2 years ago



A blossoming partnership

A blossoming partnership in the precision valley of Switzerland MOTION AND DRIVES Precision is an extremely important aspect of the swiss personality. From trains to watches and even people, precision is a habit. This is true for the Faulhaber group as well, where swiss worksmanship is a key component in the production of all geared parts. Just like satellites revolve around the sun, drive specialists and mechanical engineers on earth came up with planetary gearheads – the units with which speed-torque conversion can be performed with utmost precision. At Faulhaber Group, the family owned company based near Stuttgart, Germany, precision in engineering and workmanship is the key component in the production of all geared parts. The company Rolla Microgear AG, produces gears, output shafts, intermediate drives and pinions made of various materials at their facilities in Grenchen. The region around Lake Biel in Switzerland is known as “Precision Valley” as it is the centre for watches and precision engineering in Switzerland. 01 Planetary gear units allow high torques to be transmitted with the load being distributed to several planetary gears 18 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 8/2018

02 The precision engineering specialist is well prepared for individual gear wheel and pinion adjustments. After all, the Swiss produce more than ten million components each year for Faulhaber transmissions alone Rolla Microgear is ideally equipped for these custom adaptations to gears and sprockets. The Swiss firm produces more than ten million components for Faulhaber gearheads alone. Typical gear series are produced in quantities of between 1000 and one million pieces, with diameters between 1 and 15 millimetres. The Rolla Microgear machine park is state-of-the-art, forming the basis for the manufacture of small components made of brass, hardened steel or even stainless steel with maximum precision and repeatability. “Microgears are a Swiss speciality”, Michaël Raymond proudly remarks. The associated expectations extend further, from production to testing. In the “Precision Valley”, this complete subsidiary of Faulhaber monitors the products not only optically, but also with measurement methods that are much more precise, such as the double flank test. Nothing leave to chance Rolla Microgear and Faulhaber: a partnership for top quality Rolla Microgear has belonged to the Faulhaber group since 2007 and, with more than 50 years of experience, is considered an expert in all matters related to gearing. Michaël Raymond, COO and plant manager at Rolla Microgear explains, “On the one hand, we supply precision parts for Faulhaber gearheads and, on the other, we are a partner for other customers. In this case we produce for example for them the gears that connect motors to their application. Normal practice often involves ordering gear motors that are appropriately designed for the application, which Faulhaber then delivers readyfor-installation. “Many customers must themselves, however, still procure the pinion as the interface to the machine/application and then install it on the shaft”, Raymond reports from his experience. “In this regard, we would like to be able to recommend ourselves in the future even more as a complete supplier and actually deliver the complete drive train – including mechanical interface – together with Faulhaber.” Even during the selection of materials for the high-precision geared parts, Rolla Microgear leaves nothing to chance. The blanks, which are transformed into their final gear shape in the gear cutting machines, likewise have their origin in the Faulhaber Group and are produced from metal bars using long automatic lathes. “So-called Swiss-type turning machines.” After turning the blank and subsequent milling the gear geometry in Grenchen near Lake Biel, the parts are far from ready for installation in a Faulhaber gearhead. Rolla Microgear’s portfolio of possibilities also includes the heat treatment of the components and surface coating processes. The parts do not reach the shipping department until the profiles are within the strict tolerance standards. “ Faulhaber’s demands are high”, says the COO, who would therefore like to further incorporate his company’s know-how in additional markets. “Everyone asks how they can best connect the gear motors to their machine. As system partner, we have the right answer.” says Michaël Raymond. Photographs: Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & CO. KG WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 8/2018 19