One gear to rule them all

big gears

Good news, everyone: gear inspection just got easier!

This has to do with the implementation of the Gear Data Exchange format, and you don’t need your GED to use GDE. The GDE format has been developed since 2003 and is described most recently in the relatively short VDI/VDE 2610 standard.

big gears

The purpose of GDE is to have a universal format that describes all geometric parameters for cylindrical gears which can then be easily transferred between design, manufacturing, and quality departments. The format is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) Version 1.0 which is easily able to be implemented to already existing database applications. In a sense, it can be thought of being the DMIS for gears.

Imagine a recipe where, across the world, anyone can decipher what the meal is supposed to look like at the end no matter if you grow the food, package the food, or cook the food. This same advantage will make it possible for gear data to be easily transferred and interpreted faster and with less mistakes no matter what software, machine, or controller you’re using. This is because GDE eliminates errors and unnecessary delays such as entering data manually incorrectly from a part print whose resolution is low from the way it was sent electronically.
gear data exchange
Now, GDE has come to your favorite software: TGear! TGear is not only able to read in .xml files but it can also output your programs into .xml files as well. The .xml files themselves are so well structured and organized with ASCII text that even novice users can identify mistakes easily.
To give you an idea of the simplicity of a GDE file, the main sections are “Identification”, “Geometry”, and “Inspection”. These sections are, of course, broken down into further subsections as needed in order to completely describe all pertinent gear parameters. Further information can be input in a “User” section as well if necessary. VDI regularly updates “complete” structure files (.dtd) files which you can think of as empty GDE files that can be used as the basis to create your own GDE files as you see fit to describe your gear. You can download the latest files here and you can open them in the simplest of text editors like ‘Notepad’.
If you would like more information about GDE, a sample file, and to see how it is implemented in our gear software, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or check out our website here. Happy measuring!

Sources:,  VDI/VDE 2610