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Tuesday 17th May 2016

No-one Told Us It Couldn't Be Done

The Challenge:

Cold forging an intricate drive gear

We were asked by one of our customers’ design teams to collaborate with them to produce a gear which would be stronger than their current product and less costly.

The gear in question was previously a die casting which required very expensive tooling, but more importantly, the gear was failing during their strength testing program, these repeated failures was holding up the customers proposed launch date for a new product that the gear went into

Whist we had made straight gears before, this eight tooth gear also had an involute profile to ensure constant meshing, a tough brief as in order to keep costs down, the product needed to be produced straight off the forging machine with no second operations

Our forging engineers set to work with our customers’ designers. After a couple of weeks of long days in our in- house Toolroom, we felt we had a viable tooling design.

The tooling took a further couple of weeks, manufactured in high grade hardened steel to reduce time and costs, rather than going straight to carbide, (which is what the final tooling set up would be made from). The results of the sample runs were extremely positive. After a few tweaks the product was being produced at 80 per minute off a multi- die heading machine with no second operation machining

So confident were we that the design would work, we commissioned the carbide tooling to run in parallel with customer testing. The results were encouraging, but then the customer increased the strength requirement still further, well above the original specification. This time the gear had to be strong enough that the gear casing would fail before the gear.

We achieved this by hardening and tempering the gear, finally the gear was plated to improve its aesthetic properties and grease packed at the point of assembly to ensure smooth running

Production started 12 weeks from the initial brief.

This special drive gear is just one of the specialist cold forged products in our impressive range.

Please contact us if you want advice on the viability of converting an existing product to cold forging. Or better still; involve the experts at the outset of your design project in order to get the most cost effective design results.

A division of Clevedon Fasteners Limited