Original Date: 10/14/1988
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Computer Numerically Controlled Spiral Bevel Gear Grinder
Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI) and Gleason Gear Works are currently in the process of jointly developing and implementing a computer numerically controlled (CNC) gear grinder for spiral bevel gear manufacturing.
Working jointly under an Army funded Manufacturing Methods and Technology (MM&T) project since 1986 the two companies are developing a CNC grinding machine that will manufacture spiral bevel gears faster, with more consistency, and with less operator dependency.
Starting with an existing manual machine, the two companies have designed a machine with an improved CNC controller. The machine has the following features: DC drives for the cradle generating cam and the work spindle; a variable speed grinding wheel spindle; an electronic feed controlled work spindle with a magnetic particle brake for positive positioning; a new wheel dresser arrangement with two-axes CNC contouring capabilities and a variable speed rotary diamond dresser; and digital read-outs are provided on selected non-controlled axes, thus eliminating the use of the vernier scale and providing consistent positioning data to all operators.
The machine was re-built and tested at Gleason and then delivered to BHTI and installed in Plant 5 in August 1988. Early tests by BHTI indicate some significant savings in the manufacturing process. A typical run of 25 parts on existing equipment prior to modifications requires 74 hours total manufacturing time. The same parts manufactured on the CNC grinder require only 22.5 hours.
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