In the first part of this blog, we discussed how it’s important to remember that just because a particular coupling fits, that doesn’t necessarily make it the correct coupling. A quick look through any of the brands such as Jaure Couplings or Falk Couplings will tell you there are many flexible coupling designs which have various attributes which make them more suitable to certain tasks than others. That’s why it’s worth every company’s time to liaise with the couplings manufacturers or suppliers to ensure they are choosing the right design for their machines.
There are other general maintenance and coupling assembly issues that need addressing too though, so we will wade into those below.
Balanced Axial Spacing is Crucial
Some types of coupling such as some of those in the Jaure Couplings range are very sensitive to the axial spacing between the two coupling hubs connecting the shafts. For some coupling designs, such as others in the Jaure or Falk Couplings range, the two hubs being close together can cause problems such as overloading the bearings or a reduction in flexibility. Alternatively, if they are spaced too far apart for the coupling’s intended usage then the contact between the hub and the element is significantly reduced which results in increased wear and tear. Axial spacing beyond the coupling’s intended usage can also result in element failure.
Advice on Replacing Coupling Elements
Whenever wear and tear has reduced the efficiency of your machine and you have identified the coupling as the source of the reduction, replace the coupling element as soon as possible. Also it is imperative that you do not mix and match your hubs and elements, but make sure that the replacement element is from the same coupling manufacturer that designed the hub in the first place. There are certain couplings which allow for a mix and match approach, but unless specifically advised that this is okay by either the coupling suppliers or your engineering department, then always replace like with like.
When replacing the element you will also need to ensure that you have correctly matched the torque, horsepower and temperature ranges, so if you are not sure of these then that should be the first information you find out before contacting the coupling manufacturer or supplier.
Constant Lubrication and Vigilant Inspection
Not all coupling designs require lubrication, but a great many do, so find out if the couplings you are using are this type or not. If they are, then obviously keep them well lubricated at all times or be prepared to replace them a lot more often than you should. Do make sure you are following the coupling manufacturer’s guidelines with regards to what kind of lubrication to use, as there are different kinds suited to different types of coupling.
Finally, proper maintenance of the machine, and especially its coupling components, requires regular inspections to ensure it is all in working order. This is the prevention method, rather than the cure which involves replacement or repair, and scheduled maintenance inspections will ultimately save a company a lot of time and money by identifying problems before they cause a slowdown in operations or even worse, downtime for repairs.
Basic checklist for coupling inspections:
- Check each component is lubricated and the grease remains soft and pliable.
- Check for any misalignment of the shafts beyond what the coupling can handle.
- Look for any sign of wear and tear.
- Ensure all set screws are properly tightened.
- Ensure all the keys are correctly seated.
If you require flexible couplings or are interested in a particular couplings manufacturer such as Jaure Couplings or Falk Couplings, then contact YB Components who are the leading coupling suppliers and can ship these parts all over the world.