With gears over 3 metres in diameter
Big gears almost always run vital processes, which are often also a company’s most expensive ones. In many cases the company may have no backup equipment and any breakage can easily cause long downtime, possibly even resulting in the company being unable to finish the job or continue operating. So whom do you trust with these gears, measured in metres not centimetres and costing you tens of thousands not just thousands?
There’s just no room for mistakes
The bigger the gear, the higher the price, and this increases the risks: Optimization is a different story when big gears are on the design table. The design choices made almost always need to be conservative, not trying to minimize or economize on all and everything. On the other hand, the gear design cannot be too conservative. That would make the whole gear drive too large or heavy and affect competitiveness. Arriving at the right design choices takes a profound understanding of the application in question. All sorts of things must be considered, growth in granular size, various aspects in gear blank design, hardenability, carburizing depth, etc. That’s right. With big gears, it must be right first time – every time. Not only the design but every step of the production.
A profound understanding of the application is required.
Caution at every corner
It’s definitely down to size. Every kilo of steel and all heat treatment costs. So yes, on the manufacturing shop floor it’s all about extreme caution. Even a small bump with a forklift can turn a 50k€ gear into scrap metal in an instant. In contrast, for example, to the automobile industry with its highly-robotized production lines, where the volume of everything is huge – including the gears – with big gears there’s no place to build or test prototypes, either. That’s why at ATA Gears, the cutting tools, heat treatment parameters and other parts of the gear manufacturing process are all chosen based on long experience.
And another thing, big gears don’t fit into small machines either. Even moving them needs monster cranes and trucks. Over the years, ATA Gears has invested heavily in all of these machines and we can handle the relevant lifting routines. ATA Gears is also one of the few real gear specialist companies with its own in-house heat treatment facility. This process has been proven time and time again to ensure technical excellence and flexible deliveries. Because we know that with big gears, you need a truly experienced supplier.
ATA Gears has its own in-house heat treatment facility.