Predictive measures to fine-tune the performance of industrial gearboxes

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Gearboxes, of all shapes, sizes and models, are an essential component of many power transmission systems. They are also highly engineered machines, which rely on the smooth running of internal parts to ensure they work as efficiently as they are designed to.

However, like every piece of machinery and equipment, industrial gearboxes can quickly become less efficient than when they left the factory floor.

Whether you operate a Danfoss bauer gearbox, a Heynau gearbox, or any other type of industrial gearbox, there are certain preventative measures you can take to help improve the performance of the gearbox.

As Plant Services recommends, the key to gearbox longevity and efficiency is related to regular maintenance.

If you own or operate an industrial gearbox and are keen to maintain its efficiency and longevity through simple preventative methods, take a look at the following predictive measures to help fine-tune the performance of industrial gearboxes.

  • Regular viscosity analysis of oil

When conducting an oil analysis, the viscosity of the oil needs to be evaluated. Viscosity provides the correct thickness of the oil and enables the proper flow of the lubricant to take contaminants and debris away, as well as frictional heat away from stress points.

  • Choosing the proper lubricant

As Machine Lubrication advises, selecting the proper gear lubricant is essential to the long-term health of a gearbox.

Asides taking note of the manufacturer’s recommendations, when choosing gearbox lubricants, one should also consider the operating conditions of the gearbox.

For example, you should ask questions such as has the machine been located in a hard to reach position? If so, it might not have been lubricated as frequently as it should be. Is the machine prone to operating in harsh atmospheric conditions, such as dust, heat and moisture? Or is it consistently overloaded?

  • Temperature readings

As temperature alters the viscosity of oil, operators should have an understanding of the temperature under which the industrial gearbox is operating.

There is a number of devices you can use to check the temperature of the gearbox, including heat guns, thermocouples and gauges, which will detect changes in gearbox operation.

When observing the temperature, it is advised that a baseline temperature is monitored, which can then be used and compared to subsequent readings.

“A rise in temperature or localised hot spots can indicate that the gearbox is not operating as efficiently as it once was due to a problem with either gears or bearings,” writes Skiold.

  • Regular inspections

Which brings us on to the importance of regularly inspecting your gearbox as an effective preventative method in generating long-term gearbox health.

As we wrote in a blog last year, inspecting the likes of Sumitomo and Spaggiari gearboxes regularly, is an essential way to identify potential problems or issues before failure arises.

When inspecting a gearbox, check for leaks around the seal areas, which can be an indication of a degraded or contaminated lubricant. If broken seals are detected they can be replaced to help improve the efficiency of the gearbox and before any real damage is done.

YB Components can help improve the efficiency and maintain the life of an industrial gearbox. Simply send your gearbox to YB Components for a full inspection and report. Repairs can also be carried out under strict control.