Douglas, David Palmer, Ph.D, Barry James

The Power of Pulsed Plasma

An experienced metallurgist makes the case for a finishing process that is clean, controllable, precise, and reduces the risk of distortion and surface growth.

There has been much discussion regarding the surface treatment of gear power transmission systems using the nitriding process. Much of the past discussions have centered on the suitability of the process results because of the potential for high surface hardness results and the impact value of the nitrided surface. This presentation will discuss: • Materials […]
David Pye

The Next Frontier in Gear Testing

Kleiss Gears has been at the forefront of R&D efforts improving the attributes of polymer gearing, including testing methods to insure tight tolerances and maximum repeatability.

Having pioneered the science of polymer gearing, Kleiss Gears continues to focus on improving the state of the art. In past articles we have explored the science of measurement. Here we will discuss the next frontier: extraordinarily accurate polymer gear testing. Where design defines the theoretical, and measurement defines tolerance of shape, testing puts a […]
Douglas Felsenthal

November 2008

Company Profile: Workholding Solutions, LLC

Unhindered by architectural boundaries, a new company embraces technologies that allow it to respond to its customers’ workholding needs quickly, fully, and virtually.

According to Chuck Miller, engineering manager at Workholding Solutions, LLC—or WOHO®, as it’s familiarly known—“the Internet provides leverage, and if we don’t take advantage of that we’re all missing a huge opportunity.” This new company specializing in custom fixture design/build services for a wide variety of manufacturers is definitely capitalizing on that leverage, building a […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Company Profile: Romax Technology

Learn about the developer of some of the most advanced design software packages available, as well as its efforts to spread knowledge within the industries it serves.

There’s a reason why Romax Technology’s logo is a butterfly, according to Younsu Park, the company’s director of transportation engineering. “We believe in what is known as ‘the butterfly effect,’” he says, “which states that ‘An event as small as a butterfly flapping its wings in Texas could set off a chain reaction of events […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

October 2008

Company Profile: The Flaming Treating & Engineering Co.

This family-run business sets itself apart by focusing on the best methods for producing premium, custom-hardened parts for customers who’ve come to depend on its reputation.

He was only a boy when his father died, and his mother needed help keeping the family afloat financially, so Arthur Benoit finished the fourth grade and soon left Canada for America. He landed a position with U.S. Steel in Worcester, Massachusetts, and after years of hard work rose to the position of master mechanic. […]
Russ Willcutt

Powder Metal for Precision and Performance

The P/M process provides quality and repeatability for gearing manufactured for a wide variety of applications. This article provides insights into how, when, and why it works.

While the powder metal process is becoming increasingly popular with gear designers because it is a cost-effective alternative to traditional manufacturing processes, the powder metal manufacturing process is ideally suited for the production of cluster and pinion gears used for reduction drives on miniature and fractional horsepower motors. Fractional horsepower motors are found in any […]
Dave Burton

The Flexibility of Spindle Finishing

For precise, controlled deburring and surface improvements when finishing gears and other metal parts, consider the process developed—and described here—by ALMCO.

In recent years, an increasing degree of specialization in the metalworking industry has created a need for equipment that can meet complex finishing and deburring demands. Numerous types of equipment with varying degrees of sophistication are available. However, a mechanical finishing concept often overlooked is found in spindle finishing. Spindle finishing is ideally suited to […]
Larry E. Beavens

Overcoming the Chamfering Technology Impasse

Utilizing a patented process SENJO SEIKI seeks to provide accurate, repeatable chamfering to the gear-manufacturing market. Read on for an introduction.

While the gear-making industry has seen many technology advances with respect to the sophistication of other necessary equipment, the process of gear chamfering in North America has made few—if any—real strides forward in the past decade. Even in the most sophisticated gear shops, as high as 95 percent of the gears are manually chamfered or […]
Ed Weinberg

September 2008

Company Profile: Colonial Tool Group Inc.

You must pay attention to the work at hand, of course, but if you don’t plot your course into the future you might just lose your way. That won’t happen with this company.

Strategic planning matters, as does market diversification, and the emphasis that Colonial Tool Group has placed on both in recent years is helping it thrive while many of its competitors are struggling in these difficult economic times. “What I can tell you is that we currently have a record backlog,” according to Brett Froats, a […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

The Principles of Workholding: Part I

This article is the first in a multi-part series on workholding presented by Toolink Engineering and König-mtm, with this installment devoted to the fundamentals of hydraulic workholding devices.

This article is the first of a mult-part series intended to inform, guide, and assist the gear manufacturing industry in selecting or identifying the most efficient and practical workholding solution to fit their gear manufacturing needs. In this installment we touch on the principles, fundamentals, advantages, and limitations of hydraulic workholding. Next we will introduce […]
Tim Peterson CMfgT, Juergen Kempf

The LPC Process for High-Alloy Steels

The following technical paper—produced by SECO/WARWICK and the University of Zielona Góra describes the benefits of using

Low pressure carburizing (LPC) in vacuum furnaces has many applications in industrial technologies where high quality, reliability, and repeatability are required. High quality work is achieved using the patented process control method, FineCarb®, that delivers a precise, three-gas carburizing mixture injection sequence controlled through a computerized supervision system and process simulation software known as SimVac™. […]
Juergen Kempf, Tim Peterson CMfgT

Lead or Helix? That is the Question

Whether you call it lead or helix, this aspect of gearing is critical to the function of the finished components. Learn more from an industry expert.

Here’s the scenario: the company is developing a new application for helical internal gears. The first trials are going well, but after heat treat studies it is determined that the lead needs to be changed by .025mm to compensate for heat treat distortion. Not a problem, according to the broach supplier. They make the requested […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Gleason Aces the Mercedes Test

Mercedes-Benz is using angular hypoid bevel gearsets for its all-wheel drive powertrains, and testing them is the job of Gleason’s new 360AT Universal Gear Tester.

It seems that Mercedes-Benz design engineers never stop searching for ways to improve performance, passenger safety, and comfort. The recent availability of new lightweight, smooth, and highly-compact all-wheel drive (AWD) powertrain systems on their venerable C-, E-, and S-Class vehicles, for example, falls into the performance category. At the same time Mercedes designers have sought […]
Michael Hayes

Induction Heating for Low-Cost Quality Gears

Ajax Tocco describes how SPF induction gear hardening can lead to a better product at a lower cost.

The gear market is looking for increased gear performance, reduction in gearbox package size, and longer gear life. Industry drivers that support these needs include: • More consistent quality with regard to dimensional results; • Consistent process control; • Reduced operational costs in both material and labor; • Reduction in capital equipment investment; • Higher […]
George Pfaffmann, FASM

Cold Forming for Hot Results

Roto-Flo’s new CNC spline and thread rolling machine offers unique advantages over hydraulic units. Read on to learn more about how this is achieved.

Cold forming involute splines, serrations, oil grooves, snap-ring grooves, threads, and various other features using spline rolling machinery provides many advantages and benefits over conventional methods such as hobbing. This process has typically been done by hydraulically actuated spline and thread rolling machines that use flat tooling blocks mounted parallel and over each other to […]
Andrew Budai

Epicyclic Gearing: A Handbook

For design engineers who are just beginning their careers—and even old pros who could use a refresher course—the following article takes a basic approach to discussing epicyclic gearing.

Recent articles in Gear Solutions have discussed epicyclic gearing, but often in the context of experienced engineers. As more and more of these engineers reach retirement age younger engineers must pick up where they left off, and for many epicyclic gearing is an area where they lack experience. Epicyclic gearing requires a step-by-step process to […]
Jim Marsch, Amy Flanagan

August 2008

Company Profile: Michigan Hone & Drill

As part of this expanded issue we’d like to offer an article that’s equal parts case study and company profile, describing why a finishing shop is devoted to the Sunnen equipment with which it made its start.

According to Ken Pape—who is president of the Parts Finishing Group, of which Michigan Hone & Drill is a member—whenever a part rotates on a shaft or a piston slides inside a bore the shape, size, and surface finish of that bore determine the quality of the interface between the moving parts. This principle is […]
Russ Willcutt

An Advanced Approach to Optimal Gear Design

Take two proven design approaches—Direct Gear Design and the Method of Dynamic Blocking Contours’ combine their best attributes, and the result is Advanced Gear Design. Read on to learn more.

The theory and practice of gear design is rich with examples of successful and sometimes outstanding combinations of various mathematical, manufacturing, and methodological approaches to the choice of the best parameters, defining the gear itself, its generating tools, and processes of generation and meshing of tooth flanks [1, 2, 3, and others]. Knowledge of involute […]
Dr. Veniamin I. Goldfarb, Dr. Alexander A. Tkachev

The Foundations of Function-Testing Gear Assemblies

There are many different ways of testing gears and the assemblies in which they are incorporated.

Functional gear testing could be defined as a series of tests that simulate the intended function of the product in an effort to determine whether an assembly operates within a specified performance range; quite simply, a method to test how well the assembly will function once it is applied to its intended purpose. In the […]
John Lytle

Battling Gear Infant Mortality

Sometimes a seasoned gear manufacturing machine is the most dependable, but close monitoring is required to keep it running at the peak of its productivity.

There is a common misconception in the industry that new equipment is more reliable than machinery in operation. In reality, the machines that have been in operation for a year or more and are a part of a condition monitoring program are actually more reliable than startup equipment. Statistics and industry studies confirm that the […]
Jeffrey P. McGuckin

Relative Curvature of Worm & Wheel with Straight Line Generatrix

You’re sure to benefit from reading this fascinating study presented by a gearbox specialist with Tata Steel on calculating—and better understanding—worm/wheel contact.

The contact on single enveloping worm gear drives is the line contact. The changing form of the worm across the face of the gear makes it impossible to derive a simple mathematical expression for the contact curvature. In addition, the combination of the lead angle of the worm and position of the pitch plane of […]
P.K. Banerjee

July 2008

Company Profile: SECO/WARWICK Corp.

More than a century ago a company created a furnace to treat its own products, completely unaware that it was blazing a new trail toward a very successful future.

Years ago, at the turn of the last century, a Chicago-based company that manufactured sheep-shearing machines, hand clippers, and flexible drive shafts developed a small device for melting and heat treating its own products. Known as the “Two-In-One” furnace, and introduced in 1924, it was soon made available to its customers, who found it so […]
Russ Willcutt

Heat Treatment Simulation Can Help Avoid Process Problems

The success or failure of heat treatment affects manufacturing costs, but it also determines product quality and reliability. Heat treatment must be taken into account during development and design, and it’s controlled in the manufacturing process.

Heat treatment is an indispensable step in the manufacture of steel products, as mechanical properties such as hardness, static, and dynamic strength and toughness are selectively controlled by deliberate manipulation of the chemical and metallurgical structure of a component. However, apart from the desired effects, the heat treatment process can be accompanied by unwanted effects […]
Dr. Frederic Boitout, Harald Porzner, Philippe Mourgue, Yogendra Gooroochurn, Dr. Damian Dry

A Cool Approach to Optimized Bearing Performance

In this article Timken provides you with solid advice on how to choose the right bearing for your particular application, and how the design can help avoid unwanted heat generation.

Bearings are a vital component in rotating industrial equipment, and they often represent a significant capital investment. To maintain that investment and avoid costly downtime it is important to preserve the conditions that help keep a bearing performing properly. One condition that affects bearing performance is temperature—excessive heat generation is often a leading cause in […]
Jim Madsen, John Rhodes

Improvements in Dimensional Control of Heat Treated Gears

The following study involves applying low pressure vacuum carburizing technology utilizing either oil or high pressure gas quenching in order to eliminate distortion.

The goals and objectives of this investigation focused on highly distortion-prone gearing (Figure 1) to determine if dimensional improvements could be realized by applying low pressure vacuum carburizing technology utilizing either oil or high pressure gas quenching. The gears in question are traditionally atmosphere carburized and plug quenched. Test Plan Full production loads (Figure 2) […]
Daniel H. Herring, Frederick J. Otto

June 2008

Company Profile: Vancouver Gear Works, Ltd.

For more than half a century this company has provided high-quality gearing and related services to customers who’ve come to rely on its proven dedication to excellence.

You can tell a lot about a company by how well it retains employees. Using that metric, Vancouver Gear Works has an outstanding record, with employees whose tenure spans more than four decades, and five sons who are following in their father’s footsteps as apprentices with the company. There are many reasons for this, according […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Scuffing Resistance of Isotropic Superfinished Precision Gears

Sikorsky Aircraft, REM Chemicals, Alion Science and Technology, and others join forces to evaluate how the ISF process alleviates this failure mode in aerospace gears.

The high performance required from aerospace gears places stringent requirements upon the metallurgical quality, geometry, and surface finish of mating parts. In an effort to meet their mission requirements, aerospace gears are often engineered to operate near the upper bounds of their theoretical design allowables. Due to this, scuffing is a primary failure mode for […]
Bruce D. Hansen, Lane Winkelmann, Paul W. Niskanen

Static and Fatigue Calculations of Wind Turbine Gearboxes: Part II

Design knowledge must be utilized and cultivated in all aspects of gear manufacturing, and this conclusion to a two-part series describes useful tools and techniques.

Wind turbine manufacturers have a vital interest in carrying out gearbox calculations on their own, and for multiple reasons: • Influence on the design proposed by the gearbox supplier • Plausibility considerations for the calculations submitted • Quality control in case of less known/experienced suppliers • Comparison of various standard gearboxes from different providers • […]
Dipl. Ing. ETH Hanspeter Dinner

Wear Mechanisms of HSS Cutting Tools

The following article provides an overview of the wear mechanisms of high-speed steel cutting tools, both coated and uncoated.

1: Introduction Metal cutting puts extreme demands on the tool and tool material through conditions of high forces, high contact pressures, high temperatures, and intense chemical attack by difficult-to-cut work materials. In addition, the tool geometry and cutting conditions in terms of sharp edges, cyclic engagement, and presence of cutting fluid will add to the […]
Sture Hogmark, Mikael Olsson

May 2008

Company Profile: Toolink Engineering, Inc.

For reliable hydraulic and manual workholding solutions, this company’s line of Konig devices is providing maximum repeatability to some of the world’s top manufacturers.

It was an offer that Tom Lang found hard to refuse, so he didn’t. Having owned one third of Toolink Engineering, Inc., in the mid-nineties, he’d sold his shares in 2006. Then, in early 2007, he was approached by Horst König, the owner of König MTM—the German workholding manufacturer the company represented—who said he wanted […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Next Generation Gear Grinding

Reishauer’s continuous generating gear grinder, the RZ 1000, provides greater accuracy, faster setups and changeovers, and onboard inspection capabilities.

What do the gears that end up in trains, wind generators, speed reducers, marine transmissions, off-road equipment, and printing presses have in common? They must run quietly, carry heavy loads, have excellent pitch variation, be very accurate, and offer a long service life. This would normally dictate a post heat-treat process of tooth finishing, the […]
Dennis Richmond

Static and Fatigue Calculations of Wind Turbine Gearboxes: Part I

Design knowledge must be utilized and cultivated in all aspects of gear manufacturing, and this first installment in a two-part series describes useful tools and techniques.

1 Abstract Wind turbine manufacturers have a vital interest in carrying out gearbox calculations on their own, and for multiple reasons: • Influence on the design proposed by the gearbox supplier • Plausibility considerations for the calculations submitted • Quality control in case of less known/experienced suppliers • Comparison of various standard gearboxes from different […]
Dipl. Ing. ETH Hanspeter Dinner, Dan Kondritz

Forged Gears for Structual Integrity and Product Reliablity

For a primer on the differences between cast and forged gears, who better to turn to than the Forging Industry Association? Read on to learn more.

For a primer on the differences between cast and forged gears, who better to turn to than the Forging Industry Association? Read on to learn more. The combination of today’s clean steel melting practices and advanced forging technology has resulted in exceptional performance and reliability in forged components ranging from a fraction of a pound […]
George F. Mochnal

April 2008

Company Profile: Dayton Machine Tool Company

Founded half a century ago, and with a global customer base, this company draws strength from its past with an eye constantly trained toward the future.

Since it was founded more than 50 years ago, Dayton Machine Tool—located in the Ohio city from which it takes its name—has steadily grown into one of the premier machine tool modernization companies in the country. Its physical footprint alone makes a powerful statement, according to Rich Alden, the company’s COO. “We have nearly 45,000 […]
Russ Willcutt

Streamlining Production with Premium Workholding

A premier provider of workholding solutions, HAINBUCH can minimize your production challenges while increasing profitability.

In an era of domestic and international competitive pressures, gear manufacturers with fabrication sites throughout the United States and internationally are constantly faced with the pains of production challenges and quality control. As a result, gear manufacturers are continually in search of the latest state of the art workholding opportunities. The trend remains in the […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Stress in Diamond-Coated Cutting Tools

Diamond coatings make cutting tools more effective, but only if the layer remains intact. Read on to learn about how machining stress can lead to delamination, and failure.

Diamond coatings have been increasingly used in cutting-tool applications. Coating delamination is the major tool failure mode and occurs due to deposition-induced residual stresses and thermo-mechanical loading in machining. This study applies finite element analysis to investigate stress distributions—with a focus on the edge radius—in diamond coating tools considering depositions and machining. After depositions the […]
Kevin Chou, Raymond G. Thompson, Jianwen Hu

Supplier Relationships Speed Gearbox Delivery

Stober Drives’ three-day turnaround on its gearboxes meets customers’ need for speed, made possible–in part–by a close relationship with bearing supplier SKF.

At Stober Drives, customer orders are filled in the fast lane. The company turns around more than 93 percent of requests for its MGS™ (Modular Gear System) gearboxes in just three days, compared with industry averages that usually range from one to six weeks. And while that’s quick, consider what happens with emergency orders. Customers […]
Bob Giuliano

March 2008

Company Profile: Chamfermatic, Inc.

The year was 1999, and the company had just enjoyed the best year in its relatively short history. Founded just three years earlier, in 1996, Mike Magee recalls being amazed by how many orders for his deburring machines were flowing in, and he quite naturally began dreaming of expansion. “I was talking to Dixie, my […]
Russ Willcutt

Reducing Gear Whine in Planetary Gear Transmissions

In an article penned by a technical specialist at the Ford Research Laboratory, two assembly techniques to reduce transmission error in planetary gear systems are examined.

Gear whine is an annoyance for automotive consumers. For all practical purposes it cannot be eliminated, but only minimized. Gear whine stems from transmission error that is a result of manufacturing variation, among other things. Random assembly used in current mass production can be a hindrance to reducing transmission error and, therefore, the gear whine. […]
Shounak M. Athavale, Ph.D.

Selecting the Right PFPE Lubricant

Extreme environments call for extreme lubricating measures, and perfluoropolyethers, or PFPEs, provide the characteristics required for these—and other—demanding applications.

If a mechanical or electromechanical component has to function for extended periods in an extreme environment, a perfluoropolyether (PFPE) lubricant just may be the key to long life and smooth performance. PFPEs are a family of fluorinated synthetic fluids that are used to formulate the most thermo-oxidatively stable lubricants available today. They are slippery, long-chain […]
George Mock

The Rules for Successful Rotary Broaching

When is rotary broaching applicable, and how is the operation performed? What materials can be used, and which manufacturers benefit from this process? You’ll find the answers ahead!

The process of rotary broaching has been around for a long time, but there are still many machinists in the field who have never heard of the process, or are skeptical to try it due to a lack of understanding of how the system works. As an example, many machining applications call for hexagonal shapes, […]
Scott Laprade

Measuring Excellence in Polymer Gearing

While the art may be found in the manufacturing of polymer gears, the science involves measurement, and Kleiss Gears is the expert in combining the two.

At Kleiss we refer to polymer gear making as a “subtle science and exacting art,” and 20 years of experience has shown that a gear is a very special shape that is not well understood from a polymer point of view. Handbooks and textbooks don’t address the subtleties needed to replicate these shapes in high […]
Douglas Felsenthal

February 2008

Company Profile: Canton Drop Forge

From producing buggy parts at the turn of the last century to aerospace and wind-power applications today, this company’s growth reflects the evolution of U.S. manufacturing.

In 1903 a group of investors came together to found Canton Drop Forge, located in the Ohio city of that same name. Soon afterwards Charles A. Brauchler purchased a significant amount of stock, and within a few years he had taken the company’s helm. “He was really the driving force behind the company’s growth in […]
Russ Willcutt

Case Study: Allison Transmission Test Drives Gleason Genesis

A field test of Gleason’s Genesis 130H hobbing machine surpasses even the most demanding customers’ requirements, resulting in quicker throughput and less changeover downtime.

Somewhere in Europe a driver is enjoying his new Renault refrigerated truck, and the particularly quiet, smooth–shifting automatic transmission running beneath him. Little does he know that this Allison transmission is the five millionth produced since the company virtually invented the commercial–duty category some 50 years ago. Today, Allison Transmission supplies over 250 OEMs with […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Microgeometry and Bias in Helical Gear Noise Excitations

While excitation usually originates within the gear mesh, it then radiates throughout the mechanism and is amplified by the housing. Understanding this will lead to better design.

The prediction of gear noise may normally be treated as a classical source/path/receiver problem. Usually the excitation occurs in the gear mesh and the path includes the transmission of forces and motions through the shafts and bearings to the gear housing, which in turn radiates the noise. This paper focuses on the source aspect of […]
Donald R. Houser, Ph.D.

January 2008

Company Profile: Larson Forgings

Now celebrating its 113th year in business, this fourth-generation, privately-held company is the culmination of a Swedish immigrant’s American dream.

In the late 1800s a blacksmith left Sweden and traveled to America, settling in Chicago, where he planned to build a new life. He set up shop downtown, beside the Chicago River, and immediately picked up work making horseshoes and forging gears and replacement parts for ships plying the Great Lakes. His family’s size kept […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Natural Frequencies & Modal Properties of Compound Planetary Gears

All vibration modes can be classified into one of three types—rotational, translational, and planet modes. In this article the author provides a detailed description.

This paper presents the structured vibration mode and natural frequency properties of compound planetary gears of general description, including those with equally-spaced planets and diametrically opposed planet pairs. The vibration modes are classified into rotational, translational, and planet modes and the unique properties of each type are examined and proved for general compound planetary gears. […]
Robert G. Parker, Ph.D.

A Revelation in Advanced Software Technology

Here are details on a new software package that increases productivity, decreases programming, setup, and cycle times, and leads to greater profitability.

Bryant Grinder has always been at the forefront of grinding machine technology. Founded in Springfield, Vermont, in 1909, the company has the distinction of having introduced the first computer numerically controlled (CNC) grinding machine. Today, Bryant is leading the machine tool industry again with the introduction of its REVELATIONS™ CNC software. REVELATIONS is intelligent, easy-to-use […]
George Nelson

Low-Cycle Bending Fatigue of AISI 9310 Steel Spur Gears

This investigation—by members of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, NASA’s Glenn Research Center, and the QSS Group, Inc.—examines a raw material for steel spur gears.

An investigation of the low-cycle bending fatigue of spur gears made from AISI 9310 gear steel was completed. Tests were conducted using the single-tooth bending method to achieve crack initiation and propagation. Tests were conducted on spur gears in a fatigue test machine using a dedicated gear test fixture. Test loads were applied at the […]
Timothy L. Krantz, Christopher S. Burke, Bradley A. Lerch, Dr. Robert F. Handschuh