In some cases, gears for various industrial and commercial applications continue to be produced on conventional, dedicated gear-making equipment that perform operations such as hobbing, gashing, shaving, etc. However, an increasing number of gear manufacturers are using more universal CNC equipment, including multitasking turn/mill machines that have been modified to also machine gear features. This often requires special cutting tool designs and toolpath strategies, or the addition of custom hobbing tools. In addition, grinding machine and grinding wheel technologies have advanced to the point that, in some cases, gears can be ground completely from blanks, eliminating traditional preliminary roughing operations that were previously required to form teeth profiles prior to final grinding finishing passes.
I took time to check out machining equipment geared toward components for automobiles—electric vehicles in particular—at the recent TMTS show in Taichung.
To improve component finish as well as engine and gearbox performance for its customers, this racing motorcycle rebuild company based in the UK has gears and other components treated with a super-finishing process common to jewelry and aerospace applications.