Global Gear LLC began as a captive supplier to a commercial truck original equipment manufacturer (OEM) but has transitioned into a company that also makes gears and precision machined components for the automotive, transmission, agricultural, and other industries.
Brad Rapciak, director of sales for or Global Gear LLC, says making that transition was challenging, but Global was initially able to do so by “finding opportunities that met our current manufacturing capabilities.” As the company diversified, he says management “received valuable information on new designs/programs that required us to invest in newer technology.”
One thing that helped the transition – some gearing technologies popular in the automotive world have been moving into commercial trucks. Quieter drivetrains – ones that reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) – have traditionally been associated with passenger cars, but Rapciak says truck drivers have been requesting diesel powertrains that perform and sound like gasoline-powered systems.
“This required us to invest heavily in newer gear processing equipment and to meet the close-tolerance gear geometry designs,” Rapciak says.
Those investments have helped as automotive gear trains have gotten more precise and reduced their size envelopes to handle 8-, 9-, and 10-speed automatic transmissions.
“Technological advancements in both machine tool technology as well as perishable tools have greatly reduced the processing throughput times,” Rapciak says. “The transfer of parts within the cell relies on automation and in-process gaging to keep up with the input and output quality and volumes required to provide value at a competitive price.”
With automotive and truck companies, Rapciak says a key to Global’s success has been its engineering team – a group of professionals who can work with customers to identify the importance of NVH, fuel economy, cost, and other issues when reviewing part specifications. He adds that different machining techniques can optimize gears for different performance characteristics, so his team’s role is helping the customer choose the right process for the job.
Global Gear LLCwww.globalgearllc.com