What Is Gear Hobbing?

Gear hobbing is a quick and versatile process that is fundamental for gear manufacturing. Gear hobbing machines utilize a rotating cutting tool, or hob, to generate a tooth profile on gears as they are fed through the machine. The precision and accuracy of gear hobbing makes it the ideal method for gear manufacturing.

How Gear Hobbing Works

A gear hobbing machine contains two skew spindles. One of these spindles houses the hob, while the other houses the gear blank. The angle at which these spindles are placed relative to each other depends largely on the type of gear being manufactured.

Once the spindles are placed at the proper angle, the machine is set up to begin rotating the shafts at a speed ratio that suits the gear type. As the shafts rotate, the hob gradually cuts the teeth into the gear with the proper depth. To facilitate faster production, manufacturers can stack multiple blanks on the spindle together, allowing the hob to cut teeth into multiple gears at once.

Just like there are multiple different angles, speeds, and techniques manufacturers can use to customize the process, there is also a wide variety of hobbing machines available for use. Most hobbing machines specialize in distinct applications. Hobbing machines are built to handle gears of a particular size and come in two different varieties: single-threaded and multi-threaded hobs. Multi-threaded machines allow for increased production, but they aren’t as precise as single-threaded machines.

Differences Between Gear Hobbing and Gear Milling

Gear hobbing and gear milling are both processes that can be used for gear manufacturing; however, they utilize different cutting techniques.

Gear Hobbing

Gear hobbing is the process of generating gear teeth with a helical cutting tool, or hob. The gear blank and hob rotate continuously until all gear teeth are cut into the blank. The speed of this process makes it ideal for large production runs.

Gear Milling

The gear milling process uses a cutter, known as a form cutter, that moves axially to produce a gear tooth at the proper length and depth. After one tooth is cut, the cutter is withdrawn to allow the gear blank to rotate to the next position. Once the blank is rotated, the form cutter cuts the next tooth, and this process continues until all teeth are cut into the blank. This process is slower, making it a low production process.

Contact Avon Machining for Gear Hobbing Services

Gear hobbing is a quick and accurate manufacturing method for producing gears. Avon Machining provides high quality, complex manufacturing solutions for a variety of industries with competitive prices, on-time delivery, and an emphasis on customer satisfaction. For more information, or to get started on your gear manufacturing solution, contact us today.


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