The Foundations of Function-Testing Gear Assemblies
Whether it’s the differential for an automotive drivetrain or the precision gearbox for a windmill, all the functional characteristics of a gear assembly can be tested in
one form or another. New technology can determine if an assembly is acceptable before it leaves the production line.
Functional gear testing could be defined as a series of tests that simulate the intended function of the product in an effort to determine whether an assembly operates within a specified performance range; quite simply, a method to test how well the assembly will function once it is applied to its intended purpose. In the gear world, unique methods coupled with advanced technology have lead to gear assemblies of exacting standards and unbelievable reliability and performance. For example, if a gear mesh is too tight then the gear assembly will function a certain way. If it is too loose, then other characteristics will be present. All of these nuances or differences contribute to how well an assembly functions in the “real world.” Current technologies can sense these insignificant differences and determine whether a part is acceptable or not before it leaves the production line. Coupled with data storage and part tracking, this now makes it possible to prevent “bad assemblies” from ever making it farther into the production process.
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