Gear Summit 2015 captures the macro view and future vision for the industry

Sandvik Coromant successfully hosted the first-ever Gear Summit on March 16th to 19th 2015 in Sandviken, Sweden. Twenty-five of the world-leading decision-makers and experts from the gear industry were invited to discuss the common challenges and the future of gear manufacturing.

Attendees of the first ever Gear Summit on March 16th to 19th 2015 in Sandviken, Sweden
Attendees of the first ever Gear Summit on March 16th to 19th 2015 in Sandviken, Sweden

Axel Küpper, Manager Marketing and Business Development, Gear Milling Solutions, at Sandvik Coromant stated the goal of the summit by saying, “In a world characterized by its increasing tempo, it is more important than ever that we gather to create a common platform and make sure we are working towards the same goal.”
The manufacturing industry has an interesting journey ahead, that’s for sure. “The goal with Gear Summit 2015 is not just to keep updated with the latest game-changers, but to stay one step ahead,” Axel Küpper elaborated.

The discussion and workshop touched upon the opportunities and threats for the gear industry from four different perspectives: political, economic, social and technological. Some of the commonly agreed priorities were:

• The importance of raising awareness about the vital role gear manufacturing plays in the global economy, especially when it comes to policy and decision-makers
• New cutting technologies are about to transform the gear manufacturing business. How manufacturers respond to this shift in technology will shape the future of the competitive landscape
• A rapidly growing middle class will increase demand for products, making the shortage of resources such as raw materials, energy and know-how one of the greatest challenges for future generations
• Gear manufacturing presents advantageous future career opportunities to our future generation, especially within R & D. The challenge is in retaining and attracting the right competences

“It is a great opportunity to gather the top leaders under the same roof and discuss how we, as a group, can come up with solutions to improve our industry. If we manage to do that, it will enhance our ability to improve the situation out in the market place,” said David Goodfellow, CEO at Star SU, one of the world’s largest gear machine and gear tool manufacturing producers.
There were also lively discussions about how to meet challenges in new markets such as Africa and China.“If we can identify at least one or two actions that will help us to bring the best out of the new opportunities into industrial application, that I think would be beneficial,” said Jannik Henser, representing the application-oriented research organization Fraunhofer.

Besides a number of insightful presentations from top leaders from manufacturers like Scania and Siemens, the meeting also gave the opportunity to network, thus encouraging different perspectives from the gear manufacturing industry.

The main part of the event took place in Sandviken in Sandvik Coromant’s new center for metal cutting technology. The event also included a guided tour at Sandvik Coromant’s production plant in Gimo and a visit to Sandvik’s headquarters in Stockholm.

Participant List:

American Gear Manufacturers Association, Siemens, Scania, RWTH Aachen and Fachhochschule Aalen, Fraunhofer, Klingelnberg, Liebherr, Gleason, Star SU and DMG, JTekt, Assiot, Ovako and Overton Chicago Gear.

High-performance machining of aluminium structural parts

In the aerospace industry, high-volume cutting of aluminium structural parts is of major importance. Frame elements or wing parts are generally milled from solid material, and often more than 90% of the raw part is cut away. The tools and machines used therefore must have a reliable and high performance level to avoid scrap and keep the machining times as short as possible.

The new high-performance milling cutters OptiMill-SPM can be used with unmatched feed rates.
The new high-performance milling cutters OptiMill-SPM can be used with unmatched feed rates.

With the new high-performance milling tools OptiMill-SPM MAPAL presents a highly efficient tool solution of roughing aluminium structural parts. One important feature is the cutting edge length that corresponds to approx. 60% of the diameter, allowing the maximum contact depth for the high-performance milling of aluminium to be exploited. The PCD blades are optimally embedded and ensure a high stability. Thanks to the high positive cutting edge geometry and the optimised chip spaces, the cutting force of PCD milling cutters is reduced by up to 15%. The conical design also contributes to the high performance level of the tools. It prevents ending of the tool during the machining process and scratching of the part wall caused by chips.

The new OptiMill-SPM milling cutters are very successfully used in practice. A milling cutter ø 32 mm with three cutting edges machines a frame element from AlZnMgCu 1,5 with a spindle speed of 28,000 rpm. The tool delivers optimum results with feed speeds of 16,800 mm/min and a cutting depth of 12 mm. The machining parameters were increased even further in a high-pressure test conducted in the testing centre at MAPAL. The milling cutter showed an optimum performance even at a feed speed of 22,000 mm/min. The material removal rate even exceeded 8 l/min in this case.

The OptiMill-SPM tools are available in the diameter range from 6 to 50 mm, both as PCD and solid carbide variants in the standard range. The product portfolio also includes variants with the CFS replaceable head system.