Forest City Gear Builds Gears for Mars Rover, Curiosity

Out of this world gear cutting results is something Forest City Gear celebrates about accomplishing. For us, this is not just an elaborate expression, but a fact considering our gears have advanced into outer space and are on “Curiosity”, the rover that is exploring Mars.  A small documentary film was made to follow our team as we took on this mission.

The film follows our team, during the production of the gears for Curiosity.  It highlights how everyone was dedicated and determined to get each gear perfect. It was definitely a challenge but an accepted one that inspired us to reach a level of greatness.

One challenging factor was that the gears needed to be titanium, which is a very difficult material to cut, and the challenge did not end there.

Our owner began coining the challenge mars-curiosity-sky-crane-maneuverdouble jeopardy because not only did the gears need to function correctly, they also needed to ensure Curiosity arrived safely on Mars. The success of the mission fell heavily on Forest City Gears shoulders.

Now looking back we smile at how our team pulled together, and we have a great sense of accomplishment knowing our gears are contributing towards the efforts of discovering more about Mars.

Many people use the expression “Follow your curiosity.” Here are Forest City Gears we not only embrace this life lesson, we can also say we helped built it.

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Forest City Gear Listed Among “Healthiest Companies in America”

If you’re familiar with the Forest City Gear mission, then you know our motto is “Excellence Without Exception.” This has been our mantra and our legacy for 60 years.

But what you may not know is that while this motto is about bringing the highest quality gears to our customers, it doesn’t end there. It extends to our entire business culture. We aim for an atmosphere of excellence that reaches each and every employee—on each and every level. We strive to make FCG employees happy and healthy.

Healthiest companies to work atFor this reason, we partnered with Interactive Health, a company whose sole focus is to bring wellness solutions to businesses and their employees. Interactive Health creates tailored solutions that improve health and productivity in the workplace, establishing and then fulfilling wellness goals that are achieved within the workplace.

We’re very pleased to say that this partnership was a great success. So great, in fact, that Interactive Health named Forest City Gear one of its “Healthiest Companies in America.” We are part of a “select group,” according to Interactive Health, that “embraced the mission of life-changing access to preventive health care in the workplace…achieving tremendous success in moving employees from high-risk health status to lower risk and achieving remarkably high employee participation.”

Indeed, like everything else we do, our employees enthusiastically embraced this effort, embodying our culture of teamwork and proving, once again, that they can do anything they set their minds to.

We’re very proud and honored to be a part of the elite list of “Healthiest Companies in America,” but more than that, we’re proud of our team. We look forward to many more successful, healthful years

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Have an Operational Gear Challenge? Mission Accomplished

At Forest City Gear, one of the major industries for which we make our custom gears is military/defense. And as you can tell from the way we operate—using military precision and laser-like focus—it seems that the military’s level of perfection has rubbed off on us.

Case in point: FCG Special Ops. This is our special division of operational work, and we take it seriously. Like the highest military rankings, our Elite Gear Team 6 performs “cut teeth only missions” with exceptional efficiency and speed, dedicating themselves to making and delivering the very best gears available.

How do they do this? It begins with true expertise—a team of gear experts with unparalleled experience. Then, using the most sophisticated and modern tools, including state-of-the-art gear hobbers, grinders, shapers, and inspection equipment, Gear Team 6 designs, produces, and inspects gears with exceptional speed and accuracy. They’re highly trained and capable of meeting the most challenging of part requirements and deadlines.

They’re also highly reactive. Whatever your question, needs, or concerns, they respond at lightning speed. So you can not only expect to receive the best gears in the industry, but such services as 48-hour quote turnaround, free inspections of existing gears, expert gear analysis, guaranteed lead times, and an uncompromised commitment to excellence.

Every operational FCG Special Ops mission is treated like our most important—and every mission is accomplished.

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5 Tips for Safe Motorcycle Riding

A motorcycle is an incredible piece of machinery. It’s exceptionally strong and fast, built to bring power and control into the hands of its driver while delivering a unique and exciting means of exploring the world.

What many people might not realize is that a small but critical part of the construction of a motorcycle is its gears, without which it simply wouldn’t drive. Within a motorcycle, FCG gears roll faster and better while minimizing transmission errors and maximizing strength. All of this leads to a more enjoyable, safer driving experience.

Of course, when it comes to motorcycle safety, there’s only so much our gears can do; much of the safety relies on the rider himself. Therefore, we’d like to remind all riders of these safety tips:

1) The Other Gear: We’ll handle the internal gears while your job is to protect yourself with the right gear—a high quality DOT helmet (to be worn at all times!), a warm, well-constructed, padded leather jacket, non-slip gloves with excellent durability, good eye protection, and boots that cover your ankles. Bright colors that increase your visibility are also important, as many accidents occur when other drivers simply don’t see the motorcycle rider in time.

2) The Best Weather: Sure, you want to ride all the time, but it’s important to only ride when visibility is very good and in dry conditions. After all, rain makes for slippery surfaces on which tires have less grip on the road. Also, try to avoid high winds, and if you are riding in windy conditions, move to the side of the lane that the wind is coming from.

3) The Most Defense: Statistics has shown that car drivers actually cause the majority of accidents between motorcycles and cars, which means you have to drive extra defensively and be extra alert. Keep your eyes on the road and on other drivers—and never be on your phone.

4) The Biggest Obstacles: Objects such as pebbles, leaves, sand, and debris have a lot more impact on a motorcycle than a car, and a pothole that a car driver will barely notice can be a major hazard to a bike driver. Avoid these obstacles as much as possible, and drive slowly on roads on which they can’t be avoided. 5) The Regular Inspection: Before each ride, be sure to thoroughly inspect your tires for pressure and wear, and make sure your lights and horn are working properly. Think and act like a smart rider, and you’ll enjoy a safe, exhilarating ride each and every time.

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Why You Should Invest In Gear Inspection

You probably know that the quality of your parts and products is directly related to the quality of your gears. And you most likely know that when it comes to gear manufacturing, accuracy, reliability, and consistency are everything.

After all, whether you’re a manufacturer of military lasers or electrical devices the quality and performance of your products must be uncompromised at all times. This performance relies on every single part within—without exception.

But what you might not know is that just as important as the initial manufacturing of your gears is the analytical inspection of them. It’s critical that you invest in analytical gear inspection, which thoroughly evaluates all aspects of the gears and ensures continuous process control.

The best gear inspection is highly precise and scientific, taking place in a laboratory environment designed to inspect every single aspect of the gears and gear equipment. Using complex machines designed specifically for the process, analytical inspection looks at and controls a number of factors, including:

• Size and quality of the gear
• Accuracy and mounting of the cutting tool
• Machine set-up
• Part blank quality
• Tooling quality
• Spacing quality
• Pitch and index variation
• AGMA specification compliance

Using a number of methods for inspection, everything is analyzed, controlled, and diagnosed with extreme precision.

At Forest City Gear, we not only produce the highest quality custom gears available, but we provide unrivaled analytical gear inspection in the most state-of-the-art lab environment. Our equipment is capable of checking runout, pitch, lead, and profile error to ten millionths of an inch on a spur, helical, worm and worm gears, as well as on hobs and shaper cutters.

We can perform an inspection on gears as fine as 96 diametrical pitch and with diameters up to 35 inches. We invest in the very best inspection equipment, and because we are the leading experts in gear manufacturing, we are naturally the experts in gear inspection.
And when you’re investing in the best gears for your parts—and you rely on their perfection—shouldn’t you also invest in the analytical inspection that’s up to the same standards?

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Different Value Streams

Forest City Gear has officially launched FCG Special Ops, a team dedicated to increasing productivity, speeding up delivery time and eliminating any bottleneck in the manufacturing process of CTO (Cut Teeth Only). Prior to FCG Special Ops, lead times could be anywhere from four to five weeks.

Due in part to machinery on the floor being split between working on CTO and MC (Make Complete) gears. As CTO projects came in, production of pre-scheduled MC was put on hold. By putting MC gears on hold to make room for CTO gears lead to longer lead times and a backlog of work.

Forest City Gear is one of the most modern and productive gear shops in the world, with the latest in technology, equipment, and trained employees. After researching how hours and manpower were being spent, the FCG Special Ops Team came up with a plan to separate and divide crucial equipment based on CTO and MC. Instead of sharing equipment like in the past, machines were designated for specific jobs – either CTO or MC. Machines dedicated to advanced hobbing, shaping, and grinding allow for versatility of the CTO gears, while machines that offer a high level of productivity are used for MC. By doing this, Forest City Gear drastically reduced lead time and went from delivering between four to five weeks down to just seven to 10 days.

In addition to faster lead times, FCG Special Ops has included a 48-hour turnaround time on quotes, free inspection of a wide range of existing gear, and expert gear analysis. With 60 years in the business, Forest City Gear value stream is continually improving and maintaining their lead in the gear industry.

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Reliability and Consistency in the Aerospace Industry

The gears and splines that we produce at Forest City Gear can be found in a number of applications across the world, and even in applications that are out of this world. To earn a place in some of these ambitious projects, a company has to demonstrate the ability to provide a durable product that meets specifications, every time they are asked.

The Importance of Reliability and Consistency

In all applications, it is important for components to be accurate and reliable, every time they are made. It may me most important in the aerospace industry, where a gear failure can have catastrophic, life-endangering effects. Our gears are found in systems such as fuel controls, engine pumps, and weapons systems. A failure in these controls could cause faults in the engine, crippling a plane – even worse this could happen while the plane is in flight, leading to a disaster.

Providing a reliable part on a consistent basis means that pilots and maintenance workers can rely on our gears to function as expected on a regular basis. This gives them peace of mind, which in their high-stress environments, can be invaluable.

Maintaining the Standards

Of course, to maintain the reliability and consistency to meet the standards of our customers, we need to maintain our internal standards as well. To do this, we constantly look to improve in both aspects of production – man, and machine. We look for the opportunity to update the machines and technology we use to keep with the most current trends. Our workers also undergo continuous training and education, to keep them engaged and developing.

Evaluating Our Performance

Every business should constantly be evaluating their performance. This isn’t just reflected in customer happiness; although this plays a major role. Our gear and spline manufacturing is performed under the guidelines of both the ISO, using ISO 9001:2006 as well as the Aerospace AS 9100B:2004 Rev C standards. The regular renewals and oversight of these guidelines helps us make sure that year in and year out, the standards are maintained.

Every business should strive towards reliability and consistency in their products, and at Forest City Gear, it is our daily priority. We provide the same quality parts for any customer, large or small, and regardless of their area of work. We know that, just because you’re not soaring miles above the earth, it doesn’t make your application any less important.


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