9 Industrial Gearbox Maintenance Tips

A gearbox is the heart of many crucial industrial applications. This means that gearbox maintenance should be a top priority to ensure minimal downtime and maximum production and profits. Routine gearbox maintenance and inspections form the backbone of any maintenance plan. 

Here are nine tips to help minimize downtime spent removing the gearbox for full inspection:

1) Check Your Gearbox Rating

One of the simplest things you can do is to ensure that your gearbox is operating within the manufacturer’s specifications for its mechanical and thermal ratings. Sometimes gearboxes are inserted into an application that pushes them beyond these ratings and they’re being driven by higher power output than their recommended maximum. 

By using the right gearbox for the job, you can prevent costly breakdowns and repairs. At NW Industrial Sales, LLC, we are experts at fitting the right Falk gearbox to your application to ensure minimal downtime.

Be sure to regularly dust and brush clean your Falk gearbox to ensure its proper operation2) Keep Work Areas Clean

Maintaining a clean workplace environment may seem like common sense, but it is easy to forget about the dirty, dusty, or corrosive environment in which many gearboxes perform. While a certain amount of grime might be unavoidable, regular cleaning and gearbox maintenance can help prolong the life time of the gearbox parts. 

A clean operating environment can also help maintain optimal temperature and prevent contamination of the gearbox. Regularly dust and brush clean your gearbox to ensure its proper operation.

3) Plug Any Leaky Seals

Lubrication is the lifeblood of any gearbox, ensuring its steady and continuous operation. As part of regular maintenance, check for oil leaks at both the input and output shafts of the gearbox. A leak indicates that a seal has failed and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. A failed seal can create gearbox contamination, allowing dust, debris and water to enter the gearbox and damage the parts and drain lubrication. 

If you have questions about what fluid sealing products would work best for your application or you need industrial gearbox repair, NW Industrial Sales, LLC has a wide selection of fluid sealing products and the expertise to guide you in your decision.

4) Fit the Proper Sized Breather

Be sure that the breather is properly fitted for the industrial gearbox to prevent water, dust and debris from entering. They should be maintained similarly to the gearbox, regularly cleaned and inspected for damage or wear from use. Make sure you’re using the correct type and style for your Falk gearbox.

5) Choose the Right Lubrication

Any industrial gearbox will come with a manufacturer’s specification about the type, grade and quantity of lubrication needed to properly operate the gearbox. Make sure your industrial gearbox parts have what they need to run smoothly. Incorporate a renewal of the lubrication into your regular maintenance routine to ensure that the gearbox continually has enough lubrication to perform its job.

When inspecting your Falk gearbox, look for signs of overheating such as burnt paint, dark oil in the sight glass, and more6) Look for Signs of Overheating

Temperature can be a major factor in why an industrial gearbox or gear reducer fails. Regular gearbox maintenance and inspection can serve as a way to proactively repair any damage from overheating

When doing your inspection, look for signs of overheating, such as

  • Discolored or burnt exterior paint
  • Water, dark oil or foam in the sight glass
  • Sudden changes in temperature measured via an infrared temperature gun

7) Monitor for Gear Wear 

When performing industrial gearbox maintenance, check the internal gears and gear reducers by removing the inspection covers or using an endoscope.

You want to be looking for signs of wear, which include:

  • Macropitting (also called pitting)
  • Spalling, where material on the surface of the gear tooth flanks is being removed
  • Misalignment of gear teeth

Any wear should be replaced immediately using your stock of surplus gearbox parts. 

8) Check for Backlash or Shaft End Play

Monitoring backlash can give you a good sense if there is gear teeth wear, which can be hard to spot with the naked eye. Higher shaft play can indicate that wear has occurred in the rolling elements of the bearings or in the bearing housing. Use a dial indicator to look for increases in backlash between the gear mesh and for any increase in end play or lift at either the output or input shafts. 

9) Perform a Vibration Analysis

Because of the often noisy environment that many industrial gearboxes operate in, it can be difficult to measure any increases in the noise of operational gearboxes. However, a regular vibration analysis of the internal bearings and gearbox parts can be used to confirm changes in the internal cognition of the gearbox and prevent any unexpected downtime or loss of production.

Contact Us to Consult With a Gearbox Specialist in Your Industry

At NW Industrial Sales, LLC, we pride ourselves in our over 70 years of combined experience serving multiple industries, such as pulp and paper, grain, marine, oil and gas, and more. 

We provide quality Falk gearboxes and surplus gearbox parts as well as fluid sealing solutions for any application. We have an extensive inventory and are agents of Rexnord Industrial Services, giving you access to their nationwide maintenance network. 

Contact us today to find out more or to speak to one of our specialists. We are available 24/7 to help you.

2021-08-05T01:29:56+00:00August 17th, 2021|
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