An issue that has plagued engineers for years when building F-series pickups is how to ensure ring and pinion gears mesh perfectly together. The better they mesh, the more efficient the transfer of power and the better ride the truck has. A new manufacturing process using a new 3-D image technology is creating the most ideal meshing. Next-generation Ford F-series trucks could get improved towing/hauling power efficiency and ride comfort by simply having better gear meshing.
The new 3-D imaging technology is actually very similar to what Google uses for their navigation screens. It " uses separate, curved arcs where two cameras take up to 9,000 digital images while gears rotate," according to Pickuptrucks.com. This system integrates a computer that takes these images and creates a 3-D image by comparing it to a set of data points. Then, it determines the gears that don't have the proper specifications and these are modified to fit prior to the process starting again.
Prior to this technology, Ford used skilled tradesmen with micrometers to determine the proper gear mesh. This process, while at times very efficient, was really limited by the human eye's perception of what the right gear mesh should look like. Now with a new computer process, the guess work is removed and the process is much more efficient.
An ideal meshing of the rack and pinion gears allows for improved performance when the truck is under a heavy strain like in towing or hauling. The gearing provides the power transfer in this situation and having the best possible meshing of gears, drivers will get the better power transfer available.
Ford says that besides the improved power transfer, this photogrammetric pattern reader will also improve durability and create a smoother, more quiet ride. This is due to having a stronger ring created during the process.
What do you think? Are you excited about having a better performing F-series truck?