Heat Treating 4.0

Bringing Mature Technology into the 21st Century

by Randy Stott, Managing Editor, March/April 2017, Gear Technology

Companies in our industry have been utilizing heat treating for a very long time, and while technology continues to improve, as well as our knowledge of the many processes, many people still view this as pretty unpredictable.

In fact, sending your perfectly to-spec parts you’ve slaved over for hours to be heat treated is something that might make you cringe…

General manager for ECM USA talks about the advances and latest technology. Over the last two years “in-line” heat treating has been the trend. This process allows for bringing smaller loads to customers on an in-line basis, supplying completely heat treated gears, with low pressure carburizing, higher temperatures, and less processing time.

Another trend that has gained interest more recently is quenching in salt. This is a method that has been used in the past and still maintains its dirty, old-school image, but newer processing makes this a viable alternative, especially for gears, providing single-phase quench benefits similar to gas but less expensive, more environmentally friendly than oil, with superior heat transfer, and 99% recovery.

Read the full article at GearTechnology.com

Do No Destructive Testing

by Jack McGuinn, Sr. Editor, Jan/Feb 2013, Gear Technology

The main safety practice in the big gear industry is “if it ain’t test, don’t use it.” Israel Vasquez, an independent quality systems and NDT level 3 consultant, compares the application of NDT on large gears materials, parts and components to examination procedures practiced by today’s medical practitioners (to not harm the patient). Vasquez says “the basic principles behind NDT are to examine materials, components and/or parts for characteristics (that are) detrimental to their use (i.e., defects), by methods that will not induce physical (and costly) changes (damage) to the item being inspected.”

Because bigger gears have bigger manufacturing costs, non-destructive testing makes perfect sense. After all, these outsized gears are often built to order, requiring only a few pieces, sometimes just one. The amount of testing required is based on economic risk factors. Parts used in critical applications, such as aerospace, aircraft, bridges and nuclear facilities require reliability. Testing required may include any or all of the following:

  • Testing at Raw Material Source
  • Testing of Manufacturing Process
  • Initial Inspections during Installation
  • Periodic Inspections (for service-induced defects)

NDT testing uses computer and digital radiography, magnetic particles inspection and ultrasonic inspection (UT). Selection and degree of testing is often negotiated during the contract arrangements. Typically, these gears need to pass inspections for hardness, burns, cracks, inclusions, porosity and discontinuity.

Read full article in Gear Technology

World Standards Week 2012

Upcoming event: October 9-12, 2012, Washington DC

The World Standards Week (WSW) is an annual event hosted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) where standards and conformity professionals come together in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation. (ANSI is the coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system.) ANSI will hold a new member orientation as part of WSW; the orientation will be held October 10.
Read full article in ThomasNet News

Gear Grinding gets Integrated at IMTS

by Matthew Jaster, September 10-15, 2012, Gear Technology

More than 100,000 visitors arrived at IMTS in Chicago from September 10–15, making it the strongest showing for the manufacturing technology trade show in over a decade. While many attendees and customers were looking for expert partners, some were acutely aware that they needed gear grinding capabilities that would improve grinding times without sacrificing gear quality. This meant customers were seeking Advanced Solutions.

Customers were also looking for technologically cutting edge solutions at a competitive price and process flexibility. Overall, the following features, capabilities and concepts were discussed during IMTS:

  • Faster setup times
  • Higher productivity
  • Maximizing machine utilization
  • Quality
  • Process flexibility
  • Total cost ownership

Read full article by Gear Technology

2012 Roadblocks to U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness

by David R. Butcher, August 28, 2012, Industry Market Trends

Manufacturing has been driving recent economic recovery in the U.S. However, a new study reveals that “maintaining and strengthening the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness in the global market will require tremendous planning, effort and focused financial investment.”
Read full article in ThomasNet News

Cutting through Red Tape in Government Procurement

by Michael Keating, July 10, 2012, Thomas Net Industry News

Do government purchasing departments drown prospective vendors and contractors in paperwork and procedures?

Michael Keating believes that “Despite the many obstacles to contracting with the government, the second half of 2012 offers many lucrative government selling opportunities.”
Read his full article in ThomasNet News

Worldwide Steel Output Remains Strong

by Ilya Leybovich, October 27, 2011, Thomas Net Industry News

Worldwide Crude Steel Outputs: Aug 2011 – 125 million metric tons, Sept 2011 – 124 million metric tons.

In spite of the September drop in global crude steel production and a month-to-month slowdown in several key steel-producing regions last month (September 2011), the forecast remains strong for the global steel sector. Currently, U.S. steelmakers have produced 64.7 million metric tons of crude steel (which is 6.2 percent more than the same period of 2010).
Read full article in ThomasNet News

U.S. Industrial Manufacturers are Optimistic about 2011

by David R. Butcher, Thomas Net Industry News
Following higher-than-expected 2010 Q4 results, U.S. industrial manufacturers are optimistic about this year in both domestic and global markets. Key points that were reported by OEMs include early signs of new hiring, stronger revenue forecasts, and flexibility in pricing.
Read full article

CPO Priority: Value Over Costs

by David R. Butcher, Thomas Net Industry News
After the deep economic crisis of the last few years, cost-cutting initiatives were just as strong as other top priorities for chief procurement officers and buyers. To survive during 2009 and 2010, many organizations focused on cost reductions. For 2011, a new emphasis shifted towards strategies that will enhance long-term values.
Read full article

Robotic Stress Measurement for Gears

Xstress System by Stresstech Oy provides robotic measurement capabilities for residual stress and retained austenite in gears, threads and other curved surfaces or complex parts. Earlier this year, Metal Finishing News interviewed StressTech Oy President Lasse Suominen.
Read full article about his discussion on Full-Service Stress Testing.

2011 Midwest Forecast

Economy headed in the right direction

There are faint glimmers of hope that next year will be another small step on the long, steep road to recovery.

In December 2010, Mike Larson’s article in Midwest Construction magazine reviewed the signs in the economy pointing the way for a 2011 improvement in construction activity. If you’re serving that industy, check out his overview.
Read full article.

First Look at 2011 Forecast

A close look at the mining and construction equipment markets

“My first look at 2011 is for a
10% improvement.”

To learn the details supporting Frank Manfredi’s predictions, read his February 16, 2011 article on OEM Off-Highway.
Read full article.

How Often Do You Evaluate Your Suppliers?

by Carolyn M. Brown, Inc.com
Key recommendations for rating your suppliers include setting performance criteria, developing an evaluation method, assigning responsibilities, maintaining a strong relationship, noticing any red flags, and knowing when to cut them loose. Learn more details about what constitutes a healthy, profitable relationship with your suppliers and how to evaluate them… the full industry article

Faster RPMs Produce Faster Turnaround

To accommodate customer demands, it’s common to adjust machining processes. This case study shows examples of metalworking shops being flexible to keep customers happy. Read full article.

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