Piet Van ZylPVZ Gears was formed by Piet van Zyl, a Transmission Design Engineer, with a wide range of experience in Formula 1 gear and gearbox design, as well as off-road vehicle gearbox design and the design of quiet gears for road car and aerospace applications. Piet worked for McLaren International as a Transmission Design Engineer from April 1991 for 13 years and for Xtrac Ltd from 2006 as Senior Design Engineer for 7 years.  Piet introduced the design and manufacture of high pressure angle, high efficiency spur gears at McLaren. PVZ Gears offers gear and gearbox design consultancy.

Experience, responsibilities and achievements:

  • Concept analysis of infinitely variable ratio epicyclic gearbox.
  • Gearbox efficiency study comparing total efficiency for various epicyclic layouts with electrical motors.
  • Concept analysis layout of a 2 speed epicyclic gearbox for use in in an air ship, the latter being the size of a rugby pitch.
  • Gear design, ratings and loaded tooth contact analysis to optimise gear noise for application in a high performance hybrid transmission for use in a Supercar.
  • Applied new design rules to the macro geometry of helical gears to achieve low transmission errors for low noise in electric, hybrid vehicles and aerospace applications.
  • Loaded tooth contact analysis and determining specification of gear micro geometry to minimise gear noise for various transmissions.
  • Design and rating of various epicyclic systems for various applications.
  • Comparing and proposing alternative tooth micro geometry details to that conventionally used by car manufacturers to give low gear noise.
  • Optimising gear profiles in steering rack and pinions to achieve maximum strength when loaded combined with smoothness at low loads.
  • Design of high efficiency lightweight gears for use in Formula 1 transmissions as well as EV applications.
  • Some design of cyclo-palloid and ground bevel gears.
  • Investigating Gear rating software as well as Gearbox System Models to investigate shaft deflections, gear stressing and using dedicated FE analysis gear software to look at optimising gear crowning and tip relief for efficiency, noise and strength.
  • Determine specification of internal gears for gear shaping plus finished gear grinding.
  • Calculating gear losses to determine cooling requirements for the gear meshes.