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Many shops shy away from manufacturing jobs involving parts that require some form of gear machining operations. These shops believe that such work is very complicated and requires specialized expertise and equipment, including individual machines dedicated to gear skiving or hobbing. But instead of refusing gear work or farming it out to gear specialists, job shops can easily keep gear work in-house – and even attract new customers – with the power of the INTEGREX Auto Gear (AG) series.

With the power of the INTEGREX AG and the onboard SMOOTH Gear Machining package, user-friendly interfaces and production-data input processes make gear production approachable for shops concerned about complexity. Mazak’s SMOOTH Gear Machining software allows for the conversational input of project parameters on the MAZATROL SmoothX CNC machine controls, making it easy for virtually any operator to handle gear-related projects with SMOOTH Gear Milling, Hobbing and Skiving functions to machine parallel-axis O.D., I.D. and spline-type gears.

These advanced gear-making applications require no 3D models or CAD/CAM programming steps. Instead, operators simply enter workpiece parameters into a conversational dashboard interface and the software creates the necessary machine instructions. Operators can then modify tooth profiles and leads, set up edge tapers, and take advantage of SMOOTH Gear Machining’s sub-micron profiling capabilities.

Gear hobbing and gear skiving are complex processes which can take weeks and sometimes months to complete after factoring in the lead time required for the cutters. To avoid long setups and time-intensive preparations, Mazak SMOOTH Gear Milling lets shops utilize off-the-shelf milling tools to cut O.D. spur and helical gears from machine preparation all the way to delivery within three days or less, all without using CAD/CAM expertise or software.

Once gears are machined, shops need to check them, but given that moving workpieces/gears among a number of machines and processes to produce them introduces the risk of error with each subsequent setup, this is very difficult for shops without gear-specific setups. With INTEGREX AG machines, these tasks become single-setup jobs, including measurement and deburring, thanks to SMOOTH Gear Check.

The optional SMOOTH Gear Check software/hardware integration uses a built-in probe to conduct phase detection and measure tooth profile, trace, and pitch in preparation for an automated deburring process or the use of additional machine features. Like the other SMOOTH Gear Machining features, SMOOTH Gear Check uses conversational on-screen programming to set up scanning operations, making it even easier for shops to limit and even eliminate the need to move workpieces between machines for measurement and refinement, increasing production accuracy and efficiency.

With DONE IN ONE capabilities, specialized software and refined hardware, Mazak HYBRID Multi-Tasking INTEGREX Auto Gear (AG) machines take the guesswork out of cutting gears. Shops that used to turn away from jobs involving some gear cutting can now make easy work of the task and expand the processing capabilities they offer customers.