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Gear Up for Success: How Power Skiving Elevates Manufacturing

Power skiving has revolutionized the gear manufacturing industry by enabling the production of high-precision gears with complex geometries.

Posted: August 28, 2023

Power skiving action image showcases Sandvik Coromant’s CoroMill 179.2.
Close up of machine showcasing Sandvik Coromant’s GC1130 solution in action.
Sandvik, power skiving, cutting tool technology
Close up of machine showcasing Sandvik Coromant’s GC1130 solution in action.

Gears are fundamental components in various industries, ranging from automotive to aerospace, where precise and efficient power transmission is crucial. Power skiving has emerged as an innovative machining method for the production of high-quality gears with complex geometries. Sandvik Coromant, a leading provider of cutting tools and solutions, has been at the forefront of advancing power skiving technology.  

Understanding Power Skiving 

Power skiving is a gear machining process that combines elements of both gear shaping and milling. It involves removing material from the tooth flanks of a gear while the workpiece is rotating. Power skiving is typically performed on dedicated skiving or multi-tasking machines that have the capability to synchronize the rotation of the workpiece with the rotation and movement of the cutting tool. 

Advantages of Power Skiving 

Power skiving offers a multitude of advantages over traditional gear manufacturing methods, such as: 

  • Increased productivity: Power skiving allows for roughing and finishing operations, reducing overall machining time, and increasing productivity. 
  • Complex geometries: Power skiving enables the production of gears with complex tooth profiles, including internal gears, helical gears and splines. 
  • Superior surface finish: Power skiving can achieve high surface quality and dimensional accuracy, potentially reducing the need for secondary operations like grinding. 
  • Cost efficiency: By combining multiple operations into one, power skiving can reduce tooling costs, setup time and overall manufacturing costs. 
  • Versatility: Power skiving is suitable for a wide range of gear sizes, from small to medium-sized gears. 

Power skiving is most commonly used for the production of spur gears, helical gears, internal gears, and splines, and is suitable for a variety of materials, including steels (such as alloy steels, carbon steels, and stainless steels), non-ferrous metals (like aluminum and brass), and some plastics. The end user’s material selection depends on the specific application and desired gear properties. 

It also requires specialized cutting tools that are designed to withstand the cutting forces and achieve more precise accuracy. These tools typically have multiple cutting edges and are made from high-speed steel (HSS) or solid carbide. The choice of tool material in this instance depends on factors such as the gear material, cutting speed and tool life requirements.  

Optimizing process parameters for power skiving is crucial for achieving efficient and accurate results. Key parameters include cutting speed, feed rate, and radial depth of cut. These parameters rely heavily on the gear material, hardness, machine capabilities and tooling selection. In order to reach the desired result, it is essential to determine the optimal cutting parameters through experimentation or simulation. 

When it comes to power skiving, proper tool management is extremely important for maximizing tool life and maintaining consistent gear quality. This includes regular inspections, maintenance, and reconditioning of the cutting tools. Effective tool management practices will help minimize downtime, reduce costs, and ensure reliable performance results. 

In general, power skiving is a specialized machining process that requires a deep understanding of gear manufacturing principles, cutting tool selection, and process optimization. Training programs, workshops, and collaboration with industry experts can help gear manufacturers enhance their knowledge and skills in power skiving. Therefore, consistently seeking guidance from tooling suppliers and industry experts can help to provide valuable insights and support for successful implementation. 

By considering these general aspects of power skiving, gear manufacturers can leverage the benefits of this advanced machining method to produce high-quality gears both efficiently and effectively. 

Expertise in Power Skiving 

Sandvik Coromant has been a long-standing pioneer in the field of cutting tool technology and machining solutions. With extensive knowledge and expertise, they have been instrumental in developing advanced tooling systems that are specifically designed for power skiving applications. These tools are designed to deliver superior performance, increased productivity, and exceptional gear quality. 

The company offers a comprehensive range of cutting tools. The solutions portfolio includes solid carbide, high-speed steel, and indexable skiving cutters, all of which are intended for different gear types, sizes and materials. These tools are manufactured with high-quality materials and feature advanced coatings, ensuring long tool life and superior chip evacuation, avoiding chips plugging the groove which would lead to insert failure as well as severe damage to the cutting tool itself. 

In order to support customers’ power skiving processes, Sandvik Coromant offers comprehensive process optimization and simulation services. By leveraging extensive machining expertise and state-of-the-art software tools, they can assist gear manufacturers in achieving optimal cutting parameters, tool selection and process sequences. This ensures efficient and accurate gear production while simultaneously maximizing tool life and minimizing scrap rates. 

Through the use of advanced simulation software, Sandvik Coromant can imitate power skiving processes and evaluate the performance of their cutting tools virtually. This capability enables manufacturers to physically see the machining process, identify potential issues, and optimize cutting strategies before the actual production begins. By minimizing trial and error on the shop floor, companies can reduce costs and improve overall productivity. 

There are several factors to consider when it comes to utilizing power skiving in your business operations. Before diving into power skiving, it is imperative to have a deep understanding of gear manufacturing principles, including gear geometry, tooth profiles and cutting forces. It’s also important to ensure that you’re choosing the right tools to achieve optimal results by considering factors such as tool material, coatings, and geometries in order to select the tools that are best suited for your specific gear requirements.

Another factor to consider is how to best optimize cutting parameters. Characteristics like cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut need to be carefully determined based on the gear materials, hardness and machine capabilities. Likewise, there should be a focus on leveraging advanced simulation software to better visualize and optimize the power skiving process before actual production begins. This will allow end users to evaluate different tooling strategies, simulate chip flow, and identify any potential issues — minimizing trial and error on the shop floor.

To better optimize power skiving operations, it is especially important to implement effective tool management practices. This includes regular inspection, maintenance, and reconditioning of cutting tools. You should continuously be seeking technical support from experts, who possess extensive experience in power skiving and can provide tailored insights to address specific challenges. Additionally, it is essential to prioritize monitoring and measuring performance by tracking key indicators like tool life, cycle time and gear quality. Analyzing this data will enable identification of areas for improvement, leading to enhanced productivity and efficiency. 

Continuous Research and Development 

Overall, Sandvik Coromant’s commitment to innovation and continuous improvement is exemplified through ongoing research and development efforts into the future of power skiving technology. They collaborate with leading gear manufacturers and academic institutions to push the boundaries of gear machining capabilities. 

Investing in cutting-edge technologies, such as advanced materials, tool coatings, and machine tool capabilities, Sandvik Coromant continues to enhance the performance of their power skiving tools. By staying at the forefront of technological advancements, they ensure that their customers benefit from the latest developments in the field. 

Training and Technical Support 

Experts at Sandvik Coromant understand the importance of knowledge sharing and providing comprehensive support to their customers. As a result, they offer training programs and workshops focused on power skiving techniques, tool selection and optimization. These educational initiatives empower gear manufacturers to enhance their expertise and maximize the potential of power skiving technology. 

In addition to training, Sandvik Coromant’s global network of technical experts provides onsite support and consultation. Their specialists work closely with manufacturers to analyze machining processes, identify opportunities for improvement, and offer tailored solutions to address specific challenges. This level of support ensures that customers can fully leverage the company’s tools and expertise to optimize their power skiving operations. 

In conclusion, power skiving has revolutionized the gear manufacturing industry by enabling the production of high-precision gears with complex geometries. Through their extensive range of cutting tools, process optimization services, continuous research and development, and comprehensive support, Sandvik Coromant has empowered gear manufacturers to achieve exceptional gear quality, increased productivity and reduced costs. The company’s contributions have made power skiving an indispensable technique in gear manufacturing, driving the industry forward into a new era of precision and efficiency.

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