Constantly rising demands on power transmitting components such as gears have lead to special efforts in gear production processes. Aiming to increase the transmission of power while simultaneously maintaining as little volume as possible, the influence of microgeometry as well as fine surface form and structure are especially increasing in significance. These factors play an important role for the operational safety, lifespan and noise emission of gears. Accordingly, it has become increasingly important to be able to dependably describe and register the microstructural characteristics of surfaces, so that knowledge concerning fatigue mechanisms can be abstracted from the surface topography. For this, the process of stereophotogrammetry in combination with an efficient PC-program can provide extremely exact and informative data.
When the surface of mechanical components undergoes changes caused by fatigue mechanisms during operation, both micro- and macrostructural changes take place. In order to facilitate smooth and undisturbed operations, it is of utmost importance to be able to register developments of the condition of strongly stressed components during operation. This way, preventive maintenance measures can be enacted in advance. For this purpose, an effective monitoring and diagnosis instrument was developed, based mainly on structure borne noise analysis. The new diagnostic equipment is described an examples for effective monitoring of gears are given.