P16665: Gleason Hobbing Machine Force Applicator

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

The hobbing process is a method of generating gears where both workpiece and machine tool rotate simultaneously. When creating gears in a manufacturing process, the importance of maintaining product quality and meeting the required tolerances of said gear allows the manufacturer to be competitive in the machining market. A great influence on final product quality can be caused by the stiffness of the hobbing machine frame(s). As such, a system that is capable of applying the forces experienced during the hobbing process to the machine (static and dynamic) in a controlled and repeatable manner is desired. Currently, the Gleason hobbing machine's stiffness is measured through the use of a rudimentary test fixture.

The goals of the project are to analyze the current design and to create a more robust device capable of producing multi-axial static loads comparable to process loads. The following project will seek to improve device functionality through improved ease of use, repeatability of the process, and accuracy in applying a static load in three dimensions. The resulting design and prototype should be able to provide the desired forces in the desired directions as well as to the desired components. It should be able to do this in a controlled and repeatable manner. The prototype should be able to withstand normal manufacturing environments as it should mount within the confines of the machine while it is in an operating mode. Weight and complexity of the system should be designed to appropriate human engineering standards and to allow ease of use.

Project Summary

Project Description


Project Description

Project Goals and Key Deliverables


  1. Design and create a device to attach to a Gleason hobber, apply multi axial loads of desired magnitudes so that deflections can be measured repeatably.
  2. The device must be adaptable to any Gleason hobbing machine but will be tested and demonstrated on the Gleason Hobber 400 Series (located in the RIT KGCOE machine shop).

Key Deliverables:

  1. Applicator: A device containing a series of actuators that are capable of applying the desired forces, arranged so to apply them in the desired directions. Should be completely contained within the available area within the hobber, sans energy supply.
  2. Sensors: One or a series of sensors with which to measure accurately the magnitude of force being applied to the hobber in the various directions.
  3. Controls: Develop a method of controlling the application of force so that it is repeatable and allows direct operator use. Also control the input of energy into the system.

Use Cases




  1. Primary Use Scenario
  2. Customer Issue Scenario
  3. Legacy Machine Scenario

Customer Requirements (Needs)


Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

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Engineering Requirements

House of Quality

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House of Quality


  1. Fits within Gleason 400 hobbing machine
  2. Costs less than $4000
  3. Completed within time of MSD (Imagine RIT)
  4. Within the abilities of a team of mechanical engineers (primary)

Risk Management

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Risk Assessment

Summary of Problem Definition Design Review

What did we do in this phase?

Phase 2 - Systems Design

Goals for Phase 2

Phase 2 - Systems Design Preliminary Gantt Chart

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Other Protocols

Phase 3 and Beyond Preliminary Gantt Chart

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Click here for Microsoft Project Gantt Chart File

Click here for Gantt Project Gantt Chart File

Click here for PDF of Gantt Chart File

Be advised that Gantt chart was created using the GanttProject Software; therefore, there is likely to have less problems while using that program (as opposed to Microsoft Project).

Design Review Notes

Notes from review

  1. Do you have task ownership and a way to track owner completion? Yes, Trello
  2. All ER’s are “Test to Validate” Be careful about 80% repeatability
  3. Constraints are “Meet or Not”
  4. Use Scenarios 1-3 are identical, only other one should be “Use At Customer site”
  5. Is time required to test machine an ER or a constraint?
  6. Don’t confuse OSHA with safety requirements
  7. Communicate communication plan to Gary

Action Items

  1. Update ER's and constraints to reflect changes.
  2. Improve communication methods.

Review and Interview Notes

Review Notes

Review 1 Notes

First Interview Notes

Interview Notes

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