Quality has been described as an on-going process of building and sustaining relationships by assessing, anticipating and fulfilling stated and or implied needs. Never has this definition been more appropriate than when applied to Aldershot based FT Gearing Systems Ltd. In addition to establishing long-term relationships with its customers, the renowned manufacturer of gear technology and high-precision components also enjoys enduring associations with a small number of carefully chosen machine tool suppliers.
Since the company’s inception in 1978, to ensure the efficiency and premium quality of its output, and to further expand its range of proficiencies, the business has pursued a policy of regularly investing in the best available manufacturing technologies. This prudent strategy has helped FT Gearing to earn an excellent international reputation and enabled it to broaden its customer base. In addition to its principle, global aerospace and defence industry customer base, FT Gearing now serves an increasing variety of businesses across several equally challenging, diverse industrial sectors.
When involved in the production of premium quality gear technology and high precision components, two of the most important technical prerequisites are, the ability to achieve demanding dimensional tolerances and to impart the required surface finish characteristics to workpieces. To ensure that FT Gearing Systems consistently delivers in each of these challenging areas, and to maintain maximum levels of efficiency, the company has developed close relationships with the Swiss Grinding Machine manufacturer Studer and the company’s UK agent, Advanced Grinding Supplies Ltd.
Over several years, FT Gearing Systems’ continuous expansion has led to regular additional investments in the Swiss machines, resulting in the company now operating 16 Studer CNC Grinders – the largest collection of Studer Grinders owned by a single UK company.
To further improve production efficiencies, the business has established five satellite production units that are co-located to its Impressive HQ. Each facility is dedicated to a separate manufacturing function. FT Gearing Systems’ most recently opened production unit specialises in high-precision grinding. The advanced, temperature controlled facility houses the company’s 16 Studer CNC Grinders.
Explaining the company’s loyalty to the Studer brand and the reasons for the new Grinding facility, FT Gearing Systems’ Managing Director Graham Fitzgerald said: “In addition to other challenging customers, we manufacture and supply both domestic and overseas defence and aerospace companies with a wide range of safety critical components, such as gears, miniature gearboxes, fuel pumps, engine controls, wing surface actuators and instrumentation.
“Given the sectors we deal with, quality is in the very DNA of FT Gearing Systems and permeates every aspect of our work. A major part of our quality philosophy is to provide our highly skilled staff with the best available machine tools and to maintain close relationships with our machine tools suppliers.
“A perfect example of our use of premium quality production aids is our use of our range of advanced Studer CNC Grinders. These technically superior machines are able to consistently deliver levels of accuracy and repeatability that conventional grinding machines are unable to achieve. For instance, through the use of Studer technology we are able to accomplish sub-micron total cylindricity results on 35mm diameter gear journals, we can also achieve 0.08um levels of surface finish and gear flatness to 3 light bands.
“To enable grinding to sub-micron dimensional tolerances we recently installed our Studer CNC machines in a new, temperature controlled grinding facility. To guarantee the highest possible levels of quality and productivity, we also use the best available grinding consumables and accessories. Therefore, as well as purchasing our Studer Grinders from Advanced Grinding Supplies, we also rely on the company for items such as Diamond Dressing Tools, Precision Centres, Abrasives / Grinding Wheels, Coolant Filter Media and Air Filtration Systems.
“Our Studer CNC Grinders provide excellent levels of precision, surface finish and reliability, they also deliver outstanding levels of production. Even though we have always been delighted with the performance of our Studer machines, mindful of the possibility of technical developments made by other manufacturers, in the past we have considered other brands. Although, each time we have been able to specify a Studer Grinder that perfectly meets our needs and that outperforms the alternatives.”
The Swiss business, Fritz Studer AG was established in 1912. Now an acknowledged leader in its chosen sector, the company manufactures premium quality grinding machines for the internal and external cylindrical grinding of small and medium sized work pieces. Studer’s core strength lies in the production of machines for the efficient grinding of single, small and medium sized production runs.
Peter Harding of Advanced Grinding Supplies concluded. “As exclusive sales agents for Studer Grinding Machines in the South of England and in South Wales, we have established a strong working relationship with FT Gearing. In cooperation with FT Gearing Systems’ Managing Director Graham Fitzgerald, I have been pleased to assist in specifying each new Studer machine so that it exactly meets FT Gearings demanding needs.
“In addition to the staff of Advanced Grinding Supplies being available to offer technical assistance to FT Gearing Systems, we also provide the business with a full range of additional equipment. These consumables, including tooling, help the company to maximise the performance its Studer Grinders.”
Meet Gleason at GrindingHub 2022
At the first GrindingHub in Stuttgart/Germany, Gleason presents hard finishing of different applications from typical e-drive to large wind power gears, including threaded wheel grinding, profile grinding, gear honing and hard Power Skiving.
Gleason welcomes present and future gear manufacturers at the upcoming GrindingHub Show in Stuttgart, Germany, the first GrindingHub ever! At Booth 7C31 in Hall 7, Gleason will show a host of different hard finishing solutions for different applications including typical e-drive gears; truck, agricultural and construction gears; industrial gears, aerospace gears as well as wind power and even larger gears up to 5 m in diameter. Gleason’s hard finishing experts will be at the booth to discuss specific applications and answer any questions. Additionally, Gleason will live-stream several manufacturing processes from its global operations in Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Live streams will include threaded wheel grinding with in-process gear inspection, waviness evaluation and gear noise analysis, unique Combi Honing of stepped planetary pinions for e-drives, Hard Power Skiving of internal ring gears, and profile grinding of large wind power gears. To complement process and machine technologies, Gleason also shows latest hard finishing and dressing tools for polish grinding, gear honing and hard Power Skiving applications, as well as the appropriate workholding equipment and digital service solutions.
Visit Gleason-Pfauter, Tour the Showroom and See the Factory
Present and future customers can benefit from a visit at GrindingHub two-fold by stopping by at Gleason-Pfauter Maschinenfabrik GmbH in Ludwigsburg, located only 30 minutes by car from the Landesmesse Stuttgart. Gleason-Pfauter provides a look behind the scenes, a tour through showroom and factory and the possibility to meet the people working on customers’ projects.
In order to prepare visits and save time for discussions, visitors are kindly asked to communicate travel plans and their interest to visit Gleason-Pfauter in Ludwigsburg to make sure all technologies of interest are at their disposal. Free entry ticket to GrindingHub: www.gleason.com/grindinghub2022,
Meet Gleason at GrindingHub, Landesmesse Stuttgart, Hall 7, Booth 7C31.
Kennametal Introduces HiPACS for Aerospace Fastener Hole Drilling and Countersinking in One Step
Kennametal has introduced the HiPACS drilling and countersinking system for aerospace fastener holes. Designed to drill and chamfer holes in one operation, the high-precision tool meets the aerospace industry’s stringent accuracy requirements, while delivering increased tool life in machining composite, titanium and aluminum aircraft skins.
“Most fastener hole tools used today are complex made-to-order tools with long lead-times,” says Georg Roth, Product Manager, Kennametal. “HiPACS uses standard, off-the-shelf components for quick delivery and low cost per hole, by allowing the drill and chamfer insert to be indexed independently from one another. What’s more, it’s the only indexable drilling and countersinking system on the market that can hold the aerospace industry’s required fastener hole chamfer tolerances in just one operation.”
Three simple components eliminate the need for custom tooling
Designed to be clamped in a standard hydraulic chuck, the HiPACS modular system consists of three components that are fast and easy to assemble:
-A reducer sleeve with a built-in high-precision pocket seat. In conjunction with a standard hydraulic chuck, this component provides ultra-secure clamping and a runout of no more than 3µm, significantly increasing tool life and hole quality.
-A PCD countersinking insert. This eliminates the need for expensive custom solution step drills, reducing manufacturing costs while meeting the industry’s accuracy requirements.
-The two series of solid carbide drills —both diamond-coated and PCD-tipped—covering all material combinations found in a typical aerospace assembly. In addition, the straight shanked tools allow for length adjustments in increments of 10mm.
The new HiPACS drilling and countersinking system can be utilized on all machines typically used for aerospace applications. In less stable conditions such as robot end effectors, the diamond coated carbide drills offer excellent tool life and hole quality. PCD-tipped drills, on the other hand, excel in stable conditions such as gantry machines.
With an industry standard interface, HiPACS can be utilized on any CNC machine, and is suitable for a variety of drilling and countersinking applications.
Performance, precision, sustainability – The New Platform 6
New linear motors and tried and tested hydrostatic guides in the 6S and 6L grinding machineseries open up new potential. Higher speeds, various detailed improvements and optimized ease of maintenance result in shorter cycle times, maximized quality and cost savings. The expanded modular concept for the table assemblies makes the platform 6 grinding machines fl exible and adaptable.
High-performance linear drives along the X- and Z-axes allow high travel and acceleration values alongside reduced assembly space. Hydrostatic round guides for the X-axes enable maximum dynamics, dampen vibrations and prevent sticking or slipping by producing minimum friction. The latest measuring technology (such as in-process measurements combined with the latest control technology) helps to produce good parts from the very beginning of the grinding process.
Table assemblies, such as workpiece spindles, tailstocks or steady rests, are installed on standardized universal construction boards, which can be positioned for various workpieces either automatically or manually. The modular concept stands out thanks to a highly fl exible component arrangement of table assemblies on guide rails in the working area, and allows adaptation to future grinding tasks.
The entire concept of the grinding machine revolves around easy access to all components in and on the machine plus optimized setup. Increased accessibility and serviceability reduce maintenance effort and costs. The complete cover for all guides and motors makes the grinding machine suitable for either oil or emulsion coolant.
The polymer concrete machine stand impresses with its outstanding damping performance and high torsional stiffness. The optimized machine bed rinsing makes maintenance easier, and piping for the media feed integrated into the machine stand allows for future machine upgrades. Decreased machine size also reduces overall transportation costs.
Innovations in the fi eld of cooling, pumps and pressure regulation enable the removal of cooling media harmful to the environment and health. These environmental improvements along with increased energy effi ciency reduce maintenance requirements and round off the developments on the new platform 6.
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