Gear design and engineering is a complex discipline, requiring design considerations and calculations for feasibility and utility. Gear configurations and associated mating parts are essential components to a machine’s operation; furthermore, the longevity and efficiency of these components is critical to production and operations.
When working on a new gear design, an example of design features and characteristics an engineer must consider include:
- Strength of the gear in order to avoid failure at starting torques or under dynamic loading during running conditions
- Wear characteristics on the gear teeth
- Selection of material combinations
- Proper alignment
- Adequate and proper lubrication
Gear design is truly a specialized subject that requires extensive research and experience when engineering new solutions. Preliminary research and due diligence is the foundation of the final product, and all aspects of the design must be thoughtfully considered.
Focused on Functionality
Two of L&H Industrial’s gear engineers, Brian Maurer and Nicolae Adam, daily challenges include: selecting proper materials, determining the product’s pre and post conditions, validating concepts, design check and approvals, problem-solving for customers, creating new designs, collaborating with fellow engineers to tackle design and manufacturing issues, and much more. They are the brains behind some of L&H Industrial’s most novel innovations.
Functionality is what drives this gear design team, attentiveness in creating a seamless high quality design for a longer lasting life through efficiency and durability is an important part of these innovations. Quality is essential throughout the entire process, from design to manufacturing and ultimately applied in the field, there is no room for error. Maurer explains,
“Quality is everything we stand behind here at L&H; it’s important to guarantee the customer won’t have an issue.”
These engineers don’t stop after design: they often oversee the project through production. Adam plays a role in final testing to further assure quality, including vibration analysis, spin tests, thermal and noise monitoring.
Curating original designs
As a design engineer, custom projects are the ultimate challenge but also the most rewarding. Both Adam and Maurer have had their fair share of custom design projects. One specific project Maurer recalls included the design and engineering for a dredge, one of the pivotal moments in his career.. “Developing an entire machine design with a team of L&H engineers and other specialty companies was a project that required full system integration from mechanical to electrical,” explained Maurer. Designing the machinery and transmissions into a confined space on the machine, along with implementing customer requests, created many road blocks to overcome.
“And although this project was deep into my career as an engineer, the complexity and scope of the project provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience I utilize today.”
The dredge was an original machine design that both Maurer and Adam jointly engineered. When it comes down to the science of engineering, this was definitely one for the books for the two engineers: a challenge, a learning experience and a project they will never forget.