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December 2012

Custom Gear & Machine, Inc.

The Illinois-based Custom Gear’s manufacturing process was designed to maximize efficiency without sacrificing quality, and their focus is simple: Making high-class gears.

Roscoe, IL’s Custom Gear knows how to adjust to new circumstances. In an industry that never stays the same for long, this has served them well.  Mike Rasmann and his partner, Dave Patterson, started Custom Gear in 1994 out of a small, 15000 sq. ft. building right in the middle of Rockford, IL. Patterson recalls […]
Tim Byrd

The Real Truth Behind Cpk and Ppk Capability and Potential Process Studies

What is Cpk & Ppk—really? How do you appropriately use these statistics to measure and improve your process? What do they really mean?

The most common definition of Cpk and Ppk is this: Cpk is the short-term capability of a process, and Ppk is the long-term. The truth is that these statistical indices are much more than that, and it is important to understand what process and capability statistics really mean. However, in order to reveal the true […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Exploiting the Potential of Plastic Gears

Plastic gears are now being used in drives of higher power and higher precision than in the past.

Plastic gears afford appliance designers dramatic opportunities to reduce drive cost, noise, and weight. However, due to the properties of engineering resins, plastic gears require a greater engineering effort than metal gears. This paper examines current applications of plastic gears and explains the payoffs in reduced cost, weight, and noise. It also provides insight into […]
Andy Ulrich

Horror Stories of Costing

How “Costing” Costs Gear Manufacturing Companies Money.

My pet peeve is seeing companies lose money needlessly in the process of costing and pricing. This happens for four reasons: 1) They don’t have a good handle on material, parts, and job costs. 2) They don’t keep up with the changes to those costs over time. 3) They don’t stick to their guns when […]
David Senkfor

November 2012

Comco Inc.

Fast-growing California-based Comco is developing new processes for precision performance.

The history of Comco, Inc. has all the makings of a Hollywood rags-to-riches script, with an inventor spending three years working from a one bedroom home in Burbank, California, to becoming an industry leader in micro-abrasive blasting technology with an award-winning tool used in precision machining. “The first equipment for Comco was developed in 1965 […]
Sherri Mabry

All Metals & Forge Group

Started in 1972, All Metals & Forge Group focuses on cost savings, reduced waste, and less machining time for its clients.

Specializing in open die forgings and seamless rolled rings, All Metals & Forge Group found its niche as a manufacturer and supplier of ferrous and non-ferrous materials in 1972. Serving aerospace, aviation, construction, defense, energy, fabrication, gas and oil exploration, manufacturing, petroleum, and general metal-working industries, the company recently closed its service center to focus […]
Sherri Mabry

October 2012

GearTec, Inc.

GearTec, Inc. expands capabilities to better respond to customer needs for gearing solutions.

GearTec, Inc. is known as a high quality manufacturer of gears up to 100 inches in diameter and shafts up to 198 inches long. By making significant capital investments in equipment and technology during the past four years, GearTec, Inc. is expanding its capabilities and capacity to be more responsive to customer needs. “We believe […]
Sherri Mabry

The Real Truth Behind Cpk and Ppk Capability and Potential Process Studies

The Real Truth Behind Cpk and Ppk Capability and Potential Process Studies

These are very good questions. This paper will describe what you really need to know about estimating the true potential of your process. The most common definition of Cpk & Ppk is that: Cpk is the short-term capability of a process and Ppk is the long term. The truth is that these statistical indices are […]
Fred Eberle

Electric Furnaces Complement Heat Treat Requirements for Gears

Gear manufacturers find that furnaces heated by electric elements routinely harden, anneal and stress relieve gears, while reducing thermal processing costs.

Furnaces heated by electric elements routinely harden, anneal and stress relieve gears. Today’s heating elements operate at higher temperatures, last longer and offer gear manufacturers opportunities to reduce thermal processing costs. Energy and environmental concerns should further expand the use of electric furnaces. Custom Electric Manufacturing Co., of Wixom, MI, designs original equipment and replacement […]
Bob Edwards, Vic Strauss

Taking Technology & Service to New Heights

Lee’s Enterprise turns, mills, grinds and cuts gears in-house to control all processes for quality control and customer service.

What you get with the above combination is a very happy customer and a universal grinder that outperforms the competition by virtually every measure. The result? Ultra-precision, guaranteed quality parts and components for the most demanding customers, those in commercial and military aerospace. Tom Molnar, president of Lee’s Enterprise, explains that his company is unlike […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

September 2012

Forest City Gear

Forest City Gear continues to excel at producing world-class gears after 50 years at its Illinois facility.

People may say Forest City Gear has its ‘head in the clouds’ these days since some of the gears for the Mars Rover ‘Curiosity’ were manufactured at their facility. Forest City Gear produced 75 different types of gears for the nuclear-powered Curiosity, which recently touched down on Mars. Curiosity will spend several weeks in tests before it begins […]
Sherri Mabry

The Surgeon and the Gear Maker

The very best surgeons perform the most difficult procedures—those requiring extreme skill, precision, deftness and experience. The same is true of the very best gear makers—they gravitate toward the most difficult jobs—those requiring the very best technology, extreme skill, precision and experience.

Delta Gear bought TIFCO Gage & Gear, a maker of master gears, spline gages, aerospace gears, and automotive prototype gears in 2004. In 2005, Delta Gear joined forces with Delta Research Corp., which since its inception more than a half-century ago has earned a reputation as the leader in prototype transmission and engine components and […]
Robin Yale Bergstrom

New Cutter Heads Increase Tool Life

Highly productive cutter heads with new clamp blocks allow movement of the blades axially for higher productivity and enhanced production stability.

Introduction A system problem of stick blade cutters with rectangular blades is the clamping principle. Rectangular stick blades are pressed radially against the slot bottom of the cutter head body. Because the average cutting force is tangential to the slot bottom, the clearance between the slot sidewalls and the blade sides allows the cutting force […]
Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld

Calculating Inverse of Involute Angle in Microsoft Excel Without Programming

Gear calculations can be determined using Excel Circular Referencing, but users should know how to form correct equations and the limits of input for the equation yield to obtain correct results.

A lot has been written and discussed about how to calculate the inverse of involute angle in technological magazines and publications in the past with the help of a simple Computer Program. There are three ways with which inverse of involute angles can be found in Microsoft Excel without Programming, including: 1. Excel Circular Referencing […]
Aditya P. Khemka

August 2012

Pinson Valley Heat Treating Co., Inc.

Company offers heat-treating processes from single parts to large volume orders from 40-foot vessels to small bleeder screws to deliver the best service possible to customers.

Founded in 1970 by T.A. and Elinor Parker, Pinson Valley Heat Treating Company opened their business in Alabama using T.A.’s 36 years of experience working at Chicago Bridge and Iron Company. The first work they took was stress relief welding, but they quickly expanded to offer other processes such as normalizing, annealing, water quenching, and […]
Sherri Mabry

Epicyclic Load Sharing Map-Application As a Design Tool

In this paper, the concept of an Epicyclic Load Sharing Map (ELSM) will be explained. The ELSM is a physics-based tool that is derived from a physical explanation of the load-sharing phenomenon.

One of the main advantages of planetary transmissions is that the input torque is split into a number of parallel paths. Therefore, in an n planet planetary system, each sun-pinion-ring path is designed to carry 1/n of the input torque. However, equal load sharing between the planets is possible only in the ideal case. In […]
Avinash Singh, Ph.D.

Common Pitfalls in Hardness Testing

Hardness testing can be one of the hardest tests to do properly because of differences in metal microstructure.

Hardness testing is arguably the most common quality control check performed throughout industry. It is often used to determine the success or failure of a particular heat treatment operation or to accept or reject material. Hardness testing is thought to be one of the easiest tests to perform on the shop floor (Figure 1) or […]
Daniel H. Herring

Measurement System Analysis (MSA)

A Gage R&R study is used to quantify the inherent variation of all components compromising the measurement system selected for a task.

The analysis of a measurement system is determined by the statistical properties of reproducable measurements in a stable environment. In order to be valid, the measurement system must be in statistical, product and process control. This means that variation is random (common cause), and that measurements have appropriate resolution relative to the specified part tolerance. […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

July 2012

Willman Industries, Inc.

Specializing in no bake, green sand, and grey iron ductile castings. Willman Industries Inc., is a full-service jobbing foundry that offers design, patternmaking, heat-treating, and machining.

With more than 70 years experience in the industrial sector, Willman Industries offers a wide choice of materials, design flexibility, advanced foundry technology and equipment, and highly qualified employees who are dedicated to the unique needs of their customers. Located in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, Willman produces gray iron and ductile iron components in castings sizes […]
Sherri Mabry

An Algorithm for Robust Gear Modifications Design

Algorithms present all possible solutions to help designers decide what is the best gear modification.

The design of gear modifications is one of the key tasks for high performance gears, where high performance may be defined as, a maximized torque capacity, minimized vibration level, highest scuffing resistance or lowest wear risk. Gear modifications, or the gear micro geometry, are assessed in the tooth contact analysis TCA where the true gear […]
Dipl. Ing. ETH Hanspeter Dinner

Understanding and Preventing Surface Distress

Surface distress in industrial applications is a phenomenon associated with poor lubrication and other mechanical aspects that generate high local friction and stress.

In many industrial applications that have lubricated rolling/sliding contacts such as rolling bearings, power density has steadily increased over time due to the need for greater efficiency, reduction of weight and costs (i.e., downsizing). Alongside this has been an increased severity in working conditions, such as heavier loads in combination with higher temperatures, thinner oil […]
G.E. Morales-Espejel, K. Stadler, V. Brizmer

Induction Heating: A Guide to the Process and Its Benefits

Surface distress in industrial applications is a phenomenon associated with poor lubrication that generates high local friction and stress.

Induction hardening is being increasingly used within the gear industry. However, before looking at the advantages of the method, it is helpful to review the basics of the technology. The phenomenon of induction heating begins by passing an alternating current through a coil in order to generate a magnetic field. The strength of the field […]
Kristian Berggren

June 2012

Ontario Drive & Gears

This company provides a one-stop powertrain solution from gear and system designs to transmission assembly and performance testing.

Whether providing solutions for transmission assemblies or individual components, Ontario Drive and Gear Ltd. (ODG) has the ability to develop, prototype and manufacture to meet its customer needs. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Joel Wright, general manager of ODG, says, “50 years is a major accomplishment and a cornerstone to the company’s historical contributions.” […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Gear Lubrication – Stopping Micropitting by Using the Right Lubricant

Different high-performance gear oils were examined on an FZG back-to-back gear test rig to determine if changeover to these high-performance gear oils could stop micropitting formation which occurred with other industrial gear oils. The test results showed that high-performance gear oils using advanced additive technologies can react at the surface of the tooth flanks after an oil change and stop further micropittingformation. The micropitting area stagnates.

Micropitting formation is often reported to occur in field applications even though industrial gear oils with a high micropitting load-carrying capacity are used. Such oils offer good micropitting protection determined in the load stage test of the micropitting test according to FVA 54/7 [5], but show a low endurance micropitting performance. Therefore, the possibility of […]
Michael Hochmann, Hermann Siebert

Big Gear Inspection is Booming

A recent expansion and investment in a precision gear inspection system is helping this Wisconsin company meet customer needs for high quality, fast delivery, and quality control.

Northern Wisconsin’s Merit Gear is bagging more big gear business from surging energy, mining, construction and transportation industries with the help of its Gleason 3000GMM Series Analytical Gear Inspection System. If you think rural north central Wisconsin is an unlikely place to find a world-class gear production facility then guess again. The 116,000 sq. ft. […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

International Calculation Method for Micropitting

The safety factor against micropitting can be improved through micro geometry optimization by using profile modifications.

The first edition of the international calculation method for micropitting, ISO TR 15144-1:2010, was just published last December. It is the first official international calculation method to check for the risk of micropitting ever published. Years ago, AGMA published a method for the calculation of the specific oil film thickness containing some comments about micropitting, […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

May 2012

Buffalo Gear, Inc.

Since 1962 this company has been a family affair, earning its reputation as a trusted supplier to its many loyal customers.

When seeking an example of entrepreneurship in its purest form, one need look no farther than Casimir and Theresa Szczygiel, who everyone knew as Casey and Terry. While working as the foreman of a local gear shop, Casey decided that he wanted to open a gear manufacturing company of his own, so he and Terry […]
Russ Willcutt

Continuous Generating Gear Grinding

A report on new possibilities in the process design and analysis of continuous generating gear grinding.

In order to improve load carrying capacity and noise behavior, case hardened gears usually are hard finished [1]. One possible process for the hard finishing of gears is the generating gear grinding, which has replaced other grinding processes in batch production of small and middle gears due to the high process efficiency. Despite the wide […]
Prof. Dr. Fritz Klocke, Jan Reimann, Dr. Markus Brumm

The Case for Grinding Perfection

QUICKPOINT grinding machines from JUNKER allow end users to streamline production and increase productivity.

In The French company ZF Bouthéon has a long history as a manufacturer of truck transmissions. The company has been producing complete drive assemblies since 1970, when it was still Berliet. In 1998 it was taken over by ZF Friedrichshafen and now supplies big-name truck manufacturers all over the world, including MAN, DAF, and the […]
Christine Isenmann

Applications for Self-Locking Gears

Self-locking gears prevent backdriving and inertial driving, and they may find applications in a wide variety of industries.

In most gear drives, when driving torque is suddenly reduced as a result of power off, torsional vibration, power outage, or any mechanical failure at the transmission input side, then gears will be rotating either in the same direction driven by the system inertia, or in the opposite direction driven by the resistant output load […]
Dr. Alexander Kapelevich, Dr. Elias Taye

April 2012

Penna Flame Industries

Embracing robotic technology—and involving local college students in designing the cells—this company is a resource for its customers and the surrounding community.

Like many college graduates, Garrett D. Orr filled a couple of different positions after graduating from Duquesne University, even working in the retail shoe industry for a time. In 1968, however, he founded Pennsylvania Flame Hardening in Zelienople, northwest of Pittsburgh, which ended up being the fit he’d been searching for all along. “He’d grown […]
Russ Willcutt

A New Material for High-Speed Hobbing

The SpeedCore material for cutting tools developed by LMT Fette provides longer service life and increased production capacities.

Without them, our world would not move. Watches, cars, boats, wind turbines—they are all driven by gears. For more than 100 years hobs have been used to manufacture all types of gears. Ever since, LMT Fette has driven the development and manufacturing of innovative gear cutting tools. Whether cylindrical gears or helical gears, the production […]
Thomas Falk

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

High Performance Gear Milling

As demands for quality and efficiency increase, Sandvik Coromant responds with new designs, materials, and tooling for enhanced gear milling productivity.

Sandvik Coromant has made significant strides in helping gear manufacturers overcome the challenges they face as quality, efficiency, and repeatability become more critical than ever before. The following conversation with Kenneth Sundberg, global business development manager for gear milling solutions, outlines the remarkable progress the company has made in recent years. “What was seen as […]
Christer Richt

March 2012

Boulder Imaging, Inc.

Specializing in machine vision and high-resolution digital video recorders, this company has developed technologies leading to inspections with 100-percent accuracy.

It was the early nineties, and after graduating from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and working on sensor technologies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Carlos Jorquera decided the time was right to launch a company of his own. “Carlos is a brilliant physicist and electrical engineer, and while he was working at […]
Russ Willcutt

Protecting Massive Gears

A longtime industry leader in producing oils and additives to protect gears in automotive transmissions, LIQUI MOLY rises to the challenge of industrial applications as well.

As a manufacturer of motor oils and additives, LIQUI MOLY specializes in the automotive sector and is the most popular brand of lubricant in Germany. Another new sector is also gaining importance: protecting the gears in industrial transmissions. For example, LIQUI MOLY has now established itself in the South African mining sector, which is a […]
Peter Szarafinski

Extending Broach Tool Life

Want to double the life of your broaching tools? In this article the “Broachman” encourages you to consider CNC re-sharpening to drastically increase the return on your tooling investment.

If you’re like me, you scan every issue of this magazine and read the first few sentences of each article in order to quickly discern if reading the whole thing is worth the time. If your company is broaching parts, or considering doing so, then reading this article is well worth the 10 minutes it […]
Ken Nemec

Bevel Gear Cutting Blade Measurement

The Gleason GBX is a highly accurate CNC-controlled metrology device that is an integral unit with the blade mathematical software (GEMS) and control software.

Traditional bevel gear cutting blade inspection machines have three linear axes for setup. One of the three axes is used for advancing the blade towards a mechanically or opto-electronically functioning measurement probe. In many cases the blade is inclined versus the major measurement plane by the angle of the cutter head slots of the particular […]
Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld

February 2012

Comtorgage Corp.

Based on a rock-solid design created more than eight decades ago, this company provides dependable devices for a vast array of gaging applications.

The first Comtorgage product was designed by Philip Darlington in 1928. Described as a “dial indicating system for use with a flexible plug gage,” he referred to it as the “Comtorplug.” This gaging device provided a means of determining the “actual size” of a shaft, and the size of the bore in which the shaft […]
Russ Willcutt

Helix Angle and Root Stress

By measuring the helix angle, the author—and founder of the Ohio State University Gearlab—studied its effects on root stresses in helical gears.

The ISO and AGMA Gear Rating Committees have for several years been comparing the results of different rating methods for several sets of gear pairs that have similar normal sections but different helix angles. The analysis presented in this paper uses a very sophisticated finite element code that was developed specifically for gear and bearing […]
Dr. Donald R. Houser

Cryogenics Comes of Age

Conducted properly, and by a knowledgeable professional, cryogenic processing alters material characteristics to increase strength, life, and reliability.

Manufacturing innovations that impart better performance, cost savings, and longer component life are typically expensive, require new equipment, and new or complicated manufacturing techniques to fully realize their benefits. In this light, a simple and cost effective means of actualizing value for dollars seems impossible. Promising technological advances most often have prohibitive upfront costs that […]
Mike Pate

Convoloid Gearing Technology

Convoloid gear system designs reduce the size and weight of a wide variety of gear drives compared to their involute counterparts, leading to significant economic gains.

Convoloid® tooth forms and the technologies that are integral to its ultimate economic success—including design, rating, manufacture, and inspection—have been developed by Genesis Partners LP. The objectives of this article are to provide detail about the design features of the form and the stress rating of the gearing with emphasis on the manufacturing and inspection […]
Bernard E. Berlinger, Jr., John R. Colbourne, Ph.D.

January 2012


In terms of both knowledge and capabilities, this company is known for doing whatever it takes to find solutions to its customer’s most-complex problems.

Founded just outside of Philadelphia in 1928, Metlab has innovation in its DNA. Originally a manufacturer of aircraft components, it began heat treating as part of the process, developing the “drop bottom” or “gantry” furnace along the way in order to minimize distortion in the delicate aluminum parts it was making. It continued developing its […]
Russ Willcutt

Processing New Gear Steels

QuesTek Innovations and Solar Atmospheres explain the manufacturing and processing of a new class of vacuum-carburized gear steels with very high hardenability.

Carburized steel gears are widely used for power transmission in rotorcraft, transportation vehicles, agricultural and off-road equipment, industrial rotating equipment, and thousands of other applications. Historically, alloys requiring carburization were put through an atmosphere (gas) process. However, in recent years, the advancement of low-pressure (i.e., vacuum) carburizing has lead to certain applications to take advantage […]
Gear Solutions Magazine

Eliminating Gear Whine

Advanced simulation techniques from Romax Technology eliminate gear whine problems in automatic transmissions.

The intrusive noise known as gear whine is caused by vibrations generated by gears as they mesh as a result of imperfections caused by design, loading, temperature effects, and manufacturing variations. Reducing gear whine noise to an acceptable level is a big challenge, especially for complex gearboxes like the modern planetary automatic transmission. Advanced design, […]
Dr. Michael F. Platten, Melanie Fitton-Hayward

Gearing Up for Efficiency

Power losses and inertia matching affect the efficiency of linear drives, slowing motion and increasing unnecessary wear. Wittenstein provides an in-depth examination.

The operating efficiency of linear drives is of growing concern to machine designers. Here’s a look at three common linear actuators—linear induction motors, rolled and ground ball screws, and rack and pinions—and how they impact a machine’s overall efficiency. Ball Screws Ball screws and lead screws have been around for years and are used in […]
Miriam Metcalfe