Gearing Up for the Future

ZEISS software supports gear hob development at Sandvik

In 2010 toolmaker Sandvik Coromant tasked ZEISS with creating a measuring program for gear hobs. The result: Using the GEAR PRO hob software from ZEISS, the company reduced its measuring times by up to 80 percent. The automatically generated measurement reports verify the accuracy of each gear hob. 

Challenge: verify precision – with acceptable outlay

"Precision is enormously important to our customers – and we have to verify it with our measuring systems," says Axel Küpper, Senior Manager, Global Sales and Application, Gear Milling Solutions at Sandvik Coromant, the world leader in tools and tool solutions. "If the profile of a gear wheel for a crane is not manufactured precisely, the manufacturer may have just wasted 40,000 euros." This was precisely the reason why the subject of metrology was so important for Sandvik when the company decided to enter the market for gear hobs.

Sandvik was already using ZEISS coordinate measuring machines. What was missing, however, was a specialized measuring program that met three criteria: first, during the measurement, all 17 DIN 3968 requirements on a hob of a certain quality class must be covered. Second, the results of this measurement should be automatically entered in the measurement report. Finally, the software should facilitate fast measurements. Sandvik was unable to find software on the market that met their needs. Their inquiry to ZEISS led to a development collaboration.

Solution: ZEISS GEAR PRO hob measuring software

In 2010, ZEISS installed at Sandvik in Schmalkalden the first development level of software designed for hob measurements. Development continued at the same time: Sandvik worked on the first models of its hob and used the software for the accompanying measurements. Carl Zeiss incorporated the data from these measurements into the ongoing development of the software. The breakthrough came in 2011: Sandvik introduced its first hob, the CoroMill 176. ZEISS also completed programing the first version of its software for hob measurements.

Benefit: measuring time reduced by 80 percent

Today, the GEAR PRO hob measuring software from ZEISS meets all the requirements defined by Sandnik without exception: at the push of a button the measuring machine measures all of the distances and dimensions specified in DIN 3968. The software uses the results to generate the measurement report. This documents the accuracy class of each gear hob for Sandvik's customers. "And we are receiving very good feedback," states a pleased Küpper. He is also more than satisfied with the measuring time: it takes us around 25 minutes to measure a module 4 hob with 70 teeth and enter the results in the report. This process took 2.5 hours in the past, a reduction of approx. 80 percent.