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.
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 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.
Unlike other solutions, being fully integrated into Romax and automatable, the accurate gear geometry is always considered in the context of the full drive system for durability, NVH, and efficiency analysis; it is very easy to use, and it can be run as part of parametric studies or in batch mode.
It is also possible to export gear sets from Romax and open these in the full version of Dontyne’s Machine Centre, which will enable Romax users to directly provide data to gear manufacturers who use Machine Centre for the detailed tooling design and other manufacturing aspects.
Dr Michael Fish, Co-founder, Dontyne Systems comments “Dontyne was formed to improve communication along the gear production process to enable greater production efficiency and product performance. Our software allows better integration of design and manufacture data to quickly assess the influence of each on the other so that problems can be identified and adjustments made, if required, before commitment to machining. During the development of our software we have always kept in mind that it must be flexible enough to integrate with existing systems for maximum utilisation and lowest cost to customers. Our collaboration with Romax is perfectly suited to this end and will benefit both companies and the industry in general. We are looking forward to expanding the scope of the collaboration in future releases.”
Kristian Kouumdjieff, Product Manager Romax Enduro, Hexagon, comments: “We are excited about the possibilities this partnership opens and the technologies we can develop and bring into practice together. We are looking forward to working with Dontyne and with our customers and partners to improve industry practices for the development and production of geared electro-mechanical drive systems.”