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How Advancements In The Manufacture Of Helical Gears Has Made Them The Gear Of Choice
How Advancements In The Manufacture Of Helical Gears Has Made Them The Gear Of Choice
June 06, 2018

Helical gears have a number of advantages over other gear types. Smoother operation, lower noise levels, reduced heat from less friction and efficient delivery make them ideal in a number of applications. However, helical gears were, until not too long ago, subject to the misnomer that helical gears are difficult to manufacture and, therefore, expensive.

 

Helical gears were once considered difficult and expensive to manufacture; but with advancements in manufacturing techniques, particularly CNC, helical gears are used more than ever.

 

However, helical gears have become much easier to manufacture as machines have become more sophisticated and CNC has meant a far greater level of accuracy in the manufacture of gears. Vertical mills are one way to manufacture helical gears, though it has its limitations compared to other configurations of mill.

 

Cutting basic helical gears is not a lot different from cutting an ordinary spur gear. Essentially, the gear or the milling table must be moved to and the vertical head must be configured to get the desired angle.

 

The vertical head has to be set to the angle of the helix. Which direction the cutting head faces and whether the head spin clockwise or counterclockwise are up to the gear manufacturer. With this change in orientation, the height of the milling table must be maintained. Essentially, the center of the piece that is to be worked on should be the same as the center of the cutter.

 

There are various steps in preparing for the cut too. Configuring the depth, turns, distance and more correctly are critical to getting the helical gears required. Moreover, if machining must be repeated or be performed on a number of articles, it is advisable to use machine stops as this will reduce the effort involved in cutting and greatly increase the speed of manufacture.

 

Of course, CNC (computer numerical control) has changed the way helical gears are cut immensely. CNC machines can be programmed far more finely and can be expected to return consistent results time after time.

 

The time and cost savings from increased yields and the inherent accuracy that results are passed on directly to customers. And the precise manufacture of helical gears has meant far greater reliability in operation and longevity in operation too.

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