Core Competence
Analysis and Optimization of Manufacturing Processes Based on Simulations and Experiments


Since the early days of computer technology, the WZL Gear Department develop gear manufacturing simulations. Due to the many years of experience and development, simulation models for a variety of gear manufacturing processes exist. With continuous development, new features are added to these models. In the development, a main focus is the user-friendly application of the software solutions. For this purpose, the discussion with the industry on a regular basis as well as the consideration of current research in the field of manufacturing technology is necessary.

The developed simulation methods of soft as well as hard finishing rely on standardized program structures. This basis is constantly developed and validated. Through the use of synergies, the development of functions is not specific for each program, but can be used in the different models as well. All of the manufacturing simulations are based on geometric penetration calculation and simulate the ideal, non-deformed chip geometry. For this reason, the models can be used universally without adjustment of material models. Besides, significant knowledge regarding FE-simulations of gear machining processes exists in the department. The chip creation as well as the heat development in the processes were simulated in various research projects. In these projects also models for predicting the tool life and durability as well as increasing the gear quality were part of the development.

The design and layout of gear manufacturing processes is very complex. This is due to the fact that various process parameters influences each other, which is often not seen at first glance. Both, the productivity and the resulting gear geometry are the result of a variety of parameters that can not be considered in standard analytical models. With the help of years of experience and efficient analogy trials, combined with simulations we have the ideal qualification for process optimization. Only with the combination of locale simulation models and experimental validation it is possible to conduct a profound analysis of existing manufacturing processes or optimize and design new processes. The simulation models and analogy trials can be used for systematical, time and cost reduced investigations of process alternatives as well as analyzing potential weaknesses of planned process modifications before application. Furthermore, the results of the process simulations of the WZL Gear Department can assist the user in the theoretical evaluation of trials and help to explain phenomena such as tool wear, unexpected tool failure or damage of the work piece due to grinding burn or surface defects.

The usage of manufacturing simulations as well as the analogy trials are numerous and the developed simulations have been successfully used in various industrial and research projects at the WZL Gear Department in the past. A common application of our software solutions is the analysis of soft and hard finishing processes which are too complex for industrial established approximation formulas. One reason for this are technical innovations and further developments as well as exceptional gear designs that were not considered in the development of approximation formulas. Also the analogy trials can support the development of tools, coatings and new gear materials. Due to the cost efficient methodology of the trials a huge amount of variants can be analyzed regarding the wear development, lifetime and quality of the resulting gears.
In the past, increasing productivity and reduced manufacturing costs have been achieved successfully by optimized working areas of the tool or efficient tool designs. Another possible application of manufacturing simulation is a function-oriented design of tool and work piece clamping, where in the design working areas, cutting forces and torques can be taken into account.

Our Target: Individual Solutions
- Design of manufacturing processes for soft and hard machining
- Optimized design of tools
- Analysis and efficiency classification of cutting materials and coatings
- Support in the design of clampings
- Analyzing the causes of tool wear, work piece defects and geometrical deviations
- Increased productivity by reduced manufacturing times and optimized process parameters
- Competitive advantage through economically and technologically optimized process chains


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