Gibbs Gears recently installed a high-precision KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER CNC external / internal gear grinding machine at the company’s Stoke Mandeville HQ. The advanced KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER Viper 500K will further expand the busy concern’s gear grinding capacity and enable the production of the most complex of gear geometries to the highest of standards.
Now in its seventh decade of operation, Gibbs Gears is a well-known precision gear manufacturer that produces top-quality precision gears for both the UK and increasingly worldwide markets with. Gibbs Gears’ in-house expertise and impressive plant list allows the company to serve customers involved in some of the world’s most challenging sectors, such as the Aerospace, Motor Sport & Automotive, Medical, Marine, MOD and Defence and the Oil and Gas industry.
To help guarantee the highest levels of service and the manufacture of the best possible products, company experts work closely with customers, from concept to realisation, and offer technical support to full gear prototype and development.
Gibbs Gears boast comprehensive gear manufacturing capabilities and is able to produce a wide range of high-quality precision gears, spline shafts, gear racks, pinions, worms and wheels. Complete gearboxes and gearbox assemblies are also supplied. In addition to first-class design and inspection facilities, core manufacturing capabilities include, CNC turning, CNC Milling, CNC grinding, CNC gear shaping, CNC helical gear shaping and CNC hobbing.
Explaining the company’s recentKLINGELNBERG HÖFLER CNC gear grinding machine purchase, Paul Stevens, Gibbs Gears Operational Director said. “To ensure that Gibbs Gears remains at the forefront of transmission technology and related manufacturing techniques, we are committed to a policy of continuous investment in leading-edge production equipment. The purchase of our recently installed KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER Viper 500K gear grinder was prompted largely by our growing business within the Formula 1, Formula E and other motorsport classes, it was also driven by a significant increase in business from the Hypercar and Aerospace sectors. The common denominators between all of these industries is their need for the highest standards of precision and quality, the technically challenging nature of the complex gear geometries they specify and their frequent requirement for fast delivery times.
“Because of increasing business with these demanding sectors, we recently undertook a search for a cutting-edge gear grinder. Although a couple of the technically advanced gear grinding machines that we considered ticked some of our boxes, the only machine that delivered on all of our long list of requirements was the KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER Viper 500K. It also helped our decision that many of our customers use KLINGELNBERG machines and have been delighted with their performance.
“When specifying the machine, the help of Mark Maurice, the owner of UK KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER agent, Micronz was extremely useful. Mark also ensured the trouble-free installation of the machine and also organised our operator training.
“Now fully operational, in addition to proving its ability to produce gears with the demanding standards of precision and quality that we require, the KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER Viper 500K has the speed of operation and quick change-over characteristics that are now improving our productivity and also reducing our delivery times. As we manufacture gears in low to medium volumes – a typically production run would be between 20 and 200 units – the fact that the KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER Viper 500K is optimised for these kind of volumes, also makes the machine ideal for our needs.”
Leading gear manufacturers throughout the world use KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER gear grinding machines to make certain that they remain at the forefront of gear manufacturing methodologies. Renowned KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER technology does more than just enable users to manufacture cylindrical gears economically and with high precision. The company’s machines are designed to work together as a family in a unified system, enabling pre-machining and finishing of even the most complex gears.
All KLINGELNBERG machines have been designed with real-world applications in mind and have been developed to provide great flexibility and to satisfy a multitude of industry requirements. Global customers include contract gear and gearbox manufacturers involved in demanding sectors such as the aerospace, automotive, mining, construction, industrial gearbox and wind power industries.
The KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER VIPER 500 K gear grinding machine, as purchased by Gibbs Gears, is designed to accommodate component diameters of up to 500 mm. The machine features multiple-wheel technology and is suitable for the efficient production of small to medium-sized batches.
The ingenious configuration of the machines allows users to change the grinding technology by quickly swapping-out the grinding wheel, the grinding wheel flank and the dressing wheel. An optional internal gear grinding arm allows retooling and conversion from external to internal gearing work. In addition, the KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER VIPER 500K’s innovative axis arrangement allows optimised 5-axis machining in the shortest possible grinding time. These facilities are major contributing factors to the machine’s renowned flexibility and ability to consistently produce high-precision, quality work. The innovative machine design also allows easy cleaning and improved performance capabilities while saving energy.
In addition to KLINGELNBERG HÖFLER’s advanced gear grinding hardware, easy to use software makes a significant contribution to the effectiveness of the company’s machines. Gear-Pro operating software guarantees the convenient machining of even the most complex of topographies and ensures maximum manufacturing efficiencies are achieved. The software provides impressive productivity gains by the delivery of advanced machining strategies and logical process sequences. Convenient software modules for best-fit, high-speed, adaptive grinding have been developed, whilst a flexible module allows highly efficient wheel dressing to be carried out.
The comprehensive software offers a wide range of useful facilities. Job Engineering / Pre-analysis allows exact process time calculations to be made with original machine data. In addition, 3D analysis of the planned process steps, related to working range and possible interference contours, is provided, as is predictive tool wear pre-analysis.
The feature rich software delivers Geometric production simulation with 3D analysis of the simulated flank topography and the calculation and export of optimised tool profiles. It also offers simple navigation through clearly structured interface areas and well-organised Microsoft® Windows®-like data management. Intuitive data input is made via a clear graphical display, whilst easily understandable operator guidance is provided by means of an automatically generated list of process steps. Thanks to numerous context-sensitive wizards, including wizards for a range of tried-and tested process variants, the software allows the trouble-free input of even the most complex of flank topographies and profile forms.