Pictured (L-to-R): Gear Master’s Kevin Geloge, William Abke, Kyle Dobbs, Richard Conger, Patrick Greer, Tim Hoban, and Lon Parker.

Gear Master Inc. was mapping a plan for growth in 2019 and according to Sales Manager Terry Roach, “We saw market growth potential by adding hobbing ability for small-diameter parts and for long-shaft hobbing parts more than 500mm long.”

The solution that solved both needs: a Helios Hera 90-W horizontal CNC gear hobbing machine, completely installed within a few months. It can hob small diameter parts, has capacity for part lengths up to 600mm, delivers high-speed carbide hobbing, and has domestic support.

Gear Master specializes in precision gear and spline manufacturing. Since its start in 1997, the company has built a wide range of CNC machining capabilities that include dedicated grinding and hobbing platforms. Gear Master serves the medical, aerospace, defense, and industrial sectors, and the company’s Hera 90-W from Helios Gear Products improves its ability to serve customers.

A 32 DP, 26-tooth, 303 stainless steel spur gear requires AGMA Q9 quality. With thousands used monthly in a surgical device, the part requires highly productive hobbing to be profitable for a job shop. Prior to acquiring the Hera 90-W this was a challenge because an aging hobber limited the application to only 2 pieces per cycle due to the machine’s lack of rigidity. Today, Gear Master manufactures these parts 4 pieces per cycle.

Gear Master found Helios to be a reliable partner to support demanding opportunities. For example, Dana Corp. quickly needed a small-diameter tool for a prototype job for the electric vehicle (EV) market. Helios delivered a carbide hob with arbor tooling in less than 4 weeks, enabling Gear Master to exceed customer expectations.

In another job, a 1.95 module, 19-tooth, 32° helical gear needed to be cut on a long-shaft part for an Olympic transportation vehicle. Gear Master was losing 18% of its production due to quality issues from chatter and lead error. The job shop was also constrained by the application’s target cycle time that maxed out the incumbent CNC hobbing platform, forcing the application to use an aggressive feed rate.

By moving the application to the Hera 90-W, machinists used the same workholding strategy, but the new machine inherently removes chatter and improves lead error by offering a more rigid platform. With hobbing speeds up to 6,000rpm, Gear Master optimized the application by increasing speed and decreasing feed. Today the parts meet quality with a minimized fallout rate, allowing the shop to save on scrap parts.

“Our operators are very pleased with the ease of programming on the machine and with the high repeatability of the machine,” says Lon Parker, operations manager for Gear Master.

Together, Helios and Gear Master have forged a relationship for versatile horizontal gear manufacturing success.

Helios Gear

Gear Master Inc.