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Gear Manufacturing 101

June 17, 2021

Gear Manufacturing 101

Gear manufacturing is one of the most complex metal cutting processes. The growing demand for more efficient processes has led high-level manufacturers to invest in a wide variety of different kinds of machinery, each being a specialist in a different kind of process. That being said, there are still some general rules that apply to all gear manufacturing, guiding our hand to ensure we deliver quality work. There is one key distinction that separates the various types of gear-making processes: whether you are working with “soft” gears or “hard” gears.  The processes associated with each type have the same goal of reducing the number of operations through which a gear has to go through to achieve its required dimensions and quality.


Here are some more interesting facts about gear manufacturing:  


Soft Gear Process

In this manufacturing process, gear teeth are created by gear hobbing or shaping, which depends on the constraints of the component design. Soft finishing is performed by shaving, grinding, or rolling to attain gear quality. The quality requirements remain adequate within the desired specifications, even after heat treatment.


Hard Gear Process

Under this gear manufacturing process, gears that are shaped, hobbed, or warm forged or rolled after heat treatment go through another set of final finishing operations. These can be hard finishing, grinding, or honing.


Deciding between these two processes depends on many things, the major factor being the overall economy you want to achieve. Each of them has their own advantages and limitations. Additionally, the kind of raw materials used in creating gears also has a huge impact on the quality of the finished products. It is worth understanding that deciding between a soft or hard gear process is not the only major factor when it comes to gear manufacturing. Today, with so much technology to help speed things up, clients have far more options and cab enjoy quick turnarounds no matter what. Just ask the experts at True Gear and Spline—offering a wide variety of gear machining services with quick turnarounds, True Gear has been proudly servicing the community for decades. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you!