Sep 26, 2012
Cleveland Gear is busier than ever, with high demand for large worm gear sets for oil and gas exploration and production
applications, electric power generation and other heavy industries. Slashing worm gear production time
takes 100 years of know-how –and Gleason Total Gear Solutions.
Worm gears have come a long way since the Greek mathematician Archimedes’ pioneering work in screw design some 2,200 years ago. For example, worm gearing today is a key component in hydraulic fracturing, a process that has unlocked vast reservoirs of natural gas and unleashed a new energy boom in the U.S. Worm gearing is used in this process to transmit power from large diesel engines to the pumps that inject high volumes of fluid at very high pressure into a drilled hole. In the power generation industry, worm gears are used in coal pulverizers to deliver the torque required to produce the enormous pressure to crush coal into fine powder so it can burn more efficiently. For these and many other heavy-duty applications requiring speed reduction, from hot metal cranes in steel mills to material handling and mass transit systems, worm gears have never been in greater demand.
It’s a good problem to have, acknowledges Bill Hupp, Manager of Manufacturing Engineering at Cleveland Gear Co., one of America’s most successful worm gear and gear reducer manufacturers – and oldest – with the celebration of its 100 year anniversary this year. “Our niche is the ability to more efficiently produce large worm gears having a center distance up to 54", and usually in lot sizes of just three or less,” says Mr. Hupp. “We’re unique in that we have the master worms, worm form gauges and custom hobs for virtually every gear set we’ve produced, so we can replicate exactly a gear originally made as far back as the early 1900s. But of equal importance given today’s demand is the investment we’ve made in new Gleason hobbing machines and tooling, whichwe’ve found to be the most productive solutions available.”
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