LMT Gear-Cutting Symposium – Time to Gear Up
Engineering the future of gear wheel production
Do gears still have a future? Does the industry need more new cutting materials? Are tool coatings a marketing ploy or do they offer real benefits?
These and other questions were discussed by more than 70 gear and sprocket specialists at the LMT gear-cutting symposium in Schwarzenbek on 22 and 23 June. There was one thing on which all the experts agreed: however varied their requirements might be, gearwheel production must become more flexible and more efficient.
Following introductory remarks by the LMT CEOs, Matthias Rommel and Alessandro Telesio, Professor Bernhard Karpuschewski from the University of Magdeburg opened the conference with the question as to whether gears still have a future in the coming age of electro-mobility. The Director of the Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Quality Assurance (IFQ) presented current developments in various sectors in a knowledgeable and entertaining manner. In each of these areas, gears play a decisive role – and not only in terms of power transmission in vehicles but also in generating energy in the first place, for example. There's no need to worry about the future of gear wheels therefore, even if they are faced with different requirements.
The role played by cutting materials in such changes was described by Peter Deutscher from Boehler Edelstahl. Anyone who thought the development of cutting materials had come to an end was easily convinced otherwise during the historical summary provided by the Austrian expert.
- Guests at the gear-cutting symposium watched the presentations.
Dr. Andreas Lümkemann was persuasive is his conviction that coatings play a key role in this. Holding a doctorate in physics, Lümkemann is a designer at the PVD plant specialist at Platit, who provocatively posed the question as to whether tailor-made coatings are a marketing trick or if they do in fact represent real added value. His answer was equally simple and convincing: the fact that tailor-made coatings offer added value is what makes them suitable for marketing in the first place. Facts presented by Dr. Lümkemann from numerous practical projects should have laid rest to any remaining doubts on the part of critics.
The afternoon program focused on practical applications. After a brief look at the development history of the new LMT hob cutting material SpeedCore provided by Devrim Caliskanoglu (Boehler Edelstahl), Dr. Friedrich Momper (LMT) and Dr. Oliver Winkel (Liebherr-Verzahntechnik) were able to make the visitors experience the efficiency of this new generation of hobs live. A Liebherr gear hobbing machine supplied by Liebherr itself was used to produce toothed gears at a speed which can not be matched by a standard PM-HSS cutting material. Another highlight was represented by the fact that it did not require any further modifications to the machine or process. In fact, it suffices to simply replace the old hob with the SpeedCore.
Accordingly, LMT made visitors to the gear-cutting symposium an offer which they are hard put to refuse: if they fail to increase cutting speeds by at least 30% when gear hobbing with a SpeedCore hob, LMT will take it back free of charge.