To extend the lifetime of industrial gearbox, regular inspection and maintenance is must. On the other hand, for complete inspection and possible overhauling dismantling the gearbox and inspecting is time consuming and also causes undesirable downtime and breaks in production lines. 1. Gearbox Rating: Every gearbox have its own manufacture ratings both thermal and mechanical. It is very important to check and conform that the gearbox is running within it’s manufacture specified ratings.
On many cases it can be seen that gearboxes are put in application surpassing its ratings, it will cause gearbox failure.2. Good housekeeping It looks simple but gives good results, often gearboxes are operated at dirty and dusty environments.
It is very important requirement to keep gearboxes in clean and dry areas. Regular cleaning of storage place and equipment is needed. Keep the working environment and equipment dust and debris free unless contamination increases the operating temperature of gearbox.3. Oil (Shaft) SealsAny oil leakages at input and output shafts indicates that oil seals are damaged. With this we loose lubrication and also chances of admittance of dust, water and debris, so keep an eye on it.
4. BreathersIt is seen that water and dust always enter into the gearbox through breather. It should be of correct shape, style and type.
Keep this breather always clean to allow the gearbox to breath easily. 5. Regular lubricationThis is one of the major step in preventive maintenance. Use manufacture recommended lubricant grade, type and quantity only.
The choice of lubricant depends on temperature and season.6. Check the temperature regularlyCheck the temperature fluctuations regularly to avoid overheating. Look for any signs of oil burnt smell, Foamed sight glass, discoloration of housings, burnt paint marks on housings. We may check the overheating of gearbox by sprinkling water on it. Spray water on gearbox and notice that it evaporates, boils or crackles.
7. Gear Wear / ContactsInspect Gears for any wear or misalignment. By using engineers blue we can find the gear wear.8. Backlash and Shaft playCheck the backlash between gears and also wear of shafts.
We can check the backlash increase by using a dial gauge, it can’t be noticeable with naked eye. End play causes gears wear.9. Conduct Vibration AnalysisMost gearboxes operate in noisy environments, at that environments we cant notice those vibrations. Vibrations are the cause of gears misalignments, bearing defects, haft misalignments etc.,