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How CNC Machining Has Changed Gear Making

July 12, 2018

How CNC Machining Has Changed Gear Making

CNC machining in gear manufacturing has brought benefits for manufacturers and customers alike; but as it happens, what these benefits might be really depends of which side of the fence you are standing on. Computer numerical control (CNC machining) is essentially the handing over of cutting control to a computerized system. Simple feed in the kind of cut you desire and the machine will do the rest.


Of course, not all CNC machining is alike, and the level of automation and control differs greatly between newer generation machines and even those from only a few years ago.


Whereas some CNC machining requires only the final design be input, others will require a programming of the cutting sequence the machine should follow.


Funnily enough, though, the greatest distinction a customer will notice is not in the finished quality – its not like skilled operators couldn’t ‘hand finish’ high quality gears – rather it’s the speed of manufacture and consistency in quality. For the manufacturer, the benefit lies in more efficient cuts, greater production rates and a reduction in wasted parts that results.


Another difference with CNC machining is that manufacturers can choose to omit certain gear preparation processes which were essential in years past. Imagine being able to form a gear simply with grinding machines and not having to go through a shaving, shaping and hobbing process. Of course this has meant following up with machining advancements generally. An example of this would be the grinding tool which needs to be of a sufficiently high quality as well as maintain or even exceed their existing lifespans.


Perhaps the biggest change and improvement for gear makers arising out of CNC machining is the incredible versatility in production cycles. CNC machines can be configured quickly and easily from one type of gear into another with unbelievable rapidity. The software simply adapts to the new type of gear and off goes the cutting head.


True Gear has 40 years of experience offering CNC machining capabilities. We have both CNC turning and milling and general machining capabilities. Our team has vast experience in CNC machining; and true to our commitment to high quality manufacturing, we invest in modern machines.