The process chain describes all required process steps, from the raw material to the ready-to-install gear. The production can be divided into three main steps: Pre-machining, gear manufacturing and finishing. For each main step a number of manufacturing technologies is available. The economical and technical boundary conditions define how applicable one specific technology is. In summary, the excellence in gear production is driven by the selection of the right gear manufacturing technology. Additionally, the available machine tools have to meet the requirements in flexibility and productivity.
The machining of gears requires high productivity and high quality of the manufacturing technologies. The selection of each technology and their combination into one process chain can only be realized with regards to the functional demands of the final product. In gear manufacturing, particularly the achievable quality is the decisive factor. On the one hand, gear quality is the main criterion for the final part, on the other hand, the achievable quality of earlier process steps can lead to restrictions in the range of available technologies for the following steps. Long-term preservation of technological leadership is the fundamental requirement for economical stability of companies. The design and the optimization of process chains based on latest technological trends generate technological innovations and a significant economic benefit. Therefore, a holistic consideration of process chain design, manufacturing processes, gear geometry and gear function is necessary, in order to match product demands and newest manufacturing technologies.
The WZL Gear Department designs process chains based on the virtual manufacturing process simulation combined with a wide database of industrial process applications. The virtual approach enables the preliminary consideration of previous processing tolerances. Hence, the result are reslient process chains with balance of tolerance fields to the characteristics of tools and processes. The holistic approach and the closed loop consideration of all process steps which generate the decisive competitive advantages over stand-alone optimization of single manufacturing processes.
The concentration of knowledge at WZL in the areas of gear manufacturing, design, resulting load carrying capacity and gear acoustics enables the holistic point of view starting from the conception up to the quality check. The aim of application-oriented design of process chains at WZL Gear Department is the optimal combination of commercially available and new innovative manufacturing technologies. The entire process chain has to consider all technological opportunities on the one hand and the function of the final part on the other hand. The interdisciplinary work of our project teams from the areas of gear design, manufacturing and testing creates economical and functional advantages compared with the conventional production planning in industrial environment.
The Aim: Individual Solutions
- Analysis and optimization of potentials in production in existing process chains
- Selection and design of process chains for new products
- Integration of innovative technologies in existing process chains
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