A new technology collaboration between Romax software and Dontyne Systems will help the industry bring the worlds of gear design and manufacturing closer together, leveraging high-end manufacturing simulation from Dontyne and Romax’s trusted, fast, system design and analysis tools.
It is widely acknowledged that there is a disconnect between design engineers and the production department or supplier, which in some cases can significantly increase the development times and costs. Such is the case with gears, which are highly sensitive to even micron-level deviations in their system performance. The tooth geometry determined by the design engineer often cannot be produced precisely as specified. Even small adjustments made by the manufacturer due to the limitations or intricacies of the manufacturing method can invalidate the design intent. This is exacerbated by manufacturing variability, which adds further uncertainty.
The impact of gear manufacturability can be severe. If unwanted deviations are found during production, the options to fix this are limited. If the tooling has already been purchased, retooling is expensive and would mean wasted costs on the original tooling. Alternatively, manufacturers can correct for unwanted errors during production, but this can take considerable time, slowing down the production with long cycle times, and requiring additional manufacturing processes and specialist tools and machines that can incur significant extra costs. In certain cases, a late-stage redesign may be required which can lead to long project delays. It is far less expensive and far quicker to resolve these issues during the design stage as opposed to the manufacturing or production stages.
However, the design engineer is rarely equipped with the right tools and expertise to take into consideration such issues at the design stage.
Together with Dontyne, we are collaborating to address this and create solutions that enable the design engineer to consider the manufacturing process at the design stage, without requiring deep gear manufacturing expertise. The first results from this collaboration have recently been released with the 2021 version of Romax software in the products Romax Enduro, Romax Spectrum, and Romax Energy. The new features will allow more accurate gear geometry to be considered for tooth contact analysis for system durability, NVH, and efficiency respectively. In this first release, we support pre-finish hobbing combined with worm (generation/continuous) grinding or form (profile) grinding simulated using Dontyne’s technology. Other processes and features are in development for future versions.
The manufacturing simulation provided by Dontyne’s powerful software is seamlessly integrated into the Romax products. We have been able to make it fully automatable and able to take as inputs the existing gear parameters that Romax users are familiar with. The tooling parameters are automatically estimated based on the designed geometry. This means it is not necessary to have a deep understanding of gear manufacturing to use it. However, it is also possible to view all the details of the tooling and the gear finishing simulation performed by Dontyne, and have more manual control for those expert users who require it.