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A Guide to Gear Manufacturing All production processes are geared towards creating added value. A gear manufacturer’s objectives are defined by product costs, volumes, and deadlines. As such, the production of gears involves a combination of processes. These processes may include forging, casting, powder metallurgy, blanking, and extrusion. Gear manufacturers produce different kinds of gears for use in different industries. Examples of gear types include bevel gears, worm gears, spur and helical gears. Gear manufacturers classify gear types by the positioning of intersecting shafts, parallel shafts, and non-intersecting shafts. Differences between gear types depend on the particular mechanical configuration of how force is transmitted in its application field. The gear selection process requires the evaluation of factors such as the gears dimensions, precision grades, the number of teeth, its torque, and efficiency. As a result of tremendous advances in the manufacture of gears, it is possible to produce gears efficiently and quickly. Currently, a wide variety of machines are available for the production of gears. Production processes can be either fully automated, manual, or semi-automatic. Machining is the most common process used that utilises shaping or hobbing techniques. A majority of gears are produced through a machine-based process. Hobbing employs dedicated machines to make gears by relying on vertical or horizontal spindles In this process, a gear blank is fashioned on a rotating hob. Afterwards, the fashioned gear blank is relayed to a hob cutter for teeth completion. Grinding employs a gear cutter to achieve the required gear design and type. Mostly, grinding is used to finish accurate and hardened gears. Gear grinding is slow and is only utilized for the manufacture of high quality hardened gears.
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Without an understanding of the mechanical properties of materials used in gear production, it is impossible to create high quality gears. Comprehension of mechanical properties is especially necessary when relying on standardized gear 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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Designing gears, therefore, relies on industry standards for improving quality and performance. To ensure the production of high quality gears, assessment of production facilities and techniques is necessary. Reverse engineering gears is commonly employed to benchmark production facilities Benchmarking by reverse engineering requires the calculation of production parameters for known gear types and related mechanical applications. However, the standardization process is much more complex than calculating gear parameters and application variables. However, in most instances, the accuracy of reverse engineering can be improved substantially. Reverse engineering requires performing repetitive procedures to obtain relevant data. Acquired measurements provide information regarding design deviations, uncertainty in measurements, and wearing of gears in the application environment.