PC Applications in Parallel Axis Gear System Design and Analysis

Gain an understanding of parallel axis gear design, and learn to use the software tool, PowerGear, to analyze the main parameters involved. (A student version of the software is included in the price of the course.) Cover the basics of gear load capacity evaluation from a theoretical viewpoint, and use the PC as a tool to apply these theoretical concepts.

This course can be applied to the Gear Technology Certificate.


Raymond  Drago, PE

Raymond Drago, PE

Raymond J. Drago is Chief Engineer for Drive Systems Technology, Inc., a mechanical power transmission consulting organization that he founded in 1976. Drago holds a master’s degree in structural engineering from Drexel University (1980), a master’s degree in engineering from ... read more

Who Should Attend

The seminar is aimed primarily at engineers and others who specify, use or design gears or gear drives. Others, such as process and systems engineers, will also find the seminar useful since gears and gear drives form an integral, often neglected part of most industrial equipment. For the novice some basic gear knowledge is required but an extensive background is not necessary since PowerGear is easy to use and DrawGear illustrates fundamental concepts. For the advanced gear designer, PowerGear is an extremely powerful new tool and can be mastered quickly. It provides everything required – from capacity analysis through geometric optimization, to the definition of complete manufacturing data, including the definition of the basic hob used to produce a specified tooth form.

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Understand durability (surface fatigue and wear), strength (tooth fracture) and scoring
  • Discuss typical sets of problematical design parameters from your current work assignments
  • Experience hands-on design perspective through group projects

Course Outline/Topics

Course Objective

The purpose of this seminar is to provide an understanding of parallel axis gear design and demonstrate the use of a software tool to analyze the main parameters involved. A new computer program, PowerGear (which includes the DrawGear animated graphics module), is used in the seminar and each student will receive a CD containing a student version of the software as part of the course materials. The seminar covers the basics of both gear load capacity evaluation from a theoretical viewpoint and the use of the personal computer as a tool to apply the theoretical concepts.

About this Course

In order to design a gear set for a specific purpose, the following load capacity considerations are studied – durability (surface fatigue and wear), strength (tooth fracture), and scoring. We encourage you to bring typical sets of problematical design parameters from your current work assignments. While PowerGear is an integral part of the seminar, the main emphasis is on understanding the design of gearing and the use of PowerGear as a tool rather than a tutorial on the use of the program alone.

Software Capability

PowerGear (which includes the DrawGear animated graphics module with elucidator technology) is an integrated, professional design and analysis tool for spur, single and double helical gears of either external or internal configuration. With a single easy-to-use, fully prompted input sequence, the program will calculate all required basic gear tooth geometry, including these parameters:

  1. Tooth and tool geometry.
  2. Profile and face contact ratios.
  3. Bending and contact stresses.
  4. Flash temperature.
  5. Strength and durability ratings in accordance with AGMA Standard 2001-D04.
  6. ElastoHydroDynamic (EHD) film thickness.
  7. Frictional (mechanical) power loss.
  8. Scoring hazard rating.
  9. Tooth profile kinematics (sliding, rolling and linear velocities, slip ratio, specific sliding).
  10. Subsurface shear stress/strength with or without frictional loading considered.
  11. Required case depth (for surface hardened gears).
  12. Case depth profile shape required to prevent case crushing, pitting and spalling failures.
  13. Data needed to prepare an engineering drawing of the gear, MFG data printout.
  14. DXF output files (with definable step size and file size).
  15. U.S. or metric units.
  16. Direct geometry or parametric analysis.
  17. Complete printouts, including graphs of critical temperature, slip ratio, tooth loading, specific film thickness and subsurface shear stress distribution.
  18. Detailed comma separated variable (CSV) files for additional analysis.
  19. Dynamic plotting capability to allow visualization of the gear set in mesh and to allow optimization while the dynamic gear set is in motion.

Input is extremely easy. Just fill in each screen in sequence. Input features include logically grouped input screens (just answer the questions), multiple data entry modes including fully parametric (let the computer calculate all geometry!), add virtually unlimited text notes to your data file to identify your thoughts and data, calculate AGMA power ratings or calculate stresses at given loading, or both. A variety of data output methods and formats are available, including conventional printed format (on any windows compliant printer) with analysis text notes, CSV data files which can to be read by other programs (e.g., word processors, spreadsheets, etc.) for additional report and presentation preparation. PowerGear also provides a separate summary sheet showing all manufacturing data.

DrawGear is stand-alone gear drawing software with elucidator technology. Arrow keys coupled to input parameters allow tuning a gear set “live,” enabling greater understanding of what parameters do what. At this writing DrawGear cannot export data to PowerGear, however PowerGear can export data to DrawGear in a “drawing only” mode.

In addition to the powerful analysis capabilities provided by PowerGear, your data can be exported to DrawGear, the powerful graphics utility that plots and animates the entire gear mesh. This feature allows the user to directly visualize the mesh action. Of even greater importance, however, the gear geometry is dynamically variable within the DrawGear module so that changes made to the gears are reflected immediately on the screen as the gears rotate. DrawGear also has the capability to export and Auto CAD DXF file of the complete gear mesh.

Hardware Requirements

PC with Windows XP or Windows 7 (software will run on other MS Windows versions as well but best performance is obtained with the latest operating systems). After the seminar, when you first install PowerGear on your computer at home, you will have a 30-day fully functional trial of the Professional Version of the software. At the end of the 30-day period, you may enter your Student License (included in seminar fee) and continue to use the Student Version or you may purchase a full Professional License at a special reduced price (20% discount from the usual $795 price).

Course Schedule (PC Applications seminar only – see below for other seminars):

Day 1

8am  Registration/Check-in

8:30-10am  Introduction:
Overview of PC Use in Gear Design and Interaction of the Design Process With the PC

10am-2pm  Gear Analysis:
Standard (AGMA) Rating Practices and discussion of the theoretical basis of each rating practice, including Bending, Strength, Cantilever Beam Modified; Surface Durability, Surface Contact Stress Approach; Scoring Resistance Using Critical (“Flash”) Temperature Theory; Extensions to Standard Rating Practice, including sliding velocity and subsurface shear stress analyses

2-4pm  Software Introduction and Instruction:
Instruction and demonstration of PowerGear and DrawGear Software

4-4:30pm  Software Installation:
Class receives and installs individual CDs with PowerGear and DrawGear Software

Day 2


Day 3

8am-1pm  Workshop Sessions:
Class works on design, analysis, and evaluation problems based on real world experience using PowerGear and DrawGear Software. Problems are all based on actual situations (modified to fit class format) and are progressive in difficulty from simple one-parameter questions to completely open-ended design situations.

Date: Tue-Thu, July 9-11, 2024

Delivery Method: Live Online

Time: 8am-4pm CT

Platform: Zoom

Instructor: Raymond Drago PE


$1,435 by June 25, 2024
$1,525 after June 25, 2024

CEUs: 2.1, PDHs: 21

Enrollment Limit: 18

Program Number: 4810-16123

Registration Deadline: July 2, 2024

Register Now


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