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Turning / Gear cutting

Gear cutting / turning

How important gear production is for many sectors of industry is shown by the diverse research efforts that concentrate on finding new coatings for the tools used (for gear cutting), more efficient machines with high-speed technology, and further development of the process (gear cutting) itself.

The objectives are of course the same. The developers are looking for lower unit costs at the same time as they demand a better component quality – and this where the special geometries encountered in the manufacture of gears and geared components, already make it a pretty complex process.  

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Combination technology turning and gear cutting: shortening the process chain in gear production

Experts estimate that every year up to two billion gears are produced worldwide (the larger part by gear cutting). The number of gears needed for transmission systems for the automotive industry alone is astronomical. In addition to the huge numbers, there are other factors to be considered, such as the complexity of geometries and the exceptional component quality required (for geared components in particular). Many users meet these requirements with a relatively long process chain, namely turning, gear cutting and deburring – with each process allocated to a different machine.

As a result, gear manufacture attracts long throughput times. EMAG’s gearing specialists and technology experts in gear cutting offer their customers a much quicker alternative for their gear production. The vertical machines have all processes – such as gear cutting, turning and deburring – integrated in a single setup. As a result, productivity increases dramatically.

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Turning and gear cutting – idle times radically reduced

In the gearing sector in particular, the integration of different processes such as turning, gear cutting and deburring, is of immense advantage. But turning, gear cutting and deburring must be done in a single setup, to successfully reduce costs. A few years ago, the machine builders at EMAG were one of the first to fulfil these requirements with two highly efficient and well proven machine series: The VSC 400 WF and the VLC 250 WF vertical machines for combination turning and gear cutting, which both combine the two central processes – turning and gearing (gear cutting).

The example of an application where a gear is produced in two turning and a follow-on gear cutting operation indicates that whereas the main machining time (turning and gear cutting) remains the same – when comparing the old process (with a total of three different setups) and the new process (using a gearing centre with integrated turning and gear cutting technology) – idle times are reduced quite considerably. In fact, the time saved by not having to load and unload the components three times, represents a quantum leap in productivity. The EMAG manufacturing system with integrated turning and gear cutting technology also scores points for its ability to handle tight tolerances and produce less scrap components. And: the gear profiling centre also takes up much less production floor space.

A wide field of applications for turning and gear cutting

In which fields of application can the technology combination of turning and gear cutting be used at a profit? It does depend, first and foremost, on the different machining processes, where a sensible way must be found to divide them up. Neither of the two processes (turning and gear cutting) should take up considerably more time than the other. For example, the turning process should not force the gear cutter to remain idle for too long. With this condition met, the field of application widens.

Gear-type components of all sorts can be machined in medium and large batches – a lot quicker and with noticeably higher precision than has been possible to date. As large quantities of gears, gear shafts, clutch elements, synchronising wheels and many other geared workpieces are needed, there is a wide field of applications.


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