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Advice for analysing gear failure

Do you own a Sirem gearbox? Does a vital piece of industrial machinery operate Spaggiari gear-motors? Perhaps you have to maintain Spaggiari parallel shaft gearboxes or Sumitomo gearboxes? Whatever industrial gearbox you have dealings with, how do you analyse gearbox failure?

Take a look at some of the ways you can inspect a gearbox and determine whether you have gearbox failure.

Act quickly

When a gear fails in an item of machinery, it is important the cause of the failure gets determined fairly quickly and the damaged gear is either replaced or repaired.

As soon as signs are shown that the likes of Spaggiari worm gearboxes or Zurrer worm gears have failed, you should carry out the analysis as soon as possible.

Naturally, the quicker a gearbox inspection, analysis and solution is conducted the less money will be lost on shutting down vital business equipment and operations. However, this does not mean inspections and analysis should be rushed or not carefully planned, as with nearly every walk of life, good preparation will ensure a quality job is job.

Determining the nature of the failure

The nature of the gearbox fail needs to be determined. If, for example, Zurrer worm gears have failed but are still managing to function, you may want to continue operating the machinery but monitor the rate at which the damage progresses.

If the reliability of the gearbox is critical in proceeding with the application, you should use a magnetic particle inspection to ensure there are no cracks in the gears.

Monitoring the gearbox can be carried out by periodically checking the gears visually, as well as measuring the level of vibration and sound the gears are making.

When conducting a visual inspection before you disassemble the gearbox you should do a comprehensive inspection of the exterior. Check the condition of the keyways and seals and record the findings before dissembling.  Without this initial inspection of the exterior it will be difficult to determine when the damage to the gears may have occurred.

Patterns of gear tooth contact should also be carried out before disassembling the gearbox.

You should then disassemble the gearbox and carry out a thorough inspection of all the industrial parts, whether they are damaged or undamaged. You will need to closely examine the surfaces of not only gear teeth but bearings and record the condition of these internal industrial parts.

Following the initial inspection, you should wash all the internal components including gears and bearings with solvents and then re-examine them.

As we wrote in an earlier blog, gearboxes are essential components of a hugely diverse range of industries. If you suspect your machinery has gear failure, it is important to get in inspected and analysed as soon as possible to help prevent further failure to minimise the loss of operations.

YB Components offers and gearbox repair service to all our UK customers. Simple send us your gearbox for a full inspection and report – What’s more our gearbox inspection service is free of charge to our UK customers.