09.07.2021

Power-transmitting components: Performance in disguise

Most motorized vehicles registered today contain a transmission. The task of the transmission is to absorb the power of the engine - the torque - and to transmit it further. The transmission enables the torque to be transmitted to the wheels and thus moves the vehicle.

In a conventional passenger car, the transmission comprises, from a structural point of view, on the one hand the housing and, on the other hand, components such as transmission shafts, gears, bearings, etc., which in an impressive structure represent the actual transmission. Unfortunately, this detailed view remains hidden when simply looking under the hood.

Transmission shafts and transmission shaft components

Gear shafts and gears are important components in the transmission of engines. Together, they convert engine speed into driving speed. Both gear shafts and gears must be particularly resilient, fatigue-free and as precise as possible. To meet these requirements, gear shafts are forged to the highest tolerances. Due to the precision requirements, further processing of these semi-finished products is usually carried out by grinding. 

Steady clamping and reduction of process times even for slim components

High process reliability, workpiece accuracy and machine availability: It is hard to imagine many areas of application without this. Among other things, manufacturers of drive shafts for electric motors, complex camshafts or crankshafts, and transmission shafts demand different detailed solutions. Depending on whether, for example, only a single operation, several grinding operations or combined internal and external grinding operations are to be carried out. In addition, depending on the component, manufacturers of power-transmitting components require complementary technology modules such as an in-process measuring device, dressing units for CBN and corundum grinding wheels, automatic balancing units, powerful spindles and much more.

Of the power-transmitting components, gear shafts are particularly interesting in terms of grinding technology. This is because a wide variety of grinding processes are used here. For example, the bearing seats are round ground, and depending on the design, gear and/or profile grinding operations are used for the power-transmitting components, and thread or surface grinding operations are used in the connection areas.

Here, the grinding machines from Haas Schleifmaschinen offer the necessary accuracy for these demanding grinding applications thanks to their high-precision design. Measuring, testing and monitoring systems do not allow tolerances to be exceeded. Clamping is of crucial importance here, as stability is one of the basic requirements for precise round machining. If necessary, this can be optimized by automated steady rests and tailstocks.

The complete machining philosophy reduces idle and non-productive times to an absolute minimum. This is because the grinding wheels are dressed in the process, the tool magazine holds the corresponding grinding wheels and associated coolant distributions, which can then be changed very easily and quickly if required, and the possible automation lays the foundation for a high level of autonomy and low-manpower operation. A special finesse is the CNC-adjustable coolant nozzles, which ensure optimum cooling in the grinding process with dressable grinding wheels.

Mobility revolution: No reason to panic

Even if it is assumed that the number of components to be ground will decrease with increasing e-mobility, current trends in research and development point in a different direction. Porsche, for example, always supplies its e-cars with transmissions. Mercedes also equips its EQ series with automatic transmissions as standard.  Since the outcome of the mobility turnaround that has been heralded - as of today - has not yet been conclusively determined, there is still a long way to go before we can speak of an end to the processing of engine components. In particular, research and development efforts in the field of hydrogen combustion engines are currently firing the imagination of designers and the resulting need for prototypes. For this purpose, the grinding machines from the Multigrind® series from Haas Schleifmaschinen are also economical for the production of prototypes and very small series due to their versatility.

The author

Zita Bader

Zita Bader works in the marketing and communication department of Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH.

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