Original Date: 09/20/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Forest City Gear (FCG) was established in 1955 by owners Stetler and Evelyn Young as a job shop gear producer. In 1968, their son, Fred Young, assumed control and grew the company into the most advanced fine- and medium- pitch custom gear manufacturer in the world. FCG is located in the small community of Roscoe, Illinois, just north of Rockford, Illinois. Rockford is nicknamed Forest City because of its lush groves of elm and oak trees that dot the city landscape, from which the company received its name.
FCG manufactures both aerospace and commercial gears, cut to American Gear Manufacturers Association quality 12 and higher. The company is ISO 9001:2000 and AS 9100 certified. With a highly skilled workforce of 38 full- time employees and a 30,000 square foot facility that contains the latest in gear manufacturing equipment, FCG manufactures gears for diverse industries. Supplying approximately 900 customers throughout the U.S., China, Japan, Singapore, and other foreign countries, FCG’s products can be found in telescopes and tractors, artificial elbows and aircraft, military lasers, medical examining tables, printers, plotters, and power tools, as well as the Space Station and the Mars Rover.
Achieving world-class gear quality is the direct result of FCG’s investment in machines, employees, and management systems. By helping customers worldwide resolve gear related problems, the company’s reputation for total customer satisfaction has grown over the years. FCG’s expertise includes carbide re-hobbing to improve gear quality after heat treat; crowning for misalignment compensation and noise reduction; the ability to analyze all parameters of gear quality; capability in worm, thread, and internal/external gear grinding; and high helix capability with the purchase of two new Samputensili SU-RI-370 machines. With emphasis on producing the highest quality gears possible, the inherent fact of equipment wear, and the desire to introduce new technology, gear cutting equipment at FCG is offered for resale after three to five years and replaced by more efficient, high quality, and accurate state-of-the-art machinery. FCG’s newest acquisitions include an SU-400 combination threaded wheel generating and form grinder, a Computer Numerically Controlled Gleason PSA 500 helical special accuracy shaper with taper cutting and a face gear attachment. FCG pioneered fine pitch crown hobbing, which dramatically reduces noise especially in helical applications. The company reduced gear error by carbide re-hobbing gears after heat treating to 60 Rockwell C an advanced technology used by only a few gear producers.
Few companies have the inspection capability to investigate and monitor profile error as does FCG. The company’s analytical gear checkers verify lead and profile error to ten millionths of an inch. Accuracy profiles are determined for the quality of the hobs, hob re-sharpening, and mounting on the gear machines, thus allowing the production of quieter and more accurate gears. FCG’s Gear Lab, with its state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities, tests all of its own gears, and is also used by outside companies.
FCG is proud of its employee low turn-over rate. The company has grown in sales from $3.6M with 33 employees in 1993 to $7.8M with 36 employees in 2004, and has been recognized locally and nationally for its outstanding performance and community activities. In 2004, FCG received the Small Business of the Year award from the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and, owner Fred Young, received the Award of Distinction from Rockford College. In 2001, the company won the American Gear Manufacturers Association Award. As the most modern fine- and medium-pitch gear manufacturer in the world, FCG welcomes visitors to its plant even competitors. The BMP survey team congratulates FCG and considers the practices in this report to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|AGMA|| ||American Gear Manufacturers Association|
|CMM|| ||Coordinate Measuring Machine|
|CNC|| ||Computer Numerical Control|
|FCG|| ||Forest City Gear|
|MARRV|| ||Manufacturing Association of the Rock River Valley|
|NIST|| ||National Institute of Standards and Technology|
|PPL|| ||Paid Personal Leave|
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