Before going into the discussion on the ways of how to maintain gearboxes and gearmotors, let us first understand what a gearbox is and its function.
What is a Gearbox?
In the industrial world, a gearbox is a machine that assists in production activities. It helps convert raw materials into semi-finished or finished goods. Gearboxes are generally known as arrangements of gears located in a housing that has a specific ratio or output speed in RPM (revolutions per minute).
Function of Gearboxes
Now that we know what a gearbox is, let us explore its functions. The following are some functions of gearboxes:
- Speed Reduction: One of the primary functions of gearboxes is to reduce the speed of the main power or induction motor to match the required rotation speed.
- Synchronization: Gearboxes are used to synchronize the required rotation for moving machinery.
- Speed Variation: Gearboxes enable the conversion of high RPM to low RPM or adjust the number of rotations.
- Load Adaptation: Gearboxes transform heavy workloads into lighter loads.
Now that we understand the concept and functions of gearboxes, let’s explore some essential tips of how to maintain gearbox. There are at least 7 steps involved in gearbox maintenance, as outlined below:
- Check Oil Level in the Gearbox The first tips of how to maintain gearbox is to make sure regularly inspect the oil level inside the gearbox unit, following the product guidelines or principles. If the oil level is low, refill the lubrication oil promptly and examine for any leaks that might have caused the oil depletion.
- Inspect for Leaks in the Gearbox Unit The second tips of how to maintain gearbox is ensure to check for leaks in the gearbox unit, particularly in the oil seals located on the input and output shafts. If any leaks are detected, schedule a replacement with new oil seals that match the part number.
- Verify Oil Circulation Flow The third tips of how to maintain gearbox is to examine the oil flow inside the gearbox unit using the flow glass located on the gearbox body. Check if the oil circulates normally according to the settings.
- Check for Noise in the Gearbox Unit While the gearbox is running, listen for unusual or abnormal noises. If any unusual sounds are detected, use appropriate tools to locate the source of the noise and investigate further.
- Assess Gearbox Oil Condition The next tips of how to maintain gearbox is to make sure regularly inspect the condition and viscosity of the gearbox oil as per the guidelines. Take oil samples from the gearbox and assess its viscosity to determine if it is still suitable for use. If the oil viscosity no longer meets the standard, replace it with fresh oil.
- Check for Vibration and Temperature Periodically check the vibration level of the gearbox unit using specialized tools to measure vibration intensity. Lower vibration values indicate better gearbox condition. The average tolerance for gearbox vibration is 3 mm/s. Also, inspect the temperature of the gearbox unit, including the bearing area. The normal temperature for a gearbox unit should be below 60°C.
Additionally, consider changing the oil under the following conditions:
- The gearbox oil is mixed with water.
- The gearbox oil has turned black and has a foul odor.
- The gearbox oil is contaminated with iron particles.
- The gearbox oil is dirty.
- The gearbox oil has reached its expiration date or requires scheduled replacement.
Procedure to check the oil:
- Open the gearbox unit cover and visually inspect for any damage to the gears.
- Slowly rotate the gearbox shaft manually to examine all parts of the gear surface.
- Perform repairs or replace the unit if any damage is found.
These were the steps to properly maintain gearbox machines according to operational standards. If you or your company require further consultation regarding maintenance or the prices of gearboxes and gearmotors, please feel free to consult with our team.