Precision Technologies International Ltd. recently installed the latest specification KLINGENBERG Höfler CNC external / internal gear grinding machine at its Tamworth, Staffordshire HQ. Already a world leader in the supply of precision ground gears, the advanced KLINGENBERG Höfler Viper 500K, will further expand Precision Technologies’ gear grinding capacity. In addition, the new external / internal gear grinding machine, the first of its kind sold in the UK, will provide a wide range of additional capabilities, including the ability to produce the most complex of gear geometries to the highest of standards.
Precision Technologies has enjoyed an unbroken period of growth since it started life in the 1960s. The fledging businesses’ specialist tool-making skills ensured that from the company’s inception it was kept busy serving the needs of the West Midland’s automotive market. In 1987, the now much expanded business added master gear and spline gauge production, then, in 1990 a fully accredited UKAS laboratory was installed.
The ability to offer a wide range of high-precision, complex production services with short lead times allowed Precision Technologies to enter the aerospace market in the early 1990’s. Soon after, encouraged by the company’s growing reputation, Precision Technologies was contacted by one of the UK's leading Formula 1 engine manufacturers and was tasked with producing high-precision timing gears. Today the business is a major supplier to F1 and also serves several other auto-sport classes. In 2001, Precision Technologies moved into the oil and gas business by supplying specialist thread gauges.
Precision Technologies’ strategy of manufacturing high-specification precision ground gears and other challenging accurate components for many of the world’s most demanding industrial sectors has enabled it to earn a global reputation. Having been acquired by its current management team in 2015, a strategic plan was devised that has resulted in further impressive levels of growth. As significant increases in output and the imminent prospect of two major automotive gear manufacturing contracts would have placed a considerable strain on the company’s current manufacturing capacity, a search was recently undertaken for an advanced CNC gear grinding machine.
Precision Technologies, Technical Sales Director, Colin Palin explained. “Over several decades we have continually developed our range of high-precision capabilities, expanded our component size envelope and increased our productive capacity. To support our development we have invested in a wide range of specialist manufacturing plant and inspection aids for use by our skilled workers. These continuous advancements have allowed us to enter, and become trusted suppliers to the medical, aerospace, oil and gas, automotive and motorsport component markets. Many of the highly accurate power transmission components we supply to these sectors are used in high-profile, demanding applications where dimensional and metallurgical compliance is essential. Our reputation for supplying premium quality components on-time and at the right price means that demand for our services continues to rise.
“In order to expand our capacity, meet both current and anticipated demand, and to further increase our in-house capabilities, we recently investigated the available high-end, external / internal gear and spline grinding machines. Having judged several suitable machines against our demanding wish-list, we came to the conclusion that the KLINGENBERG Höfler Viper 500K CNC external/internal gear grinding machine met and in many ways exceeded our expectations. The help of Mark Maurice, the owner of UK KLINGENBERG Höfler agent, Micronz was invaluable when specifying the machine and ensuring trouble-free installation and operator training.
“Thanks to KLINGENBERG Höfler’s logical operating system, our staff quickly became skilled in the machine’s use. Our new external / internal gear and spline grinding machine is now producing the required high quantities of premium-quality ground gears with complex geometries that are used in automotive and auto-sport applications and in other equally challenging areas.”
Throughout the world, leading gear manufacturers ensure that they remain on the leading edge by the use of KLINGENBERG Höfler gear grinding machines. KLINGENBERG Höfler technology does more than just enable users to manufacture cylindrical gears economically and with high precision. All machines have been designed to work together as an interconnected system family, enabling pre-machining and finishing of even the most complex gears.
KLINGENBERG Höfler machines are developed with real-world applications in mind and satisfy a multitude of industry requirements. Customers include contract gear and gearbox manufacturers involved in the aerospace, automotive, mining, construction, industrial gearbox and wind power industries.
The KLINGENBERG Höfler VIPER 500 K gear grinding machine, as purchased by Precision Technologies, 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 KLINGENBERG Höfler VIPER 500 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 KLINGENBERG Höfler VIPER 500’s innovative axis arrangement allows optimised 5-axis machining in the shortest possible grinding time. This is a major contributing factor in the machine’s renowned flexibility and ability to consistently produce high-precision, quality work. The innovative KLINGENBERG Höfler design also facilitates easy cleaning and higher performance capabilities while saving energy.
KLINGENBERG Höfler’s advanced gear grinding hardware is only half of the story, the company‘s Gear-Pro operating software guarantees the convenient machining of even the most complex of topographies and ensures maximum manufacturing efficiency. The software provides impressive productivity gains by the delivery of advanced machining strategies and process sequences. Convenient software modules for best-fit, high-speed, adaptive grinding have been developed. In addition a flexible module allows highly efficient wheel dressing.
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 easy to use 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 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.