Together, we achieve better results
23 December, 2020
As a worldwide player in the gear market, we have to undertake constant efforts to remain at the head of the pack. Chief among those efforts is spending sufficient time on development and innovation, not just for our products, but also for our machines. This can be achieved through investment, but also by making small adaptations. In a joint project between IGW Belgium, VCST Belgium and with support of the Process Innovation department we have done the latter.
IGW Belgium have a machine for the automatic chamfering of gear teeth on both side faces of a gear. However, this machine cannot be used for a lot of gears because they have a step in their surface just below their root. This means that these gears have to be chamfered manually, taking up valuable time. Now though, we have found a solution to solve this problem. Firstly, we introduced conical carbide mills instead of grinding wheels to make chamfering possible with a high rpm spindle. Next, we integrated a chamfering arm into the hobbing machine. This allow us to chamfer gears automatically on the hobbing machine, without any manual chamfering activities neither logistic manipulations. The manual chamfering time is reduced from a few hours to approximately 30 min.
For the design of this automatic chamfering arm as well as the production of the parts, we were able to count on our dedicated colleagues at VCST Belgium. Subsequently, the assembly and the installation onto the hobbing machine was carried out by the maintenance department of IGW Belgium. As far as operationalising and testing are concerned, this is mainly done by the operator of the machine.
Process Engineer Rik Van Den Bussche and operator Eric De Baere
VCST’s Marc Joos, who designed the system
Fruitful cooperation with Process Innovation
Every problem is an opportunity in disguise. In this case, triggered by the innovation department, we have seen the opportunity and grasped it as the perfect moment to bring together the knowledge of two of our business lines. Together we have brought this innovation project to a successful end. The value of efficient teamwork really cannot be overstated for this project. Every single colleague contributing to it fully deserves our heartfelt appreciation because their collective effort is what really determines this success.
In fact, we were so pleased with this innovative solution that we decided to reward everyone who has ensured that this project ended successfully. Therefore, Process Engineer Rik Van Den Bussche, operator Eric De Baere and the designer of the system, VCST Belgium’s Marc Joos have been handed the Process Innovation award 2020. After all, if weren’t for the dedication and cooperation of the people who work on the project, we would not have achieved the same amount of success.
Having seen how far this fruitful dynamic has taken us, we cannot wait to get to work even more efficiently than before and are looking forward to more initiatives from the Process Innovation Department for IGW plants in Belgium and in Romania. Naturally ,we will provide updates of those as well.