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Important industrial gearbox maintenance practices

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An overview of industrial gearboxes

A gearbox is an important equipment in majority of industries. A gearbox is generally an equipment that conveys mechanical power to aid production work. How do you maintain the durability of your industrial gearbox? The solution is regular maintenance and inspection. By doing so, you are able to assess when and what type of repairs your industrial gearbox needs. In other words, maintenance has to be approached from a proactive and preventative angle.

Proactive maintenance is having the necessary repairs done immediately your gearbox develops mechanical problems. With preventative maintenance, you frequently assess the condition of your gearbox and identify potential problems that could slow down production time and ensure they are addressed before they occur. For example, reducing stress on your gearbox and using the recommended lubricants are some preventive maintenance practices to implement.

Common types of industrial gearboxes

Diverse industries employ gearboxes for different reasons. As such, there are various types of industrial gearboxes used for different functions. The following are some common gearboxes as well as their respective applications.

1. Planetary gearbox

It is regarded as a very durable gearbox that guarantees utmost accuracy. It is used in 3D printing industry.


2. Coaxial Helical Inline gearbox

Applicable in industries such as construction, mining and transportation, this gearbox boasts of quality and efficiency. Its gears and shaft comprise hardened steel.

3. Bevel Helical gearbox

It is characterized by a curved set of teeth. It facilitates rotary motion amid non-parallel shafts. It is mainly used in the mining field.

4. Skew Bevel Helical gearbox

It is synonymous with moving extremely heavy loads due to great strength and rigidity.

Top industrial gearbox maintenance tips to observe

1. Observe the temperature of the industrial gearbox regularly

This maintenance practice should be done to avoid overheating. Monitoring the temperature involves noting down any temperature fluctuations. How do you detect overheating of your industrial gearbox? Common indicators of overheating are:

  • Melting of plastic apparatuses
  • Evaporation of water is extremely fast when sprinkled on the gearbox
  • Discolored paint on walls
  • The sight glass has dark oil
  • Smoke

2. Do a vibration test

Frequently find out if your industrial gearbox is emitting unusual noises. If your industry entails a very noisy setting, conducting a vibration test is recommended. This is done since it is impossible to record each and every rise and disparity in gearbox noise in such a setting. A vibration test involves checking the state of the gears and internal bearings to find out the entire state of the gearbox. It checks for any alterations in gear movement. The gearbox testing also shows if the gears are misaligned.

3. Regular lubrication

lubricationPart of industrial gearbox maintenance involves ensuring regular and proper lubrication. The lubricant must fulfill some conditions as indicated on the manufacture’s manual: it must be of the recommended grade, type and amount. You must also consider the season and temperature when choosing a lubricant. This arises because industrial gearboxes demand varied lubricants with respect to the season and temperature. Assess the shaft seals for any oil leaks too.

4. Focus on gearbox ratings

Always confirm that the gearbox is operating based on the specifications given by its manufacturer with respect to mechanical as well as thermal ratings. A mistake that is common when operating gearboxes is using them for applications that do not match their design specification. Where gearboxes are driven by an input power that is beyond the recommended maximum, their operational efficiency is greatly undermined.

5. Create a suitable work environment

In most cases, gearboxes function in an unconducive environment. Your work environment as well as your gearbox must be devoid of
elements such as dust, dirt and debris. It is difficult to achieve a workplace environment that is extremely clean in most cases. Nonetheless, efforts should be made to ensure that the gearbox is kept clean regularly. If this is not done, the gearbox is prone to contamination which interferes with its proper functioning.

Besides, the following must be done:

  • Thorough inspection of magnetic debris collectors and filter elements
  • Prior to opening, confirm that gearbox inspection ports are clean
  • Never forget to close the port when inspection is over to avoid entry of dirt
  • Store the gearbox in a place that has a firm foundation and dry to prevent damage to its components

6. Consult an expert

Although you can conduct the maintenance practices explained, here, you still need the advice of a specialist. A specialist will offer maintenance, repair and replacement services when necessary. Besides, an expert ascertains that your gearbox is fully operational thus guaranteeing uninterrupted production work. In conclusion, proper maintenance of industrial gearboxes enhances their operational effectiveness. For more information visit GBS International from The Netherlands.