Roscoe, IL-based Excel Gear has transitioned from prototype to production of 38:1 ratio gearboxes designed for positioning the gun mount used in the Advanced Gun System (AGS) used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
The AGS is used in the DDG 1000 destroyers that support Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary and joint operation in the littorals and deep inland. BAE Systems of Minneapolis develops the AGS as a complete weapons delivery system that uses rapid and virtual prototyping for the gun, magazine, ammunitions and support subsystems. The system produces gunfire for guided and unguided projectiles at targets over 70 nautical miles.
Excel Gear designed and prototyped the gearbox used in the positioning execution of movements on the gun mount. The main gear diameter in the unit measures 17", and overall the gearbox is 46" long with 36" in diameter and weighing 3,740 lbs.
A successful pair of prototypes was produced for evaluation and performance testing prior to the production order.
"This achievement marks a very important milestone in the history of our company, and we all worked very diligently as a team to attain this business and see its successful execution," says N.K. Chinnusamy, president of Excel Gear.
Excel's gearboxes help the rotary and vertical positioning of the gun mount. Testing was performed at the Excel and BAE Systems' facilities. One challenge for Excel in this project was limiting backlash, as Chinnusamy explains. "Backlash in this case is controlled by precision grinding gears to close tolerance and also grinding splines to fit master gages. The gearbox had to meet very precise backlash, lost motion and stiffness criteria. Our two prototype gearboxes met all the criteria without any exceptions."