HRS uses lathe for gear skiving

Lathes have many uses, some of which are less conventional than others, like gear skiving. A case in point can be seen at one of Europe’s largest specialist manufacturers and suppliers of gear racks, pinions, leadscrews and nuts, Halifax Rack & Screw (HRS), which has recently started producing round gears at its Brighouse factory in West Yorkshire.

For machining round gears accurately and quickly, the firm has invested in a gear skiving machine: an Okuma Multus U3000-2SW from NCMT. Already installed and operational, this bar-fed, multi-tasking lathe is about to be fitted with automation equipment to further speed the handling of components, free up more operator time and make the process even more efficient.
Sales engineer at HRS, Simon Matthews, who has been heavily involved in the project, says: “For the medium-to-large batch production of gears, skiving has become the technology of choice. For example, in the case of the first three gears we are producing for our US customer, Vermeer, the 25 minute cycle times for the two larger gears would be three to four times longer by hobbing or using other gear cutting machines. We opted for the Multus from Okuma, as it was the first multi-function machine manufacturer to develop a generic platform for skiving precision gears to DIN5 quality.”
A crucial element in gear skiving on a multi-tasking lathe is being able to synchronise accurately the B-axis rotary movement of the upper tool spindle carrying the skiving tool, with the C-axis rotation of the main spindle – functionality for which the Multus is noted.
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