Hilchenbach, July 02, 2018

261 tons precision workmanship of the SMS group-workshop in Hilchenbach

The manufacture of gears is a field of particular competence within the Hilchenbach workshop of SMS group. Here, gears are designed, toothings milled and ground, housings welded and finally complete units are assembled, all under one roof. This potential could recently be demonstrated with the production of a four-stage gear with totally 29 wheels and a weight of 261 tons. This radial gear for a forging machine is the most complex one ever made in the Hilchenbach workshop.

Performance4 x 1,500 kW = 6,000 kW
Rated output torque8,805,000 Nm
Total gear ratio115.3:1

A stand-out feature of our Hilchenbach and Mönchengladbach locations is the direct interaction between engineering and manufacturing. This naturally facilitates a continuous exchange of ideas between these departments for ongoing optimization of our products.

In the end, even with components of this size, a few micrometers often decide if the assembly process will go smoothly or not. In this case all departments did a perfect job and were able to install the gear unit without any delays. Gerhard Hansberg, Designing engineer special gears at SMS group
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The nominal drive torque corresponds to the torque of approximately 27,500 mid-sized cars.

In the pre-assembly phase, the contact pattern of the gearwheels was continuously checked to ensure fast and precise installation at the customer’s site.

After pre-assembly, the gear was dismantled into smaller units and prepared for transportation. The challenge here was to forward the largest part, with a total weight of still 193 tons and a volume of 88.3 m³, to the Port of Hamburg for shipment.

Ultimately, we benefited from the close cooperation between the engineering and production teams and the continuous exchange of information during assembly. Quick joint decisions were made where required, and everything fitted nicely into place despite the huge dimensions of the gear unit. Ingo Meier, Foreman of the assembly team

Together with the transport service provider DAHER PROJECTS GmbH, and thanks to a detailed agreement with Deutsche Bahn, this challenge was also successfully overcome. 

The workshop in Hilchenbach has its own rail siding, meaning the parts could be easily transported by train. This will play an increasingly important role for the location in future as a reliable alternative to road transport.

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The special train entering the workshop bays in Hilchenbach
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Loading of the largest gear unit part
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Length: 6.56m - Width: 3.70m - Height: 3.66m
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The gear unit on its way to the Port of Hamburg
The large gear unit was loaded quickly and successfully thanks to the intense coordination between all parties involved. Harald Frank, Project logistics at SMS group