From what emerges from the recent national and international conferences regarding gears and transmissions, in particular for applications in the automotive sector, the toothed wheels have not yet reached the peak of their development.
On the contrary. Despite the fact that it is an undoubtedly mature product whose performance is already very high, there is still significant room for improvement to design “the gears of the future” in terms of:
- power density
- NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness).
These are all factors on which several research projects are working. The main objectives on which we are focusing are weight reduction, new materials and performance.
Obviously the requirements in terms of lightweight (power density), NVH and efficiency are increasingly stringent. This, though representing an objective difficulty, serves as an incentive for designers to explore new solutions and materials or to apply standard attention and solutions to the standard gears, which until now were only dedicated to high-end sectors and special applications, such as aerospace.
The economic efficiency of the entire production process plays a decisive role: traditional processes can now count on increasingly advanced dedicated machines, thanks to the innovations introduced by Industry 4.0.
The machines for the machining of gears have become more sophisticated to meet the new needs of the market:
- greater precision of coupling of tooth profiles
- always higher overall geometric tolerances.
It follows that today the integration between design and technology is increasingly evident: the historical specialists of the project are equipped for the work and the technologists are more and more concerned with functional requirements and resistance checks.
However, precision, rigidity, ease of use and reduced maintenance remain the key factors for the quality of clamping systems.