Gear grinding takes a leap with Ceba Ingranaggi’s latest addition

Gear grinding takes a leap with Ceba Ingranaggi’s latest addition

Among the most technologically advanced Italian companies specializing in the construction of transmission components, Ceba Gears has invested in a new Klingelnberg Oerlikon grinder, currently the only one of its capacity in Italy and among the few in Europe.

Investing in innovation

Allocating resources to innovation and technological improvement is a strategic recognition of its role, ensuring the opportunity to meet new market challenges successfully. This is especially true for Ceba Gears, a company that, for over half a century, has specialized in the custom construction of medium and large-sized gears, earning recognition nationally and internationally. The company produces a diverse range of gears, worm screws, bevel gears, racks, splined shafts, and various types of machining according to precise specifications for industries and applications.

“For example, we can produce toothings from module 1 to module 30,” explains Fabrizio Cesana, owner and leader of the company alongside his sister Loretta. “In a diameter range from 10 to 3,000 mm, with grinding up to a maximum diameter of 3,000 mm and module 30, using a shaped wheel. Not to mention the possibility of grinding internal toothings from module 1 to module 12.”

The grinding possibilities and production potential have recently expanded with the installation of a new Klingelnberg Oerlikon grinder. This investment provides Ceba Gears with an exclusive process, complementing its already well-equipped technological arsenal.

Investment for customer service

“We became acquainted with the quality, skills, and performance of Klingelnberg about fifteen years ago when we decided to purchase two gear hobbing machines equipped with technology that, for those times, was, in some aspects, quite innovative and exclusive in Italy,” recalls Cesana. “In other words, with the aim of offering something different, there was a clear intention to integrate a service into our processes that would differentiate us from what was already available in the market.”

In that case, Ceba Gears acquired two gear hobbing machines for cyclo-palloid bevel gears, capable of grinding the HPG-S tooth after hardening, with capacities up to module 13, a diameter up to 800 mm, and helix angle up to 60°.

“The grinding option was undoubtedly of excellent quality,” notes Cesana, “but unfortunately, the execution times were anything but fast and feasible, given the machine size chosen, for relatively small diameters.”

This operational limitation has been completely resolved by Ceba Gears, following the installation of the new Klingelnberg Oerlikon G80 bevel gear grinder last summer. This addition has significantly increased the company’s competitive advantage, as it is currently the only machine of its capacity in Italy and one of the few in Europe.

“A little over a year ago,” emphasizes Cesana, “new needs and the desire to offer an even more complete service to our customers led to this new investment. We turned to the same manufacturer, fully aware of the soundness of the choice, given the positive past experiences with the other machines. Machines that have not presented any problems over many years and are still in daily use today.”

Performance, precision, quality

The CNC-controlled G series bevel gear grinders from Oerlikon offer top-level process performance combined with high-precision final processing of spiral bevel gears and frontal-type clutches. The range includes four different models, from the smallest G30 for diameters up to 300 mm and a maximum module of 8 mm, to the flagship G80, acquired by Ceba Gears, capable of accommodating pieces with a diameter up to 800 mm and grinding module up to 25 mm. All machines are equipped with a vertical grinding spindle for optimal chip removal. Standard features such as the semi-automatic grinding wheel changer make setup easy and reduce production changeover times. Diamond-coated rollers are used to profile the wheel in any preselected shape based on neutral data. Another operational advantage is the possibility of equipping these machines with a side door for potential robotized loading and unloading automation.

“The integration of the new Klingelnberg into Ceba,” confirms Cesana with satisfaction, “has brought multiple direct and indirect benefits. First of all, it allows us to grind gears with larger diameters, up to 800 mm, with practically incomparable times compared to the HPG-S finish. Secondly, strategically, it has freed up resources as we can now dedicate the other two Klingelnberg gear hobbing machines exclusively to gear hobbing operations, no longer also for HPG-S grinding.”

The supply also includes proprietary software, KIMos, and Komet. KIMos, dedicated to the conical profile design, allows the import of basic data and gear geometry defined by the designer, performing a production simulation. It determines the gear geometry ready for production, considering the tool and process kinematics. Komet handles the corrective part.

“In reality,” Cesana clarifies, “since we are not yet equipped with a Klingelnberg gear measuring center but with another brand, we cannot benefit from the complete ‘Closed Loop’ ecosystem, which is a combination of gear hobbing machines, grinders, and measuring machines properly integrated and coordinated by the mentioned software.”

Ceba Gears also expresses great appreciation for the solid structure and fine mechanics of the new machine.

“I must acknowledge,” Cesana emphasizes, “that it has not in any way disappointed expectations; on the contrary, it has surprised in some other specific aspects, such as the simplicity of setup, ease of programming, and the presence of indicators that highlight, for example, the wear of the diamond dresser, specifying how many pieces can still be worked with the wheel.”

Ready for new challenges

Ceba Gears has thus made new technology available, further improving its production capacity to better serve not only Italian but international customers as well.

“The export share,” confirms Fabrizio Cesana, owner and leader of the company alongside his sister Loretta, “despite the recent difficulties due to restrictions related to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, countries in which we have customers, is still growing. New markets have opened up, perhaps more niche, but they are giving us great satisfaction and good prospects for the future.”

With a year that will close for the Carate Brianza (MB) company with double-digit revenue growth, surpassing €13 million, the order book for 2023 looks just as positive, at least for now.

In the context of continuous growth, Ceba is also finalizing the acquisition of a company specializing in turning and grinding diameters, a previously consolidated and qualified subcontractor. This operation will bring the staff to around fifty total employees, with a production area expanding from the current 3,000 to just over 4,500 square meters.

“A new growth step,” Cesana emphasizes, “that will allow us to expand supply management in terms of customer service, making us even more agile and fast in fulfilling orders. Planned investments in new technologies and machinery, including a new CNC lathe and new solutions to enhance the shot peening treatment on gear toothings, will contribute from this perspective.”

New technologies, coupled with the awareness of the ownership to rely on an even more qualified workforce, which has seen the addition of 4 people just in the current year.

“We believe a lot in training new talents,” concludes Cesana, “and in hiring new personnel. It should be noted that the average age does not exceed thirty years, with a succession that always involves the pairing of young people with more experienced figures. Only in this way can we strengthen a solid foundation and provide continuity to all our activities. We are doing it now as we have always done in over half a century of history.”

And the market results seem to confirm the winning key.

Article published in Organi di Trasmissione magazine, November 2021

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