Q&A with Sanjai Keshavan

Manager ECO Hone & Microfinishing Systems Division
Nagel Precision, Inc.


Will you describe the product lines that Nagel offers?

Nagel is a diverse company. Automotive OEMs are our primary customers. We offer automatic honing machines for engine and transmission components such as engine blocks, connecting rods, and transmission gears; clamp bore face grinders for transmission gears; and tape finishing machines for crankshaft, camshaft, and transmission shafts. We also support aerospace, industrial, medical, and oil and gas industries. Our typical nonautomotive honing applications include airplane landing gear, diesel liners, fuel injectors, gears, hydraulic valve body, and more.

If you were to visit GM, Ford, or Fiat Chrysler’s transmission plant, you will likely see a number of our pinion hones and clamp bore gear face grinders. Our fully automated high-volume pinion honing machines have in-process gauging and automatic wear compensation. They can produce high-quality bores (mirror finishes and under .003 mm cylindricity) right out of heat treat – one part every five or six seconds.

Do you have products that are unique to the gear industry?

Our ECO hones and clamp bore grinding machines are customized for gear manufacturers. The clamp bore face grinder is a higher quality and lower cost alternative to double disk grinding as it generates better bore-to-face perpendicularity, especially on gears with high length-to-diameter ratios. During gear teeth grinding operations, gears are typically located on the gear face, so having good bore-to-face perpendicularity is critical.

ECO hones are smaller vertical machines that can be fully automated or manually tended. They are equipped with advanced technologies such as in-process gauging, automatic wear compensation, and Servo/hydraulic dual expansion. With the dual expansion technology, it is now possible to rough hone, finish hone, and gauge all in the same head without any manual intervention. This is a huge advantage for low-volume, rapid changeover-type applications as this would replace a larger two-station machine that is more expensive and requires more time and effort to change over.

We have combined our ECO hone and clamp bore face grinding into a single machine. This one machine can replace a stand-alone ID and face grinder, resulting in significant cost savings.

How was the ECO Hone division created, who are its customers, and what industries does it serve?

In the past, Nagel was geared primarily toward very high-volume and super precision applications. We did not have customized machines for low-volume applications. Manufacturers in nonautomotive segments and smaller to mid-sized companies dealing with very tight tolerances did not necessarily have the kind of volume to justify our high-volume machines. There was a need for lower-volume honing machines that could encompass all the advanced technologies utilized in our high-end honing machines. The ECO hones were developed to fill this vacuum. About six to seven years ago, we took all the high-end technologies — such as in-process gauging, automatic wear compensation, and dual expansion — that have been on the high-volume machines, and we incorporated them in our ECO hones. ECO hones now have all the bells and whistles in a smaller package and at a much lower price point, making them affordable for smaller and medium-sized companies.

Typical ECO Hone customers are lower tier automotive suppliers, high-precision gear manufacturers, aerospace, industrial, and medical device manufacturers.

Please tell us a little about yourself and Nagel Precision.

I’ve been with Nagel for about 11 years and in the honing and superfinishing industry for over 20 years. I have a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University. I am responsible for our ECO hones and microfinishing systems. ECO hones were specifically developed for frequent changeover-type production environments.

Nagel Precision is recognized as the industry’s gold standard in honing, superfinishing, and clamp bore face grinding equipment. We are located in a modern ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We have over 1,200 employees globally; manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Japan, India, and Brazil; and sales and service centers in China and Mexico.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with Gear Solutions. Please tell our readers where you will be October 20-22.

Gear Expo 2015, Booth #1343, in Detroit, Michigan.

MORE INFORMATION  www.nagelusa.com to learn more about Nagel Precision and the ECO Hone division.