THEY DON’T MAKE EM’ LIKE THEY USED TO!!
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
Recently, The Gear Works was commissioned to manufacture a new pinion to mate with an existing bull gear. The gear had been in storage for the last 42 years (since 1974) and had never been in service. It arrived packaged and preserved in the original crate. When cleaned up, it was still in “as-new” condition. The original manufacturer was the Maag Gear Wheel Company of Zurich, Switzerland. The gear set was to be used in a high horsepower, high speed compressor application, so accuracy was essential.
Our first step was to confirm the gear geometry and accuracy of the 13,000 pound gear on our CNC gear analyzer. To our astonishment, the tooth flanks tested AGMA Q-14 for both profile and lead, which is impressive given the 20.5” face width. The tooth flank surface finish showed the distinctive “cross hatch” pattern that exemplified the generating tooth grinding method developed by Maag. Although that method has been made obsolete with the advent of CNC form grinding, it is hard not to appreciate the talent and machines that preceded our current gear manufacturing technology. The bull gear was deemed fit-for-service, as is.