American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA)
American Gear Manufacturers Association
AGMA is the global network for technical standards, education, and business information for manufacturers, suppliers, and users of mechanical power transmission components.
As associations go, AMGA is small with only 500 Corporate Members, 21 of which have been members for over 50 years. After founding in 1916, AGMA held its first annual meeting in May of 1917, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Today their headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.
American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) logo
In 1916 gear manufacturers came together to form AGMA, and the reason was two-fold: generally for standardization, but also specifically to get timing gears in auto engines to run silently. Remember that the first hobbing machine patent to manufacture gears was granted in 1856, but it was not really pushed into service until the late 1800s.
Henry Ford raised the demand significantly in the early 1900s and the race was on in the automobile industry, and by extension the gear industry. At the time AGMA was being formed Ford, Willys-Overland and Buick were the best-selling auto brands. None of the automakers were founding members, but all the major gear manufacturers were present.
As active members of AGMA, we've been able to use this access to incredible people and standards to tackle a range of different gear projects. If our expertise could be of help to a project you're working on, feel free to reach out and we'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
AGMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to write all the gear-related US Standards. ANSI was founded only a year later in 1918, so it appears the mid-1910s were a solid decade for standards and technical associations, likely due to the influx of global conflict.
AGMA is involved globally as the Secretariat (Chairman) for the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO’s) Technical Committee 60 on gear standards. The ISO is the most prolific international standards-setter despite being relatively late to the game and founded in 1947, coincidentally in the midst of another global conflict.
While gears are hidden from our eyes in most daily use, they make our world move. During these difficult times AGMA is anything but hidden, they are still pivoting and being flexible to adjust and provide their services to gear manufacturers. As they say of trade associations, crucial in normal times, vital in a crisis.
Especially vital is the use of standards to keep track of the complicated geometry of gears. Having a gear tooth geometry based on the involute curve enables special and specific characteristics, like rolling without slipping, but adds complex mathematics. While these complexities are present in spur gears, they further compound with helical, bevel, and more advanced gear geometries. To that end, AGMA keeps it all straight with clearly defined standards and references.
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