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AUTOMOTIVE GEARMAKING


heat treat keeps costs down.” Knoy also hinted that hard scudding might be avail- able in the near future, replacing a grinding or a honing operation after heat treating and further reducing costs while producing higher quality, lighter gears. There are a number of applications where it could be the process of choice, includ- ing ring gears, sliding sleeves, and annulus gearing. Synchronizer parts and hubs are also ideal, according to Knoy. For internal ring gears, he notes that a special advantage of scudding is in making lead corrections along the face or flank of the tooth. “You can crown. You can taper. This is something that the in- dustry hasn’t been able to do with broaching, which was the major way of making internal ring gears for 40 years. In some instances, we are replacing broaching,” he said.


The Fellows 10-4 Gear Shaper available through Bourn and Koch boasts an infinitely variable stroking range of 50 to 1300 strokes/minute.


Special Applications The search for a quality finish is, in some cases, lead- ing automotive manufacturers to look at honing after heat treating and grinding gears, or as an alternative to grinding. “We are seeing some desire for honing after gear grinding,” explained Rodney Soenen of Involute Gear and Machine (Chesterfield, MI), though he observes it is more popular in aerospace. Involute is a provider of gear hone tools and accessories, as well as a distributor of gear hobbing and gear inspection machines. “We have seen some companies experimenting with honing a shaved gear to increase quality, or in some cases to repair gears. They may have a thousand gears that perhaps for whatever reason were slightly below expectations” and honing brings them back into compliance, he said. He also noted that honing is popular for finishing pinions and sun gears, critical and numerous gear parts in automatic transmissions. “The honing process can be very fast, depending on the style, and improved surface finish cor- relates to increased durability,” he explained. Machines that provide multitasking operations is another


niche area of gear and spline cutting. “Multitasking is aimed at low- to medium-volume production,” explained Mike Finn development engineer at Mazak Corp. (Florence, KY). Multi- tasking machines that power skive gears and splines using the synchronized rotation of a multitasking machine’s milling spindle and C axis, as is done on some Mazak machines, offers a lot of flexibility for low-to medium-volume production


68 AdvancedManufacturing.org | May 2016


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