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Gear and Transmission Research

History of the WZL Gear Research Circle
The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University is one of the leading research institutes in the field of production technology. The structure of WZL with its four chairs for Production Engineering, Manufacturing Technology, Machine Tools as well as Metrology and Quality Management is beneficial due to numerous synergy effects. Therefore gear and transmission research is conducted trans-sectoral since foundation of WZL.

Initiated by industrial companies the WZL Gear Research Circle has been founded in 1956 with the goal to push research in the field of gear and transmission forward. The WZL gear and transmission research is the first practiced combined research within gear and transmission technology, in which the industry is directly embedded to ensure high practical relevance of the research activities.

Current activities are focused on topics like:
- Increase of productivity by optimisation of technologies and development of new machining strategies
- Development and application of FE based software for exact calculation of gears and transmissions
- Studies on optimisation of tooth flank and root load carrying capacitiy
- Simulation of machining processes considering gear modifications and chip formation

Since the foundation of the WZL Gear Research Circle numerous companies benefit from the various potentials of the successful, application oriented research in transmission technology. An independent Gear Department has formed at WZL as a result of the research activities, which consists of employees from the chair of Manufacturing Technology and the chair of Machine Tools. Supported by the chair of Metrology and Quality Management all questions related to the gear technology are dealt with comprehensively.

Goals of the WZL Gear Research Circle
The motivation of the WZL Gear Research Circle is to promote practically relevant projects, to participate actively in the formation of new main research projects and hence introduce industrial questions into research. As an outcome of this the goals of the WZL Gear Research Circle are to develop new technologies within the scope of communal research and to establish them at an early stage in industrial applications. Hereby the member companies gain a technology advance and ensure their leading position in the worldwide competition.

The WZL Gear Research Circle Today
Today the member companies of the WZL Gear Research Circle represent a representative profile off the gear technology. Leading national and international companies in the field of automotive transmission systems, industrial gears, gear components, gear manufacturing and measuring machines are included as well as tool and coating technology suppliers. This trans-sectoral composition guarantees for continuous implementation of innovative and practical ideas from the drive technology.

The forum of the WZL Gear Research Circle is the advisory council meeting after the annual WZL gear conference in which the member companies have the chance introduce their suggestions and ideas into future projects and research activities.Furthermore the members can participate actively in the implementation of projects in the three fields of calculation and simulation, manufacturing as well as component and gear testing.

For its member companies the WZL Gear Research Circle is an instrument to promote new technologies neutral in respect of competition to a wide audience as well. As a result of the long standing and close collaboration of its members the Gear Research Circle furthermore offers the possibility to attach new business relations and to deepen existing customer contacts. The international orientation of the WZL Gear Research Circle satisfies the needs of increasing globalisation of the markets.

The WZL Gear Conference
A permanently installed platform for an active exchange of experience and a close cooperation of the WZL Gear Research Circle is the annual gear conference which takes place in the Eurogress in Aachen, Germany. The newest findings from the field of the gear technology are presented to the member companies during two days by the employees of the WZL gear department. The presentations are completed by a panel discussion in which actual questions of the gear technology are discussed from the point of the industrial users involving the gear research circle members.

A permanent component of the Gear Conference is also the presentation of our software, the visit of the WZL shop floor as well as a multitude of different test rigs for researches into noise and load carrying capacity. Especially in the environment of these presentations and visits numerous interesting discussions with both the representatives of industry and the employees of the WZL are initiated. With actually more than 250 participants from Europe and worldwide the WZL Gear Conference is an approved and at the same time one of the biggest annual events in gear technology in Europe for more than 50 Years.

Research activities of the WZL Gear Department
Inimitable in Europe intense research is conducted in the fields of gear design, gear manufacturing, gear measuring methods and gear testing by the Gear Department. A special characteristic of this work is the integrated consideration of gear technology from the design over manufacturing and test methods to the gear performance. The persistent examination of fundamental and praxis orientated topics concerning the whole chain of development, manufacturing and testing within one institution is unique.

Considering all relevant areas of gear technology synergy effects can be used and integrated solutionscan be offered, which are specified to the demands of the member companies of the WZL Gear Research Circle. Together with our partners we work on bilateral solutions for special tasks. At the same time we conduct research projects with industrial unions (VDW/FWF, FVA, AGMA...). Further research activities are conducted in the scope of publicly funded projects. These are for example research projects of the DFG, BMBF, AiF, BriteEuram, Craft, etc. Additionally the capital resources of the Gear Research Circle allow us picking up interesting topics short term. You can take an overview about the key aspects of the research projects from our information brochure of the WZL Gear Department.

Additional services of the WZL Gear Research Circle
Beside the already mentioned advantages of a membership in the WZL Gear Research Circle, the membership offers these additional achievements to you:
- Favoured participation in events of the WZL Gear Research Circle as a consultant or participant (WZL Gear Conference, seminars, Workshops...)
- Company-specific educations and consultancies
- Considerable improved access to all programs of the WZL software pool
- Creation of newer and well adapted to the specific necessities of the member of the WZL Gear Research Circle software products
- Early and favoured consideration with the co-design of national and international research projects
- Short run execution of bilateral research projects to special conditions
Contents of such research projects can be for example:
- Design of gears and production processes with modern software
- Studies of chipping for different technologies
- Evaluation and optimisation of processes and process chains
- Estimation of mechanisms of damage in the gear tooth system
- Analysis of the noise behaviour in proving grounds or locally
- Experimental studies of tooth flank and root load carrying capacitiy

Member Companies
Have a look at the list of our international industry Partners in the WZL Gear Research Circle

Research Topic Form

Our Events
WZL Gear Conference May 16-17, 2018
Registration only for members of the WZL Gear Research Circle

Trends in Gear Soft Manufacturing November 7-8, 2018
Anmeldung beim WZLforum

WZL Gear Conference June 5-6, 2019
Registration only for members of the WZL Gear Research Circle

Your Contacts
For questions and further information about the WZL Gear Research Circle, please contact Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Christoph Löpenhaus, the chief engineer of the WZL Gear Department, or Tim Frech M.Sc., the administrator of the WZL Gear Research Circle.
You can contact us by:
Phone +49/241/80-27416 (Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Christoph Löpenhaus)
Phone +49/241/80-25371 (Tim Frech M.Sc.)
Fax +49/241/80-22293


Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Technology
Aachen University
Gear Department
Chair of Machine Tools
Prof. Dr.-Ing. C. Brecher
Phone +49 / 241 / 80-27407

Chair of Manufacturing Technology
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bergs
Phone +49 / 241 / 80-27401

Steinbachstraße 19
52074 Aachen
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