Allen Gears commitment to optimising gearbox lead times has been further enhanced by the development of more effective way of automating the production of manufacturing drawings.
Besides speeding-up the initial process of designing a new gearbox, which gives customer scope to make earlier feedback on design features, the new system means Allen Gears can produce drawings of crucial gearbox elements such as forgings and rolled rings very soon after receiving the customer's order, saving valuable time before delivering the end product.
"This new set-up means we gain more accurate control of the complex process between using our in-house design programmes to convert basic tender information into a gear design for criteria such as power, speed, torque and so on and then harnessing all these data to create 3D models in which drawing standards and engineering standards are applied," reports Design Engineer Dave Wheatley.
"Automation of our parallel shaft gearbox design process was our first goal and we are now using this capability to progress an order for Weir Pumps for gearboxes required for the MODEC sea-water injection package for the oil and gas sector.
"Work has now started on automating epicyclic designs in the same way and this capability should be available by the end of 2007."
Besides reducing lead times, increased automation in the design process will also ensure even greater accuracy in drawings, minimising the need for manual intervention and making drawings more consistent. Tenders, too, will be produced through the same process in future, cutting design lead-times still further in favour of the customer.