When designing and manufacturing custom gearboxes, not only does the type of machinery increase a company’s capabilities, but the experience behind the people running those machines can be just as important. Rj Link is fortunate to have two of the most knowledgeable gear experts around, Rob Ruefer and Joe Jones, who have a combined 65 years of gear experience. That experience is playing a key role in finding ways to help determine what the best process is for customer’s gears in their application.
Rob and Joe’s paths first crossed when they entered into the Gear Industry back in the mid 80’s at a time when most shops did not have CNC gear hobbing machines. They worked together for a period of approximately 17 years prior to moving onto positions at other companies. Throughout the years, Rob and Joe have achieved Certificate of Completions in every type of gear geometry, including hob sharpening and hob production. In addition to learning about every aspect of gearing, Joe also spent a few years away from gears to learn how to run lathes, make blanks, housings and to understand tool design.
The knowledge that both Rob and Joe have gained over the years in workholding devices, tooling, and the geometry of gears has given them the ability to look at a print and understand what’s special on it. Joe stated, “A lot of companies alter their gear designs so they can’t be copied, therefore special cutting tools are needed for many jobs. Our experience helps us to understand what will be needed for those types of jobs, which helps with quoting the part better.” He further stated, “Since we have been in this business so many years, we can take a look at a part and calculate in our head how long it will take to cut based on material, size, etc. without having to run numerous calculations.”
Rob and Joe are enjoying the versatility of working in a lower production machine shop where they are able to run 3-4 machines a piece on a daily basis. They have expressed how excited they are to have the opportunity to work together, and to be a part of the Rj Link team. They are continuously looking for ways to upgrade and make each process faster while achieving the same quality. Their experience and having each other as a resource has proven to be invaluable for Rj Link’s customers.