Australia, Hong Kong, South America, Canada, Singapore, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Swedenä nearly anywhere you go you’ll find gearboxes and component gears manufactured by CST-“Cinti,” according to Robert W. Rye, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Our products are in use across a wide spectrum of markets, both geographically and also from an applications standpoint,” he says. “This makes a pretty strong case for our quality and our ability to meet international quality classification requirements other than ISO or QS.”
The knowledge and expertise of the company’s 120 employees makes it possible for it to be the diversified company that it is. “We’ve been in business for 64 years, since 1941,” Rye says, “and our employee’s average length of service in the gear industry is between 15 and 20 years. So we’ve got a wealth of gear knowledge here, which translates directly to our customer’s peace of mind, as well as their bottom line.”
There’s very little a gear user might need that the company doesn’t provide, Rye continues. “We are a full-service gear manufacturing company,” he says. “We take programs from cradle to grave — from a blank sheet of paper straight through to the delivery of a custom-made gearbox or component gear, and with all the testing that might be required. We even offer a service where we manufacture a gearbox for a customer — either to customer prints or our own custom design — and then they ship us the parts that will interface to it. We then assemble everything for them here at our facility and ship out a completed system to their specifications. Not only does this service save time in critical interfacing, it is typically more cost effective and allows all parties to make sure their system is perfectly mated and operational prior to arriving at their final location.”
Rye says that, of all the products and services that CST-Cinti provides, one of its main focuses involves high-speed gearing, such as applications for compressors and turbines, as well as open gearing for other high-speed needs reaching speeds in the 50,000 rpm range, plus or minus.
“We also have an area we refer to as ‘HVO,’ for high volume operation, and that’s where we’re doing automotive gearing in quantities of up to a million-plus gears a year for individual customers,” Rye explains. “That ranges from automotive, to over-the-road truck diesel engines, to component gears for transmission manufacturers. In that operation we isolate each product into a dedicated manufacturing cell. One may be gearing for a gasoline engine for the automobile industry, another one might be gears for a diesel truck engine, and another one may be planetary gears for an auto transmission.”
But the company is equally active in producing open gearing. “That’s anything from about one inch up to roughly 150-inch diameter gears, and in that area we’re typically looking at quantities from as few as one component to as many as 200,” he says. “Capabilities in our open gearing areas cover turning, milling, drilling, hobbing, shaper cutting, honing, shaving, and grinding, just to name a few. And with our sister company, Cincinnati Steel Treating, we’re able to offer complete heat treating services as well.”
These operations are housed in QS 9000-certified facilities that now total some 145,000 square feet of total space, with 85,000 square feet dedicated to CST-Cinti, thanks to the recent acquisition of a 45,000 square-foot building that will allow the company to realize its full potential. “We have a lot of good equipment in storage that we’ll now be able to bring into production, which will definitely increase our output,” Rye says. “But we’re also looking to the future, and the growth of our high volume gearing operations, so it will be good to have that space on hand for the potential expansion of our capabilities in that area.”
In addition to the company’s manufacturing activities, it also offers a host of services, including noise and vibration analysis, on-site reverse engineering, failure analysis, and gearbox inspection. “We offer everything from magnetic particle inspection to simple spin tests, but we also conduct fully loaded closed-loop tests, which are commonly known as ‘back-to-back’ testing,” says Rye. “We have the capability to do loaded or unloaded testing, so whatever is called for, we’re able to do it.”
Other services include rebuilding gearboxes, designing lubrication control and monitoring systems, and making available around the clock an emergency service for parts or full-service field support, with a 24-hour national — and a 48-hour international — response time. “We support our own products throughout their life, and we’ll even support gearboxes that we didn’t manufacture ourselves, as long as we’ve determined that they can be rebuilt or reengineered to an improved condition.”
While service-related situations are ultimately handled at the company’s headquarters in Cincinnati — and augmented by its manufacturing sales representatives found worldwide — CST-Cinti also has distribution warehouses in Seattle, Washington, and in Hong Kong. “That’s where we keep spare parts on hand for high-speed ferries,” Rye says.
This diversity of products, services, and locations has helped the company to weather recent economic challenges, and to position itself to take advantage of what’s to come. “We’re cautiously optimistic about where the economy is headed, and we believe that our diverse capabilities have really kept us going,” says Rye. “With so many things going on, if we see an area that’s dropping off, we’ll concentrate on another one that’s indicating growth. And by doing so we keep our people working, and our business strong.”