To ensure smooth operation, gears have to be produced with very high accuracy. Gear teeth need to touch in exactly the right place for an even rotation and equal transmission of force. Uneven teeth gradually wear out; any play in the assembly or meshing eventually reduces the service life of the part and impairs the functioning of the aero engine.
This requirement for maximum accuracy is one of the major inspection challenges. The teeth must be produced to micron levels of accuracy to ensure fit and optimum positional point of contact. The different gear types required, such as planetary gears and curvic couplings, increases the variety of profiles to be measured.
Hexagon offers a selection of measurement solutions for gear inspection. A 3D coordinate measuring machine (CMM) with a highly precise tactile scanning probe supports the high accuracy demands of external, epicyclic and bypass gearboxes. This configuration is ideal for accurately capturing the variety of gear tooth features like top land, pitch surface, bottom land, and flank. A CMM with a rotary table design can also offer high acceleration and positioning speed for reduced gear inspection cycle times.
Software tailored to gear inspection includes a gear measurement toolbox, catering for a full range of types and sizes of gears, as well as offering more measurement and reporting capabilities for different geometries.