In this era of rising costs and prices, it is essential to ensure that your gearbox is operating at optimum efficiency levels. The first concern in case of gearbox failure is the costs to get it running again. At the same time, it is equally important to understand the reasons for the failure and ways in which they can be avoided.A preventive maintenance program becomes a crucial factor in this context as it helps in lengthening the life cycle of your gearbox by minimizing the incidence of failures.
Identification of failure causes is the first step in any preventive maintenance program. In case of the gearbox, as all authorised dealers of Greaves gearboxes state, there are two major causes of failure that have to be analysed. They can be elaborated in the following manner:
Effective lubrication is an essential factor which guarantees the smooth running of the gearbox. Solutions for an effective lubrication include:
Using appropriate lubricating oil.
Keeping the lubricant free from contamination.
Maintaining lubricating oil in sufficient quantities.
As per the say of the authorised distributors of Premium gearboxes, oil analysis is a major tool for ascertaining gearbox lubrication problems. Routine examination indicates the possible contamination of lubricating oil and deeper analysis gives vital information about lubricant condition. Oil analysis increase the time intervals between changes in lubricating oil, decreases costs and helps to avoid failures.
Improper Oil viscosity results in scuffing and this leads to bearing and gear damage. Hence, monitoring in this regard is a must. All gearbox dealers in Mumbai emphasize the need for maintaining cleanliness in the lubricating oil and this is a factor that has to be definitely watched for.
The authorised dealers of Premium gearboxes will alert the user to another cause of lubrication problems and that is wear patterns on gears. Incidences of gear ‘pitting’ occur if corrosive mediums exist within lubricant or due to incorrect lubricant additives. Analysis of the gears for occurrences of such a problem can help to take timely action.
Analysis of shaft vibration can enable the engineers to ascertain the prevalence of misalignment, imbalance, gear defects, general looseness etc.Vibration data has to be analysed on a routine basis as this helps to ascertain the likelihood of any of the mentioned problems.
During alignment procedure, sufficient time has to be allotted for proper alignment and enough attention should be given to mounting. Proper mounting bolts have to be used which enables them to be secured to rigid foundation.
Besides the above, it has to be ensured that correct sized gearbox is used for the relevant application. Failures can arise due to the gearbox misapplied or under-sized for the concerned use.
Care has to be taken in the storage aspects of gearbox. Greaves gearboxes have to be stored in cool and dry environments which have low humidity content. Small temperature changes can be permitted but prevalence of non-corrosive atmosphere is a must.
Authorised distributors of Greaves gearboxes state that a typical maintenance program should include vibration measurements, videoscopic and visual inspections, multichannel vibration measurements, oil analysis, infrared monitoring and non- destructive research, gearbox management, wear protection via laser cladding and a quick replacement if needed.