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December 2020

Machine Tool Builders Inc.

Machine Tool Builders got its start as a service business. Since co-owners Ron Peiffer and Ken Flowers were accomplished engineers with many contacts throughout the gear industry, the partners initially started and grew the company performing service and repair work on gear cutting and grinding machines. What started as repair services, MTB has since evolved […]
Gear Solutions staff

New standardized calculation method of the tooth flank fracture load capacity of bevel and hypoid gears

The presented investigations show the real flank geometry of bevel and hypoid gears can be mapped by the virtual cylindrical gear geometry according to ISO 10300-1 in a sufficiently accurate way.

Bevel and hypoid gears are widespread in automotive, industrial, marine and aeronautical applications for transmitting power between crossed axles. Future trends show that the demands on bevel and hypoid gears for higher power transmission and lower weight are continuously increasing. A major aspect in the design process is therefore the load carrying capacity regarding different […]
Josef Pellkofer, Michael Hein, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karsten Stahl, Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Reimann, Dr.-Ing. Ivan Boiadjiev

‘Never say: It’s not my job’

As Tom Kelly, senior vice president for MHI Machine Tool, retires after more than three decades of service, he reflects on his legacy and looks forward to life after Mitsubishi.

After an evening of dinner and a meet-and-greet with his wife and children, one of Tom Kelly’s dear friends and colleagues sat the senior vice president for MHI Machine Tool down and revealed a moment of truth that made Kelly cry. “Tom, I’ve got to tell you something,” Ed Davis began, tearing up. “My relationship […]
Kenneth Carter

November 2020

Machines: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool

For the past 80 years, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool has supplied gear-hobbing machines, gear-shaping machines, gear-shaving machines, gear chamfer/deburr equipment, gear-skiving machines, gear grinders, and more to a wide variety of industries.

With its massive customer base, it’s not unusual for one to contact Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool with an immediate machine need, a need that the company is able to meet time after time. “An existing customer will call and say, ‘Hey, have you still got that GD-30 in stock?’ Yeah. ‘Ship it to me […]
Kenneth Carter

Services: Digital Metrology Solutions

Digital Metrology Solutions develops and deploys measurement technologies, including innovative software, custom-tailored metrology systems, consultation, and training in order to help its customers develop, interpret, and apply their measurement results.

Gear performance may sound like a simple concept at face value, but many variables can adversely affect a gear if not accounted for in the design stages. Many of those variables occur in the part’s surface shape and surface texture. To interpret the details of a surface, it sometimes takes a company that can look […]
Kenneth Carter

Tooling: Platinum Tooling

Platinum Tooling serves many industries – including the gear industry – by providing its customers with a wide variety of tooling options ranging from a 40,000-piece established database to custom-designed options.

Often, the unsung backbone of the gear-manufacturing world is the very tools used to make them. In the case of Platinum Tooling, the company has been supplying a variety of tools used to shape, not just the gear industry, but a multitude of industries across the globe. Platinum Tooling serves the automotive, aerospace, medical, firearms, […]
Kenneth Carter

October 2020

Innovative Rack & Gear

Innovative Rack & Gear is a custom manufacturer of gear racks and gears to OEMs and suppliers in a variety of industries including machine tool, automation, construction, mining, healthcare, aerospace, and defense.

A gear rack is often an integral part of a machine’s inner workings, so it’s important it is designed and manufactured to exact specifications. The experts at Innovative Rack & Gear have been providing custom manufactured gear racks to the gear industry for a quarter of a century, and the company shows no signs of […]
Kenneth Carter

Chamfering of cylindrical gears: Innovative new cutting solutions for efficient gear production

New chamfer cutting processes – fly cutter chamfering, chamfer-contour milling, and Chamfer Hobbing – may offer advantages compared to existing technology.

Cylindrical gear chamfering and deburring is a rather “unloved” process that adds cost but without delivering readily apparent improvements in gear quality. However, the chamfer process, when performed correctly, provides significant advantages for downstream handling and processing. This is why manufacturers of automotive —  and truck-sized — gears are increasingly exploring new technologies to chamfer […]
Gottfried Klein

Power skiving: High quality, productivity, and cost efficiency in gear cutting

While the traditional alternative processes for gear machining such as broaching, gear shaping, and gear hobbing are mainly used in technology-specific special machines, gear skiving can be applied on special machines and on modern 5-axis machining centers.

Like electric mobility, the technology of power skiving has been known for more than 100 years [1] and, with the availability of 5-axis machining centers, has found its way into individual and series production due to its convincing process flexibility. With e-mobility, a market is now growing that demands high-precision (low running noise), high-power transmission […]
Dr. Manfred Berger, Stephan Doerr, Mario Gruenberg

Stability and flexibility: A new paradigm for eBeam metal AM

The NeuBeam metal additive manufacturing process from Wayland Additive eliminates the trade-off many users have to navigate between stability and flexibility with their industrial metal applications.

Additive manufacture (AM), and in particular the powder bed fusion (PBF) process, has offered hope to manufacturing industries needing to meet the environmental and economic targets of global industry sectors and the corresponding guidelines and regulations. Indeed, AM offers a disruptive capability in this regard, but user uptake has been slower than envisaged as difficulties […]
Ian Laidler

September 2020

Wayland Additive

Wayland Additive’s NeuBeam technology combines the best features of existing additive manufacturing technologies while overcoming their traditional limitations.

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) is still a technology that, for all intents and purposes, could still be considered in its infancy. Great strides have been made over the last 10 to 15 years in this arena, and Wayland Additive is building on this technology with its own unique innovations. Wayland’s team of engineers and physicists […]
Kenneth Carter

Leveraging the complementary strengths of orbitless and planetary drives

The low-pitch and bearing velocities, fewer gear engagements, and uni-directional separation forces of an orbitless drive result in high-speed ratings and low NVH levels at the expense of decreased ratio and load capacity, making it particularly viable as a primary stage.

An orbitless drive is a novel, fixed-ratio, epicyclic drive that includes a second carrier in place of a ring gear. It has been shown to have superior efficiency to a planetary drive and is shown here to produce less vibration and noise at the expense of reduced torque capacity and ratio. A prototype 16mm orbitless […]
Leo Stocco

The benefits of splines

Any device that transfers rotary motion from one point to another probably relies on a spline, so it’s a good bet that they are used on a near-daily basis.

What is a spline? According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a spline is defined as: Noun: 1a) Any of a series of projections on a shaft that fit into slots on a corresponding shaft, enabling both to rotate together. 1b) The groove or slot for such a projection. 2) A flexible […]
Dan Seger

Bringing forging equipment online to meet expanding production requirements

Forgers weigh options such as repair, rebuild, remanufacture, or new equipment when considering options to increase capacity.

When forging operations need to expand production to meet increased demand for existing parts or to add new product lines, selecting from the available options to bring new equipment online can be challenging. Ultimately, the decision involves striking a delicate balance between fitting within budget constraints and accepting what can often be very long lead […]
Del Williams

August 2020


SMT is a globally integrated leader in mechanical transmission engineering services and software development with a collective of experienced and passionate experts who deliver services and technologies trusted by the world’s leading transmission and driveline engineers.

While gear design can be a challenging endeavor, the results justify the complexity of the task. However, the process can be made a lot easier with the right tools. The software and engineering experts at Smart Manufacturing Technology (SMT) have created solutions that can assist and eliminate many design steps, allowing for a quicker process […]
Kenneth Carter

Rapid and precise manufacturing of special involute gears for prototype testing

Even though the high production times per test gear compared to gear hobbing can be compensated by the elimination of long design and procurement times for special production tools, a suitable method is available for the fast, precise, and cost-efficient production of special gears for prototype tests.

Due to the steadily increasing demands on the power density of mechanical transmissions, gears with special geometries are increasingly coming into focus and, therefore, the need for short-term availability of prototypes. Such special gear designs are, e.g., asymmetrical gears with different normal pressure angles on the drive and coast flank. These are particularly suitable for […]
Christian Weber, Thomas Tobie, Karsten Stahl

Optimization of rack and pinion for offshore jack-up applications

Gear design has multiple parameters from which the gear designer can choose – while some are beneficial, some can negatively affect the system; therefore, a structured approach needs to be taken in order to define a custom pinion and rack for a liftboat.

Liftboats or jack-up oil rigs are essential for the oil and gas industry. The subsystem (rack, pinion, gearbox, and brake) within the system lift boat has specific requirements that need to be customized appropriately. This paper shall outline the design process of a rack-and-pinion system and show how the design can be optimized. The nature […]
Adrian Nowoisky

July 2020

Solberg Manufacturing

Solberg Manufacturing creates quality filtration solutions in most industrial market segments that can improve the performance and longevity of critical machinery, including vacuum pumps, blowers, fans, compressors, and engines.

Whether a company’s essential equipment takes up a table top or fills a cavernous production facility, its inner rotating components need protection from airborne contaminants. Equipment that does not have the proper filtration at best will not work properly, and, at worst, will break down completely, causing work delays and a dent in the company’s […]
Kenneth Carter

Tooth root testing of steels with high cleanliness

For applications with a high manufacturing and surface quality, high quality steels show a high potential for increasing the load carrying capacity as well as power density.

The power density of gearboxes is continuously increased through different research activities. Besides new material developments, steel cleanliness comes to the forefront in order to meet future requirements regarding load carrying capacity of gears. The experimental quantification of load carrying potentials for high quality steels is the basis for introducing cleanliness as a design parameter. […]
Moritz Trippe, Christoph Lopenhaus, Christian Brecher, Lily Kamjou, Elias Lothman

Inspection & Metrology: Promoting manufacturing efficiency with 3D optical metrology

Woodward Inc., with more than 50 years heritage in the aerospace industry, is a leader in developing and delivering motion control and integrated propulsion systems. Much of its success can be attributed to its unique approach to applying total system solutions in meeting the needs of its customers and staying at the forefront of the industries it serves.

Woodward Inc. works with leading optical metrology instrument supplier ZYGO to “tune” its manufacturing processes by leveraging precise 3D surface data. In many cases, the insight gained by using 3D optical metrology has improved Woodward’s component design, quality, and overall product performance. Through this technology, Woodward has been able to identify key characteristics of its […]
Michael Schmidt

Inspection & Metrology: Laser interferometry – An enabling technology for optimized automated manufacturing

Precision Beryllium mirror manufacturer Cambridge Technology explains how the use of best-in-class interferometry hardware and software solutions have streamlined its manufacturing processes and added efficiencies, as well as time and cost-savings, across the company.

Technological advances over recent years have elevated metrology from being a “necessary evil” in manufacturing scenarios to enabling technologies, allowing the measurement of previously impossible part characteristics and, therefore, driving innovation across numerous industry sectors. It is arguable that best-in-class metrology solutions are the catalyst that drive the trend toward miniaturization, higher precision, faster throughput, […]
Michael Schmidt

Tooling & Workholding: Why precision clamping matters

How a workpiece is held throughout its manufacturing process is key to achieving the desired result.

Precision clamping devices can be custom designed for applications and can vary over a wide range of industries. David Jones, precision workholding manager for Emuge Corp. in West Boylston, Massachusetts, talked with Gear Solutions about the importance of workholding and designing precision clamping devices. What role does precision workholding have at Emuge Corp.? We are […]
Kenneth Carter

Tooling & Workholding: Improving tool holder performance

The proper holder performance is vital in a wide range of tooling applications. To help keep chances of error to a minimum, check out these 10 tips from the experts at BIG KAISER.

The four critical requirements for tool holders are clamping force, concentricity, rigidity, and balance for high-spindle speeds. When these factors are dialed in just right, there’s nearly no chance of holder error and considerable cost reduction is achieved thanks to longer tool life and reduction of down-time due to tool changes. Easier said than done, […]
Big Kaiser

Why selective plating stops gears from grinding to a halt

Gears are a crucial part of many machines, and if they wear and corrode beyond repair, then it can be a costly expense to replace them. Brush plating can help prevent gears from being damaged, and the process can be used to restore worn or corroded gear components.

When problems occur with gears, maintenance engineers know how much of a headache they can be to fix. During the manufacturing stage, despite all the modern machining centers, parts can end up undersized, whether that’s in the bore, the teeth, or the shaft. The extent of these dimensional defects is usually small, but the cost […]
Mark Meyer

June 2020

Ka-Wood Gear & Machine

For the last century, Ka-Wood Gear & Machine has been manufacturing precision gear products that include spur, helical, and worm gears, as well as producing spline shafts, racks, timing belt pulleys, and sprockets for a vast array of  industries.

It’s not every company that can boast it’s been in business for a century, and that milestone is not something the owners of Ka-Wood Gear & Machine take for granted. Those 10 decades were filled with a lot of ups and downs for the gear industry, but being able to change with the times while […]
Kenneth Carter

Optimization of asymmetric tooth root generated with protuberance hob

Demonstrating the construction and optimization of the tooth root fillet while leaving required grinding stock on the involute tooth flanks.

The Direct Gear Design [1] method optimizes various parameters and elements of gear tooth geometry to achieve the required gear-drive performance. One such critical element of the tooth profile is the root fillet. Previous publications had considered asymmetric tooth root fillet optimization assuming the tooth involute flanks and root fillets are processed (machined) simultaneously. However, […]
Dr. Alexander Kapelevich, Dr. Yuriy Shekhtman

Long hob cost savings over the length of a job

Comparing the influence of geometric variations in physical hob size on tool life; specifically, the overall length of the hob.

Manufacturers consider many factors when shopping for a gear hob solution: What material is being cut? What is the pitch of the part? Will the hob be delivered on time, and what will it cost? Unless the job is hot and lead time is critical, the cost of the tool tends to be the deciding […]
Michael Weas

Conjugate Action Law in Intersected-Axes Gear Pairs and in Crossed-Axes Gear Pairs

Dealing with geometrically-accurate gears with parallel-axes gear sets, intersected-axes gear sets, and with crossed-axes gear sets.

The article deals with the kinematics and the geometry of geometrically-accurate gearing (with perfect gearing). Considered at the beginning for parallel-axes involute gearing, conjugate action law later on is formulated for intersected-axes gearing (straight bevel gearing, spiral bevel gearing, and so forth), as well as for crossed-axes gearing (hypoid gearing, spiroid gearing, worm gearing, and […]
Dr. Stephen P. Radzevich Ph.D., Dr. (Eng) Sci.

May 2020

Gearwheel manufacturing in a 34-second cycle

By using KAPP NILES gear grinding machines, Volkswagen is making strides in its gearbox production.

Minimizing production times to ensure competitiveness is one of the most important challenges in the automotive industry — Henry Ford already recognized this over a century ago. After decades of optimization, it is difficult to reduce machining times even further while maintaining the same level of quality. Nevertheless, the company Volkswagen (VW), near the German […]
Martin Witzsch

Performance and properties of a new alternative gear steel

Hybrid steels show many interesting properties relevant to gear applications, somewhat depending on the area of application and the working conditions.

In the ongoing strive for light weighting or power densification, high-performance clean steels are showing a significant improvement. As a next step, gear steels that combine several properties, are now proving an interesting alternative. Traditional gear steels achieve their maximum hardness after carburizing and a fast quench. A fast quench usually results in distortion as […]
Lily Kamjou, Joakim Fagerlund, MSc

April 2020

Romax Technology

Romax Technology provides class-leading simulation solutions for the design, analysis, testing, and manufacture of electro-mechanical drivetrain systems.

Designing, creating, and manufacturing gears and drive systems can make up a sizeable piece of a manufacturer’s budget. By employing innovative technology as an integral part of the development process, much of that cost can be minimized — this is accomplished through simulation-led design and virtual prototyping. Romax Technology does just that with its leading […]
Kenneth Carter

Micro-skiving – (r)evolution of a known production process

Micro-skiving has been developed that allows users access to the skiving technique for machining inner micro-teeth.

Production of internally toothed gear wheels is possible in many different ways. Different techniques such as gashing, broaching, wire EDM, or shaving make it possible to achieve these profiles. However, skiving seems to be the optimal solution for reducing production time of this type of gears when large production batches are required. This internal gear […]
Pierre Falbriard, Hervé Baour

Chamfer Hobbing Tools Up

With the development of new cutting tool technology, chamfering with hobs has found new life; chamfer hobbing is now the process of choice for chamfering and deburring automotive-size gears in medium and high volumes.

In the last few years, chamfering and deburring have gained new respect and risen to a level of importance equal to that of other processes. Manufacturers of Electrical Vehicle (EV) drive systems, where noise behavior is of paramount importance and hard finishing a must, are keenly aware of how an improperly chamfered and deburred gear […]
Gottfried Klein

March 2020


Starting out almost a century ago by making clock parts, Neugart now develops, produces, and sells planetary gearboxes and custom gearboxes all around the world to a variety of industries.

Gearboxes are, quite literally, the driving force for dozens of industries, and Neugart makes reliable, quality gearboxes that have helped push the family-owned company into the global arena. A large part of that success is due to Neugart’s ability to create gearboxes using a modular design. “It’s that modular design that allows us to pretty […]
Kenneth Carter

Opportunities of Efficiency Improvement by the Use of Hydro Lubricants

While searching for a material that meets all of the general and branch-specific lubrication requirements, water is a visionary, yet obvious, raw material available worldwide that’s non-toxic and non-combustible.

1 Introduction Although different base oil types exist in the market and are widely in use, the majority of industrial lubricants are still based on mineral oils due primarily to low cost and easy miscibility with other oils. However, despite their widespread use, conventional lubricants reach functional limits in various scenarios. In addition to the […]
Matthias Pfadt, Elena von Horsten, Balasubramaniam Vengudusamy

Advantages of flat broaching machines

Flat broach manufacturing is a tooling option that offers some advantages to circular broaching, but the tools need to maintain optimum sharpness in order to be effective.

A broaching machine requires precision broaching tools to increase productivity and efficiency. New broaching tools can be expensive and difficult to customize. Continuous use quickly dulls broach tools, and sharpening services can be time-consuming. If a broaching tool is cracked, bent, or otherwise seriously damaged, sharpening services are no longer capable of restoring the tooling. […]
Jeff Burg

February 2020

The L.S. Starrett Co.

The L.S. Starrett Co. has been designing, manufacturing, and supplying high-quality, precision measuring tools, metrology systems, and more for 140 years.

When companies need to ensure the highest and most accurate quality control process, they turn to the experts at Starrett. Founded in 1880 and headquartered in Athol, Massachusetts, The L.S. Starrett Company is a leading global manufacturer of precision measuring tools and gages, optical comparators, vision systems, force measurement, and hardness testing solutions. Starrett also […]
Kenneth Carter

Reliability of gears: Determination of statistically validated material strength numbers

This paper is intended to give a review on the statistical reliability behavior of cylindrical gears with regard to pitting and tooth root breakage failures.

One of the most important goals when designing a gearbox is to ensure a sufficient reliability in operation. Depending on the field of application, the acceptable probability of failure may be different, typical values commonly are in the range of 0.01 percent to 10 percent. Material strength values regarding main failure modes such as pitting […]
Michael Hein, Michael Geitner, Thomas Tobie, Karsten Stahl, Dr.-Ing. Burkhard Pinnekamp

Understanding the mounting distance: Crossed-axes gearing (hypoid gearing)

In this article, a favorable configuration of bevel gears in crossed-axes gearing is discussed in which it is stressed that the mounting distance is one of the most important design parameters in crossed-axes gearing.

Mounting distance is one of the most critical design parameters in crossed-axes gearing (in hypoid gearing, spiroid gearing, and so forth). In this article, the concept of the mounting distance in intersected-axes gearing [1] is evolved to the case of crossed-axes gearing. The mounting distance is discussed with a focus on “geometrically accurate crossed-axes gearing” […]
Dr. Stephen P. Radzevich Ph.D., Dr. (Eng) Sci.

January 2020

Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH

By offering 5-axis grinding machines and customizable application software that can perform multiple operations, Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH is making quite a name for itself in several industries, including gear manufacturing.

When a gear or a geared shaft is being produced, it’s often moved through several machines before the finished product is ready. But Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH has the capability of offering gear manufacturing that takes the multiple machines out of the process. “We’re about combining operations,” said David Drechsler, business development manager for Haas Multigrind® […]
Kenneth Carter

Integrated Approach for Gear Testing of High-Performance Clean Steels

In this report, a test gear geometry for investigating contact fatigue strength (pitting) of high-performance clean steels is determined, and based on two well-established test gear geometries for contact fatigue test, a detailed comparison with regard to their potential of maximum contact pressure is performed.

The power density of gearboxes is continuously increased by different research activities. Besides new material developments, the cleanliness of steels comes to the forefront in order to meet future requirements regarding load carrying capacity of gears. The experimental quantification of the load carrying potentials for high performance steels is the basis for introducing cleanliness as […]
Christoph Lopenhaus, Dieter Mevissen, Lily Kamjou, Elias Lothman

High-end coating can increase gear-cutting productivity

Using Oerlikon Balzers coating solutions, customers are able to increase their productivity, which results in higher total production output and lower manufacturing costs.

The machining industry’s demand for increased productivity and reduced costs continues to drive developments that focus on innovative, state-of-the-art tools and cutting materials as well as changes in production technologies. In addition, tailored tool coatings play a special key role in increasing cutting speeds, raising productivity, and lowering costs for demanding gear-cutting processes. Excellent performance […]
Osny Fabricio