Mr. Ramakant Reddy, Managing Director, LMT Tools India Pvt Ltd
When carbide performance is desired and ICI hobs are too big – UNIFY is the first choice
Advancements in tool development will continue to follow the sporting motto “higher, faster, further” in the days to come. Actually, it symbolises the industry’s efforts towards even higher performance, higher cutting speeds and feeds and a longer tool life to reduce manufacturing costs whilst meeting the required workpiece quality. Also, there exist new challenges for precision tools from future trends such as downsizing or lightweight design. For instance, components that are smaller, yet more efficient are made from higher-strength materials. To reduce weight, composite materials are also becoming popular with the manufacturers.
And gear hobs, in particular, must meet additional requirements. The desire to be mobile is growing around the world. In Asian regions such as India and China, in particular, the demand for passenger cars is growing, requiring more and more gears. Another aspect is the development of automatic transmissions with more (up to 9) stages, which again increases the demand for smaller gears significantly.
(Image 1: The compact gear hob with indexable inserts, UNIFY, impresses with short production times (source: LMT Group)
There are some concerns that electric mobility represents a danger for gears as gearboxes might no longer be needed for these. However, this fear needs to be put into perspective as both hybrid drives and purely electric drives still need gearboxes, albeit the latter with fewer gear stages.
To meet the different performance and quality requirements for gear cutting, LMT Tools teamed up with engineering experts at LMT Fette as well as machine manufacturers, universities and users to create an extensive product portfolio ranging from PM-HSS gear hobs and SpeedCore gear hobs to single-part carbide gear hobs (CarbideLine-S and CarbideLine-H) and indexable insert systems (CarbideLine-I).
A combination of efficiency and precision
An innovative example for the efficient design of gear hobs is the all new gear hob with indexable inserts – UNIFY. (image 1). It strengthens the area of application of the proven gear hob family CarbideLine-I (I= Indexable) in the module range from 5 -12 and is the preferred choice when high performance and high quality are a requirement for the machining of gears.
The new design of the UNIFY has created a single-part, compact, very robust tool body which works with extreme precision due to the minimum number of interfaces. The compact design enables the use of indexable inserts for gear hobbing, starting from a diameter of 160mm which brings many benefits: It can be used on smaller machines, fewer limitations due to collisions and advantages with regards to processing time.
The new gear hob with indexable insert has already passed a crucial test in a practical application. It was used for the machining of module 9 helical-tooth spur gears from the 18 CrNiMo 7-6 material with 88 teeth and a gear width of 220 mm. The tool had a diameter of 210 mm and 12 effective cutting edges.
The UNIFY which was designed especially for this application, used a protuberance plate with 4 cutting edges to achieve a gear quality of 9 with its first attempt. The customer was very happy with the smooth running and the very even surface of the component. He was also impressed by the performance of the tool, in particular, its short processing time.
The UNIFY combines precision and efficiency and has proven to be a new, strong partner for series production in the medium module range.
For more information,
LMT Tools India Pvt Ltd.
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