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Silence is Golden:
Gear Manufacturing Technology Evolves for EV Production

According to legend, gears were first used in Chinese chariots, perhaps as early as the 27th century B.C. Over time, gears have evolved from water wheels and clocks to meet the unique needs of increasingly advanced mechanical devices. Today, the growing electric vehicle (EV) market is driving a new generation of gear production advancements.

We're seeing a number of trends in the industry related to gears, whether industrial, automotive, or aerospace gear boxes, says Scott Yoders, vice president of sales at Liebherr Gear and Automation Technologies, Inc. (IMTS booth: 236914). The market is looking for longer durability, higher load carrying capacity, better finishes, as well as more compact and lighter gears.

Gears for EVs need mirror-like finishes that reduce wear and vibration. Liebherr addresses these needs with its new grinder, the LGG 280. We don't just use a grinding tool, but also a polishing tool to refine gear teeth to get specific surface roughness values which increases the durability of the gear and reduces the viscosity of the oil in the gear box, making it more efficient, Yoders says.

Quieter Operation

EVs need gears with a smoother finish and minimized form error leading to tighter tolerances because they lack the noise of an internal combustion engine that masks the sound of gear mesh. To manufacture ultra-quiet gears, Gleason Corporation (IMTS booth: 236909) will feature its HFC Hard Finishing Cell, a fully-automated, closed loop manufacturing system.

It's a game changing concept where a gear is finished and inspected with closed loop feedback all in one platform, says Parag Wagaj, general manager of sales and engineering technology at Gleason Metrology Systems. We make 100% in-process inspection possible for the first time with the new GRSL Gear Inspection System, which features a combination of double flank roll testing, laser scanning, and state-of-the-art gear noise analysis function. In addition, Gleason will also present its latest Nano series Analytical Metrology System – 300 GMS nano for gear inspection at nano level, with integrated advanced waviness analysis to detect potential gear noise in e-drive gears.

Streamlined Grinding

Addressing the labor shortage for skilled machinists, Rollomatic (IMTS booth: 237000) combines what used to be several operations on different pieces of equipment onto a single grinder, enabling each operator to be more productive.

Our newest six-axis tool and peel grinding machine combines three operations into one for what we call an ‘ultra-lean grinding process,’ says Rollomatic President Eric Schwarzenbach. It combines grinding operations that traditionally needed to be done on two or three different machines or in two or three different setups, reducing both scheduling and set up time from three machines down to one.

Find more solutions in the Gear Generation Pavilion and Abrasive Machining/Sawing/Finishing Pavilion at IMTS 2022.

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