Southern Gear adds capacity for machining large ring gears

The addition of two heavy-duty vertical turning centers greatly expands Southern Gear’s capacity for producing larger, high-precision ring gears. (Courtesy: Southern Gear)

Southern Gear has added two Hwacheon VT-1150+ vertical turning centers to its gear production operations, both capable of high-speed, complete machining of ring gears and other cylindrical parts with diameters of 1,320 mm and lengths up to 950 mm.

The machines, with powerful 55kW spindles, rapid 24 m/min. axis travel, and a 24-tool turret for “turnmill” machining, enable Southern Gear to perform multiple turning, milling, and other operations in single setup, thus greatly reducing the cycle times required to completely machine a typical ring gear.

Additionally, the VT-1150+ provides an extremely stable heavy-duty cutting platform, with a highly rigid box-way feed structure, air-floating system, and unique, one-piece machine bed — all designed to deliver reliable high precision with minimal thermal displacement.

“These new Vertical Turning Centers meet the dual challenge of delivering larger parts faster with the highest quality,” said Karen Malin, Southern Gear president. “They’re a great fit for our fast-growing aerospace and defense business where larger gears of this type are today in very high demand.”

The addition of the Hwacheon VTC’s is part of a multi-million-dollar, company-wide investment in new technologies, methodologies, and processes that, over the last several years, has added more capacity to Southern Gear’s vertically-integrated shop floor.