Original Date: 09/20/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Gear Lab
Forest City Gear developed and maintains a modern Gear Lab that has kept pace with the company’s progress in expanding its position in the gear industry.
In 1955, Forest City Gear (FCG) started as a small operation; today, the company is a leader in the gear industry. Manual gear cutting machines gave way to more sophisticated machines, and eventually to modern, automated, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. The increase in sophistication of the gears being produced created a demand for a facility capable of testing these complex gears. Increasingly tighter gear tolerances were being demanded, which created the need for increased sophistication of a testing facility. FCG’s Gear Lab evolved from a 15× x 15× area to its current size of 30× x 30×. This modern inspection and evaluation center is brightly illuminated and temperature controlled. Routine and impromptu inspections are conducted in the Gear Lab during production runs and to requests from the line, as required. The Gear Lab’s equipment, including analytical testers (e.g., Klingelnberg-Hofler ZP 630 Analytical CNC Gear Inspection Center) (Figure 2-2) and dynamic functional testers (e.g., the Vari-Roll gear checkers with master gears) offer capabilities comparable to or exceeding competitors of the same size or larger. By continuously phasing out older equipment and replacing it with new, state-of-the-art machines, FCG accomplishes its goal of technology refresh. In 2003, the company purchased a unique machine a MARPOSS single flank checker with acoustical checking.
FCG’s Gear Lab, with its state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities, tests and documents all of the gears it produces. The company has also created an ancillary gear testing business for outside companies, and has become an independent inspection facility, thereby increasing the company’s return on investment for its equipment and machines.
Figure 2-2. Analytical Gear Inspection Checker
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