Top 10 tips: industrial gearbox inspection and maintenance

To prolong the operational life of your industrial gearboxes, regular inspections and maintenance is essential. On the other hand, removal of the gearbox for a full inspection and a possible overhaul can cause undesirable lengthy downtime and breaks in shift work or production lines. Here are ERIKS UK's Top 10 tips to minimise downtime and ensure your gearbox experiences as long an operational life as possible.

1. Gearbox ratings

Check the gearbox is operating within its manufacturer's specification for both mechanical and thermal ratings. On many occasions gearboxes are put into an application beyond their design specification and are being driven by an increased input power greater than the maximum recommended.

2. Good housekeeping

It may sound simple, but often gearboxes are operating in a dirty and dusty environment. Whilst this is usually unavoidable to a certain extent, it is important to minimise the effects of the workplace environment. This could result in an increased operating temperature or even possible contamination of the gearbox. Therefore industrial gearboxes should be regularly dusted and brushed clean.

3. Shaft seals

Check for oil leaks at the input and output shaft of your gearbox. Leaks indicate that seals have failed, thus allowing dust, debris and water ingress from the environment; and for a potential loss of lubrication. These should be replaced without delay to prevent internal contamination of the gearbox or inadequate lubrication.

4. Breathers

Water, dust and debris should also not be permitted to ingress internally into the gearbox through the breather. They should be the correct type and style, and kept clean at all times to allow the gearbox to breathe with ease.

5. Lubrication

Lubrication should be adhered to the gearbox manufacturer's specification for type, grade and quantity. Regular renewal should again be carried out to the gearbox manufacturer's recommendations.

6. Temperature (overheating)

Look for signs of overheating, which could include discoloured or burnt exterior paint, or dark oil in the sight glass. Monitor the gearbox temperature on a regular basis and look out for any sudden changes in temperature using an infrared temperature gun.

7. Gear wear / contacts

Check the internal gears via the removal of inspection covers or with the aid of an endoscope. Look for signs of wear such as pitting and spalling (material from the surface of gear tooth flanks being removed). Also inspect the contacts between gear teeth for misalignment using "˜engineers blue' as this could be indicative of wear in bearings or the bearing housings.

8. Backlash and shaft end play

Use a dial indicator to check for any increase in backlash between the mesh of the gears, and also for any increase in the end play or lift at the input and output shafts. An increase in backlash could be an indication of gear teeth wear, which is not always visible to the naked eye. An increase in shaft end play or lift would indicate wear within the rolling elements of the bearings or even wear in the bearing housings.

9. Vibration analysis

Many gearboxes operate in a noisy environment, meaning not all variations or increases in gearbox noise can be recorded. Regular vibration analysis of the internal bearings and gears will confirm any significant changes in the internal condition of the gearbox and help prevent any unplanned loss of production.

10. Speak to the specialist

Whether you need advice or support in inspecting; maintaining and repairing; or replacing your gearbox, bring in the experts who can guide you and help you ensure your site's gearboxes are working to their maximum operational efficiency.

For more information on ERIKS UK, please visit www.eriks.co.uk.

ERIKS

Amber Way
Halesowen
B62 8WG
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)121 508 6000

marketing@eriks.co.uk

www.eriks.co.uk

More from ERIKS

Maximising bearing service life

Posted 6 years ago

Information retention is key for optimum pump performance

Posted 6 years ago

ERIKS acquires Action Industrial Group

Posted 6 years ago

ERIKS agrees sale of trade and business assets of Revolvo

Posted 7 years ago

Lack of stores and stockroom investment can reduce productivity

Posted 7 years ago

ERIKS acquires Advanced Sealing

Posted 7 years ago

Legislation-focused personal protection equipment catalogue

Posted 7 years ago

ERIKS launches new marine capability

Posted 7 years ago

UK industry wasting millions through poor maintenance

Posted 7 years ago

ERIKS acquires the Maagtechnic Group

Posted 7 years ago

ERIKS Stevenage branch expands to new site

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS acquires Leader Global Technologies in the US and Slovakia

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS pump repairs make £4k annual saving at UK auto plant

Posted 8 years ago

Automated system building for OEMs

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS launches £5000 Engineering Challenge competition

Posted 8 years ago

Sustainability and efficiency for pumps

Posted 8 years ago

Sustainability and innovation from ERIKS

Posted 8 years ago

Ladder safety for machine builders

Posted 8 years ago

Review H&S ahead of new cost recovery scheme

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS white paper shows the way to efficient process engineering

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS offers free energy efficiency white paper

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS white paper helps customers to cut acquisition costs

Posted 8 years ago

Added-value services match the needs of the business

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS offers customers an expert view on inventory optimisation

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS launches feature-packed, high-efficiency IE3 motor

Posted 8 years ago

UK Loco rely on ERIKS for major, one-off live show

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS moves Service Centre to larger Stockton site

Posted 8 years ago

Local engineering firm ERIKS certified as a top UK employer

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS UK wins Britain's Top Employer Award

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS know-how secures contract renewal from Tullis Russell

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS to relocate Lincoln Service Centre to larger site

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS further strengthens US presence with two acquisitions

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS to showcase range of products at Maintec 2013 Stand C9

Posted 8 years ago

ERIKS wins sustainability award for TCO Calculator

Posted 9 years ago

ERIKS pioneers new Elau Servo Motor test and repair service

Posted 9 years ago

ERIKS Plymouth Service Centre moves to larger premises

Posted 9 years ago

ERIKS becomes first Conpura distributor for the UK and Ireland

Posted 9 years ago

ERIKS Automation Services Division launches in UK

Posted 9 years ago

See cloud-based condition monitoring at Maintec 2012

Posted 9 years ago

Fenner Select Drive Design Assistant for chain drives

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks Bradford Service Centre replaces Otley facility

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks engineers locked in bank to perform weekend maintenance

Posted 10 years ago

Custom seal protects against water ingress in mining machinery

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks creates 'superbranch' in Leeds to improve customer service

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks has acquires Erich Haagen GmbH

Posted 10 years ago

Aylesford Newsprint extends MRO contract with Eriks

Posted 10 years ago

Hose testing service available on site or at technology centres

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks acquires Danish manufacturer of valves and level gauges

Posted 10 years ago

How to specify O-rings for fluid sealing applications

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks acquires Sodeco Armaturen GmbH

Posted 10 years ago

EU MEPS electric motor efficiencies and deadlines

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks to distribute Castrol Industrial lubricants

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks wins major MRO contract from Brand-Rex

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks wins major contract from British Gypsum

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks gains SAFEcontractor accreditation

Posted 10 years ago

New bio-hygienic elastomeric seal compound is anti-microbial

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks wins MRO contract from Prysmian Cables & Systems

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks acquires California Seal and Fastener (Cal Seal)

Posted 10 years ago

Eriks Sealing and Flow Technology at Process Engineering Live

Posted 12 years ago

Eriks sponsors 2009 Manufacturing Excellence Awards

Posted 13 years ago

New range of Fenner inverters and electric motors

Posted 13 years ago

Fitting service helps to extend bearing life

Posted 13 years ago

Hygienic hoses are stronger, lighter and more flexible

Posted 13 years ago

Eriks to acquire Seals Packings & Gaskets Limited (SPG)

Posted 13 years ago

Wyko Nigeria renamed Eriks Industrial Services Nigeria

Posted 13 years ago

Eriks UK now sells tools, tooling, PPE and storage

Posted 13 years ago

See Eriks at the International Engineering Fair 2008

Posted 13 years ago

Wyko Industrial Services in the UK becomes Eriks UK

Posted 13 years ago

ERIKS International - a new name for WYKO International

Posted 13 years ago

Wyko International rebrands as Eriks International

Posted 13 years ago

Fenner Plus chain and sprockets last longer

Posted 13 years ago

500 attend 'Know-How Makes a Difference Day'

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko to distribute System Plast spares in UK and Ireland

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko opens new office in Lagos, Nigeria

Posted 14 years ago

DIY hydraulic hose replacements save £144,000

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko joins Eriks group and targets OEM and MRO markets

Posted 14 years ago

Introducing Eriks Sealing Technology UK

Posted 14 years ago

Eriks acquires Flexible Hose Supplies (UK)

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko opens new branch in Litvinov, Czech Republic

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko's report from Hillhead 2007

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko at International Engineering Fair, Slovakia

Posted 14 years ago

Inverters achieve rapid ROI on 100kW fans

Posted 14 years ago

Cost-effective filters remove oil from water

Posted 14 years ago

Wyko wins substantial contract from Royal dockyard

Posted 14 years ago

Free gauge indicates worn - and inefficient - pulleys

Posted 15 years ago

Fenner's Ex-rated products now available from Wyko

Posted 15 years ago

Wyko to hold celebratory Open Day

Posted 15 years ago

More technical articles

Login / Sign up