When it comes to manufacturing gears, the bottom line often boils down to precision — precision in cutting, precision in milling, precision in skiving. Whatever the process, precision is key.
Horn USA, a subsidiary of Paul Horn GmbH, continues to advance its goals of producing the best and most precise gear tooling available to the industry.
“HORN is exceptional at creating precise forms between flanks,” said Mike Csizmar, national sales manager for Horn USA. “We work to microns, and our form tolerances are accurate and repeatable. We utilize the most advanced equipment available combined with our own software solutions to generate gear tooling. HORN also coordinates with cutting edge machine tool partners to execute the design with the highest measurement accuracy.”
Gear processes available from HORN include milling, broaching, skiving, deburring, and finishing, according to Csizmar.
“Our philosophy is to engineer a solution to produce the gear form correctly the first time,” he said. “HORN has solutions from module 0.5 up to module 30. The indexable and solid tools we manufacture cover spur gears, shaft hub connections, worms, bevels, pinions, and custom forms. HORN supplies gear production solutions for 5-axis milling, broaching, gear hobbing, and skiving.”
As with all the tooling HORN produces, it strives to partner with its customers and deliver the highest possible value, according to Csizmar. HORN’s cooperation doesn’t stop with the end user. It also works with top OEMs to develop gear-manufacturing processes for a complete solution, which allows for a more complete picture of the process, the limitations, and dimensional requirements.
Developing new techniques
The key to successful gear machining starts with the human capital within a company, according to Csizmar. HORN employs a global team with extensive hands-on experience with gear machining and the design of gear cutting tooling. It leverages knowledge from numerous applications around the globe and trains the internal team regularly on the latest processes and developments.
“HORN has also invested heavily into software to assure the quality and precision of the gear form,” he said. “In some cases, we have helped customers find errors on their prints and specifications using our software.”
Csizmar emphasized HORN strongly advocates consultive selling as a means to achieve its objectives.
As an example, Csizmar mentioned a customer that was outsourcing the splining of shafts. HORN developed a solution that allowed the customer to produce the spline in the same machine in one set-up, thus eliminating scrap and weeks of lead time.
“By partnering with our customer and helping them improve their process, they have grown from a three-machine shop to over 20 CNCs,” he said.
New U.S. facility
As Horn USA has continued to grow its presence in North America, that growth is reflected in the company’s new facility. The 118,403-square-foot manufacturing center opened in 2020 and supports the North American market. The facility provides standard and made-to-order solutions for all types of machining processes and customer applications.
HORN also offers comprehensive training for internal staff and external customers with meeting and training rooms designed for a flexibility that goes beyond a standard classroom setting.
“The Horn USA facility definitely is a proud testament to the long, prosperous road HORN has traveled since being incorporated in the U.S. in 1997,” Csizmar said. “Since 1997, we have been blessed with steady growth from one grinder in 2000 to over 36 grinders presently. This year we have also added HiPiMS coating units to better serve our market with shorter leads times and more advanced coating possibilities.”
More expansion plans
Despite the wide array of gear-manufacturing processes already available, Csizmar said HORN remains deeply committed to exploring further avenues for expanding its capabilities. Expanding capabilities will only make it easier for HORN to take on the challenges gear manufacturers will face in the coming years.
As gear manufacturing evolves with fewer automotive transmissions and more electric drives, HORN is positioning itself to meet that need. That will mean bringing more manufacturing capability to HORN’s U.S. facility, including reconditioning of skiving tools.
“Right now, portions of our gear program are still made in Germany, but we are increasing our ability to manufacture and service more gear products here,” Csizmar said.
HORN’s current product line, as well as its plans for the future, will help ensure the company is positioned to be a value-added supplier in the world of gears for years to come.