Industrial gearboxes are essential components in construction equipment and other heavy machines. Typically, a high-grade gearbox is tough, and it will withstand adverse operating conditions, including high temperature, mechanical stress and continuous usage. Unfortunately, these units can break down due to worksite accidents, poor maintenance and incorrect use. If your gearbox fails, you will experience losses in the form of downtime and repairs. Therefore, it is important to identify anomalies early and resolve them early to minimise costs and downtime. Here are the most common issues that you should watch out for in your industrial gearbox.
Gearboxes in industrial equipment and heavy machines operate under extreme pressure and at high speeds. Therefore, the moving components in the unit generate a lot of frictional force. If the gearbox is not lubricated, there will be fast wear of the parts, and the entire unit could experience catastrophic failure. You should avoid these problems by lubricating the gearbox as recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Also, you should use clean and appropriately rated industrial lubricant. If the oil used is contaminated or unsuitable for this use, you might cause more harm to the gearbox, accelerating equipment failure.
You should keep an eye on any anomalies in the temperature of your industrial gearbox. One of the common problems is thermal instability. In simple terms, this inconsistency can be explained as a substantial variation of temperature between the gearbox shaft and the housing. You can identify this problem by checking for overheating problems in your gearbox. It is essential to note that high temperature in the unit can be caused by a range of operational problems. For example, you might find the gearbox components heating up due to insufficient lubrication or even overly tightened bearings. You can prevent thermal issues by identifying the causative issue and conducting appropriate gearbox repairs.
You should commission regular inspection of your gearbox for the misalignment of internal components. This is one of the common problems which wear away the unit, forcing premature failure and costing high restoration fees. You should note that early repair will minimise the risk of the complete breakdown of the gearbox. The misalignment will present itself in the pitting of surfaces. The affected areas will have micro pits which will give the gear surfaces a frosted or matte look. If the issue escalate, macro pitting and corrosion will occur. You can prevent the degradation by dealing with underlying problems such as poor mounting, thermal expansion and deflection issues.