Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Let Us Gear You Up for Success
By Todd Miller, Manager, Rotating Products
Big gears are big business these days thanks to the wind turbine, energy, heavy truck and mining industries. In fact, the global gear market is worth $155 billion today, and is growing 4.7 percent annually. As a result, there’s been a lot of demand for indexable carbide cutting tool solutions.
Indexable carbide insert cutting tools for gear manufacturing have been around for decades, allowing manufacturers to increase their feeds and speeds compared to conventional high speed steel or powdered metal tools. However, modern advancements in indexable gear hobbing technology allow gear makers to achieve greater productivity, higher quality and more options than ever before.
Ever since we introduced our first indexable carbide-insert gear hob in 2005, Seco has garnered global acclaim as a true innovator in this field because this technology has proven to generate higher productivity levels over traditional hobs.
Most recently, we have been working to build upon the success of our unique modular concept for gear hobs by exploring design variations to create an entirely new cutting solution. The result: a twin-start indexable carbide-insert gear hob that takes advantage of the increased power and speed of modern CNC gear-cutting machines to achieve increased productivity.
Featuring two half helixes on the same gear hob module, this new solution, when compared to the single module design, allows for running at feedrates that are twice as fast to reduce gear manufacturing cycle times by half — all while maintaining the highest possible quality levels.
Testing proved the twin-start indexable carbide-insert gear hob reduced the production cycle time of a large seven-foot, module 12 gear ring from 22 to three hours for a more than 85 percent time reduction over the previously used high speed steel (HSS) hob. (For those of you who’d like to see this new gear hob for yourself, we’ll have it on display at IMTS 2012 in booth W-1564.)
In general, carbide insert tools can produce cutting speeds between four and eight times faster than HSS tools, producing more parts in less time. Another advantage is that carbide tools can often run without coolant, which provides additional environmental benefits and cost savings.
Keep in mind, however, that taking advantage of indexable carbide insert tools means you must have an extremely rigid machine and setup that can handle higher speeds and feeds. Therefore, you can’t expect to put our tooling on older machinery and expect it to optimally perform.
As the gear manufacturing market continues to grow and the demand for high-performance cutting tools continues to rise, we are a total solutions provider that’s ready to assist you in any way possible. We have an extensive engineering background when it comes to the design and development of gear milling cutting tools, from v-shaped cutters to profile roughing and finishing cutters to gear hobbing cutters. We can also assist you in creating a customized configuration to achieve a specific goal.
About the Author
Todd is the manager of rotating products for NAFTA, responsible for solutions and applications involving face, square shoulder and disc milling. Todd and his team of product experts are dedicated to providing a consistent, high-level of support to Seco customers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. In his spare time, Todd likes to bowl and cheer on the University of Michigan football team.