Regular inspections and maintenance are required to extend the operational life of your industrial gearboxes. However, factors like as cost, time, accessibility, and qualified staff may limit the scope of the inspection.
Management may view the cost and downtime time as prohibitive, yet spotting a problem early on can save time and money in the long term. Hence, in this article, we’ll provide a few tips that you should follow to ensure you’re able to maintain your industrial gear motor.
Maintain Good Housekeeping
Although it may appear simple, gearboxes frequently operate in a dirty and dusty environment. While to some extent this is unavoidable, it is critical to minimise the consequences of the employment environment. Such a dirty and rusty environment could raise the gearbox’s working temperature or perhaps cause it to become contaminated. As a result, industrial gearboxes should be dusted and brushed clean on a regular basis.
Conduct Regular Inspections
While a full inspection may appear to be too difficult, a simple visual inspection of gear contact patterns through an inspection port can help prevent catastrophic failures in the future. If there isn’t any in-house inspection experience, an expert might be recruited to execute the examination and train people. By overcoming problems for conducting an inspection, you can help to extend the life of your gearbox and avoid catastrophic failure. This could save time, money, worker harm, and damage to nearby equipment.
Before opening the gearbox inspection port, you should conduct a comprehensive external inspection. Use an inspection form to keep track of critical information that would otherwise be lost once the cleaning is done. Examine the exterior of the gear housing for symptoms of overheating, corrosion, contamination, oil leaks, and damage before cleaning it.
Tightening torque of structural fasteners carrying large stresses, such as torque arm bolts is to be measured and corrected Look for signs of movement at structural interfaces, such as cracked paint or fretting corrosion. Note the condition of the fasteners and look for fretting corrosion or other signs of movement on load-bearing surfaces of components, for taking corrective action.
Keep An Eye Out For Overheating
Overheating can be detected by discoloured or burned external paint, as well as dark oil in the sight glass. Using an infrared temperature gun, monitor the gearbox temperature on a regular basis and look for any rapid variations in temperature. Overheating can be detected by the following symptoms:
Shafts, seals, and breathers all emit smoke.
Housings with discoloured or burned paint
Water placed on the housing or shafts immediately evaporates, boiling or crackling.
Colors should be tempered on unpainted surfaces.
Components made of melted plastic, such as shipping plugs
Low levels of oil in the sight glass or on the dipstick
In a sight glass or on a dipstick, there is a dark oil.
Foam in the sight glass
Sludge on the filter element or water in the sight glass (may indicate oil cooler failure)
Chip detectors, filters, or metal chips on magnetic plugs (may denote gear or bearing failure caused by overheating)
Look For Wear & Tear Signs
Internal gears can be inspected by removing inspection covers or using an endoscope. Look for pitting and spalling as evidence of wear (material from the surface of gear tooth flanks being removed). Using ‘engineers blue,’ check the contact patterns between gear teeth for misalignment, since this could indicate bearing or bearing housing wear.
Conduct Vibration Analysis
Since many gearboxes work in a noisy environment, not all changes in gearbox noise can be captured. Vibration study of the internal bearings and gears on a regular basis will identify any substantial changes in the gearbox’s internal condition and help prevent any unanticipated production loss.
Check The Condition of Your Shaft
Check for any increase in backlash between the gears’ mesh, as well as any increase in end play or lift at the input and output shafts, with a dial indicator. Backlash increases could be a sign of gear tooth wear, which isn’t usually evident to the human eye. Increased shaft end play or lift indicates wear in the bearings’ rolling elements, as well as wear in the bearing housings.