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Twin-spindle, twin-turret turning center with twin CNC control has 16-pallet capacity and boasts 27-second cycle time in continuous mode

Takisawa TT-200G, a twin-spindle, twin-turret turning center, purchased by Forest City Gear, has made dramatic improvement in this gearmaker’s blanking production.

Roscoe, IL-Forest City Gear has purchased a Takisawa TT-200G, a fully-automated turning center with twin-spindle, twin-turret and twin-CNC operation, for its in-house blanking department.  By the acquisition of this machine, according to a company spokesman, the production in the blanking department has radically improved, as the machine combines full automation with twin-sided, simultaneous machining.

With a 16-pallet capacity, this Takisawa 8” chuck type machine boasts a feed rate of 8m/min and features a standard spindle and turret plus a second C-axis spindle and turret with milling function.  In addition, a bar loader, workpiece stacker, turnover unit, chip conveyor, air blower, tabulating counter and other equipment are onboard for fully automatic mode operation of the machine.

As a strictly custom gearmaker, Forest City Gear made the decision recently to develop an in-house blanking department, thereby improving its turnaround time on most jobs, according to company president, Wendy Young.  “We were reliant on a number of outside suppliers and, while our volume overall is quite substantial, we were often slow to receive some small, project-specific blanks for production.  Many of our jobs are short-run, highly specialized precision gears and that means we place a premium on being very efficient in our time-to-first-part protocols.  The Takisawa is already making a big impact on our blanking operation here.”

Tommy Kalt, who runs the blanking department at Forest City Gear, concurs.  “We’re achieving a 27-second cycle of continuous turning and the fully automatic mode means a big boost in production for our department. Because we do so many jobs that require relatively few blanks, our speed was hampered, due to excessive downtimes for set-up.  That situation is diminished to a great degree with the Takisawa machine.”

This sale was made for Takisawa by Brad Fischbach of Yamazen.

Forest City Gear is a world-class supplier of high-precision gears for demanding applications in the aircraft, aerospace, defense, instrument, medical, racing (boat and auto), high-end sporting goods and other markets.  The company sells its products worldwide, including to China.

Forest City Gear was founded in 1955 by Stetler and Evelyn Young, parents of the current CEO, Fred Young, and is considered among the premier gearmakers in the world.

For more information, please contact:

11715 Main Street
Roscoe, IL 61073-0080
Phone:  815-623-2168
Fax:  815-623-6620
Web:  www.forestcitygear.com
Email:  wyoung@forestcitygear.com
Attention:  Wendy Young, President

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The weather mostly cooperated and over 250 people came out for the festivities.

Leading manufacturer of high-precision gears feeds, educates and entertains over 250 employees, suppliers and others

Roscoe, IL-Forest City Gear supplies some of the world’s leading companies with high-precision gear work.  These include such diverse yet demanding customers as aircraft, military ordnance, every car in the starting field at the Indy 500, the winning boat in the America’s Cup and, perhaps their crowning achievement (pun intended), the Mars Rover.  Already onboard Spirit and Opportunity, Forest City Gear products will deploy the solar panels and drive the wheels on the next generation of the Rover project, scheduled for lift-off in late 2011.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, the company celebrated its 55th year in business with a  good old-fashioned corn boil on the company premises, July 24, 2010.  Owners Fred and Wendy Young, along with their family, welcomed all the employees, their families, many suppliers, customers and friends of the company from the local Roscoe, IL community, to dine, socialize and stay out of the rain with them.  Fred also gave tours of the facility, explaining to even the youngest visitors how a gear is made, measured and applied in the “real world” of mechanical motion, in all the industries served by this longtime market leader.

Highlight of the event were the karaoke performances by many of the employees, including the owners, who took all in attendance back to the halcyon hippie days of the 60’s with their heartfelt rendition of “I Got You, Babe” by Sonny & Cher.  While the likelihood of the Young’s leaving the gear business for the glitz and glamour of the entertainment world is minute, every second of their performance brought rousing cheers from the enthralled mass, under the big top tent erected in the company’s parking lot.

There was face painting and a bouncy house for the kids, though Fred was looking at the latter with a mischievous grin, all afternoon!

In the end, despite a bit of rain, a good time was had by all, as they say.  The hosts had allocated 4.5 ears of corn for all in attendance and many folks ate their quota and then some, while many were seen exiting the event with ears aplenty in hand, courtesy of Wendy!

Besides, where else on a rainy Saturday could one get a detailed explanation of the AGMA gear rating system?

See photos attached for more of the fun.  For the real risk-takers, click here to see the Young’s singing for their supper!

For more information on the event or the company, please contact:
FOREST CITY GEAR CO., INC.  11715 Main Street Roscoe, IL 61073-0080 Phone:  815-623-2168 Fax:  815-623-6620 Web:  www.forestcitygear.com Email:  sales@forestcitygear.com Attention:  Fred Young or Wendy Young

PR agency contact for Forest City Gear:  Tim Daro Bernard & Company 847-934-4500

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Gear manufacturer supplying various defense sector customers completed registration process on March 31, 2010

Roscoe, IL-Forest City Gear supplies some of the world’s leading companies with high-precision gear work.  These include products for various defense sector contractors, which would be subject to the strict guidelines of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  This standard is designed to “establish and maintain a procedure for identifying and complying with export authorization requirements for the sale and shipment of defense articles, the performance of defense services and the transfer of technical data” by the companies involved, pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act.  Applicable products include those on the United States Munitions List (USML).

Specifically, ITAR requires that Forest City Gear maintain a strict record of all manufacturing procedures and defense articles produced, as well as visitor records and the tracking of all potentially sensitive documents such as engineering data and shipping logs.  Under the guidelines, only U.S. citizens may visit the facility, where no cameras or laptops are permitted and only citizens may work for the company, during the design, engineering, manufacture, production and handling of products and all relevant data related to defense projects.  Exchange of data, especially via the Internet, is highly restricted, plus no non-citizen may access data in any way, without authorization from the State Department or a specially issued exemption.  A non-citizen may also visit the plant, but only with a previously completed letter of authorization, stating they understand and comply with all relevant ITAR standards.  And any non-citizen must be accompanied by a company official at all times.

The registration process was completed on March 31, 2010, after over a year’s effort to comply with all applicable standards, procedures and paperwork.

Overseeing the registration process and executing all documents for Forest City Gear was the company’s CEO, Fred Young.  Quality Manager Joe Luy will oversee the internal process and procedure.

Forest City Gear supplies gears and gearwork for all types of military ordnance, as well as numerous military aircraft, vehicles, instrumentation and other defense devices.  The company has also supplied gears on Jeep’s for decades, long before they became consumer items.

The company recently celebrated its 55th anniversary.  Forest City Gear was founded in 1955 by Fred Young’s parents, Stetler and Evelyn Young, in Rockford, Illinois, near the company’s current facility in Roscoe.

ITAR is managed by the Department of Homeland Security, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and other government agencies, at this time.  Only vendors listed on the Approved ITAR Vendor List are sent quote requests on ITAR-restricted materials and products.

For more information on the company, please contact: FOREST CITY GEAR CO., INC. 11715 Main Street Roscoe, IL 61073-0080 Phone:  815-623-2168 Fax:  815-623-6620 Web:  www.forestcitygear.com Email:  sales@forestcitygear.com Attention:  Fred Young or Joe Luy

PR agency contact for Forest City Gear: Tim Daro Bernard & Company 847-934-4500 tdaro@bernardandcompany.com

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Forest City Gear’s green efforts

Forest City Gear went green in a number of ways.  Here is a picture of their “Zen” bench and sitting area.

In addition to an aggressive recycling program, Forest City has implemented a number of other changes:

  • Changing lights from T-12 to T-8, using 25, 28 and 32 watt lamps.
  • Tinting windows with low-E film, to minimize heat and lower energy costs during the summer months.
  • Replaced several heating/AC units with high energy efficiency units (Energy Star).
  • Installed programmable thermostats throughout the building, and a large ceiling fan in the plant.
  • Sun reflecting covers for skylights.
  • Replacement of less efficient air compressors.
  • Strategically planted shade and fruit trees, shrubs and plants, all around the building’s grounds.
  • Turning off plant lighting during the lunch period, and as required in bathrooms, lunch room, conference room and warehouse.
  • Adding sophisticated power factor optimization devices on factory motors.
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Roscoe, IL-Forest City Gear’s CEO Fred Young spoke on “Growing Global Markets” at the National Contract Manufacturers Association (NCMA) Symposium 2010 held at NIU Conference Center in Rockford, IL on Tuesday, March 23, 2010.  This year’s symposium focused on “International Contracting: Winning Business In Emerging Global Markets.”

With the use of the internet and social media, we have access to businesses and products without the limitation of boarders and time-zones.  More and more companies, even small, family owned businesses like Forest City Gear, find themselves very active in the global market.  During his speech. Fred stated that “although the title suggests I deliberately set out to grow global exports, in reality, we fell into it accidentally.” He explained it was his customer’s desire for cheaper production and assembly, along with their unwillingness to lose Forest City Gear’s quality and service, that initially brought FCG into foreign markets.  Once recognized in these new markets, Forest City Gear’s unwavering belief in concentrating on high quality, doing what others cannot do expediently and having the most up-to-date gearmaking equipment brought them additional business in these countries.  As a result, staying true to these principles has established FCG as a leader in the world market for high-precision gears.

As Fred briefly described the history of Forest City Gear, founded in 1955 by his parents, he stressed that quality and on-time delivery have been essential in proving and maintaining the company’s reputation of excellence since its inception.  Fred believes the greatest lesson his father taught him was to reinvest every last dollar.  He further believes reinvesting has been a key factor in their success on the global market.  Over the past 30 years, FCG has reinvested 25%-40% of gross sales each year into new equipment.  FCG’s philosophy is: when you are competing with other gear companies all over the world, it is important to be on the cutting edge.  “Others have primarily shot themselves in the foot with the lack of reinvestment.  Those who would had been considered leaders 50 years ago didn’t reinvest to update and bring their machines current and, as a result, they cannot compete in today’s global market.”

FCG believes it is a serious error if you don’t know your competition, know what they are delivering and how they do it. In addition to keeping his facility focused on quality and excellence, Fred visits gear companies and machine builders all over the world.  Seeing how others run their facilities is “critically important”, as it provides knowledge and insight in offer something better than what the competition is producing.

“The future of exporting manufacturing is critical to the health of our country, we need to educate our youth, keeping that notion going is important to our future.” FCG continues to have a strong presence in the world marketplace by keeping their facility current, educating their employees with top-notch trainers who have global experience and by cultivating a reputation of excellence and helping others, even their competitors.

“Our clients are now all around the world and they found us in Roscoe, IL.  Who has ever heard of Roscoe, IL?  But we have developed a reputation for gearmaking excellence… Forest City Gear is always seeking, always exploring and always learning.”

Forest City Gear was founded in Rockford, IL in 1955 by Evelyn and Stetler Young, parents of Fred Young.

To watch the full video presentation of Fred’s speech, go to: http://vimeo.com/10460533.

For more information on this announcement, please contact: FOREST CITY GEAR CO., INC. 11715 Main Street Roscoe, IL 61073-0080 Phone:  815-623-2168 Fax:  815-623-6620 Web:  www.forestcitygear.com Email:  sales@forestcitygear.com Attention:  Fred Young

Agency contact: Tim Daro Bernard & Company 847-934-4500 tdaro@bernardandcompany.com


Date:  March 29, 2010

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Critical winch crown gears to be used by BMW ORACLE Racing on their state-of-the-art trimaran in the America’s Cup match on February 8, 2010 in Valencia, Spain

The winches on a racing yacht are critical items of equipment.  Speed, reliability and weight are important factors when determining which winch packages will be installed on a racing yacht.

Forest City Gear supplied crown gears and splines of special high-strength, lightweight and corrosion-resistant titanium for use in the engine & winch system of the new BMW ORACLE Racing trimaran.  BMW ORACLE Racing is currently competing in the prestigious America’s Cup event in Valencia.

Made from Ti-6-4, a popular alloy often found in aerospace applications, this material is extremely durable and was determined ideal for this project by the Alpha Engineering Consulting designers, customer of Forest City Gear.  The process used to manufacture these gears and their corresponding spline components was hobbing and shaping, respectively.  The crown radius was the point of main concern, owing to the extreme stress and motion present when such gears are in use.

As Jon Williams, a member of BMW ORACLE Racing’s shore team explained, “During the build-up to the previous America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, we undertook development of our own transmission components for the winch systems on our yachts.  After careful study, we had determined this was a critical area for improveing our performance on the water.”  BMW ORACLE Racing was looking to reduce mass and increase in mechanical efficiency of the gear and spline assembly.  A prototype project proved successful and the team undertook a complete redesign of the gearboxes for their USA87 and USA98 yachts.   These new gearboxes were manufactured in New Zealand and used by BMW ORACLE Racing in the America’s Cup.

The current edition of the America’s Cup sees different rules than previous Cup programs.  Under these rules, all equipment for the yachts must be constructed in the country the team represents.  In the case of BMW  ORACLE Racing, who races under the flag of the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, California, this means all equipment must be made in the USA.

Williams continues, “The construction of our trimaran was a formidable project and it was clear we needed to utilize group of vendors with specialist skill and expertise.  Our project called for a fairly wide selection of gears, splines and driveshaft components, some of which were non-standard sizes.  Two vendors we selected to produce these components were Arrow Gear and Forest City Gear”.

For Forest City Gear, Jared Lyford and Tom Christenson ran the project.  The gearbox casings and other associated parts were manufactured by RB Enterprises of Everett, Washington.  For Arrow Gear, Joe Arvin ran the project to deliver the bevel gears.  Final assembly of the gearboxes and their installation occurred at BMW ORACLE Racing’s structural R&D facility in Anacortes, Washington.

At the conclusion of five weeks intensive testing on the waters off Seattle, WA & San Diego, CA, the gearboxes were removed for inspection.  The results were impressive: the gears were only showing the first signs of polishing on flanks.  They looked new!!  It was concluded that the gears were a significant improvement on the New Zealand sourced gears used by BMW ORALCE Racing in their previous America’s Cup program.

Williams concludes, “Arrow Gear & Forest City Gear have provided the team with a quality product.  We would use them again.”

For more information on this announcement, please contact: FOREST CITY GEAR CO., INC. Web:  www.forestcitygear.com

Check out the BMW Oracle photo gallery on our facebook page


Date:  February 5, 2010

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