The purpose of any production process is to create added value. In gear manufacturing, the creation of benefit focuses on achieving QCD (costs, volumes, and deadlines). Production of gears involves an interlinkage of various manufacturing processes. Process used in the manufacture of gears include blanking, forging, powder metallurgy, extrusion, and casting. Gear manufacturers produce different kinds of gears for use in different industries. The various kinds include worm gears, bevel gears, gear racks, spur and helical gears.
To classify gears; manufacturers look at the positioning of the gear shaft. Differences between gear types depend on the particular mechanical configuration of how force is transmitted in its application field. When selecting gears, you are required to evaluate a variety of factors.
Advances in gear manufacturing technology have made it easier for manufacturers to produce stock or custom made gears. Currently, a wide variety of machines are available for the production of gears. The gear manufacturing process can be automatic, semi automatic, or manual. As such, machining is the most populate gear production process involving two main methods: shaping or hobbing. Large volumes of gears are manufactured using machine based techniques. Machine hobbing is performed on dedicated machines using either vertical or horizontal work spindles. A rotating hob is used to create the right gear depth on a blank. After the right gear depth is attained, the blank is then passed through a hob cutter. Grinding employs a gear cutter to achieve the required gear design and type. The majority of present hardened gears are produced using the grinding process. Gear grinding is slow and is only utilized for the manufacture of high quality hardened gears.
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Gear manufacturing requires the application of specialized knowledge of mechanical properties of gears. This is particularly the case even when using standardized designs. This knowledge encompasses a variety of formulas for creating gear sizes and strengths, an understanding of the various gear types and technical vocabulary, train speed ratios and rotational directions. Additionally, factor such as backlashes, teeth forms and thicknesses, ISO and AGMA ratings play a significant role in gear manufacturing.
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Accordingly, the gear design process relies on industry level standards to improve the quality and performance of gears. To ensure the production of high quality gears, assessment of production facilities and techniques is necessary. A major techniques used to benchmark manufacturing standards is reverse engineering gears. The procedure involves the calculation of primary parameters for unknown gear pairs. Despite gear calculations and parameters being standardized, the task is often complex. Typically, results obtained by reverse engineering are normally accurate. Reverse engineering requires performing repetitive procedures to obtain relevant data. Measurements are intended to take into account deviations from the design, measurement uncertainty, and wear of either custom made gears, worm gears, spur and helical gears.