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Important information for owners of industrial gearboxes
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IMPORTANT information for owners of industrial gearboxes

PLANNED gearbox maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns

If you operate a system with a gearbox at its heart, you could be risking a costly breakdown if it has not been regularly inspected and maintained.

Listed below are some of the resulting causes of failure that can affect your older gear units that may not become apparent until the day the unit fails - usually with costly consequences.

CAUSE EFFECT
Operating lives of rolling element bearings in auxiliary drives reduced due to oil contamination Loss of auxiliary drive, damage to auxiliary components and possible secondary damage to main transmission gearing
High speed couplings become blocked Accelerated wear due to lack of lubrication
Outer coupling system collects contaminant between the coupling teeth Wear steps on gear teeth occur. If wear becomes greater than 0.020” or tooth surface deterioration results in loss of more than 50%, replacement components will be required.
Impurities gather inside planet spindles due to centrifugal forces Sludge forms and prevents oil from reaching white metal bearing surfaces
Impurities which pass into the planet wheel Surface scoring of planet wheel occurs and can cause breakdown of the white metal resulting in unit failure
Oil film breakdown due to water contamination Breakdown of oil film between teeth of the running gear train giving rise to overstressing
Corrosion fatigue due to pitting condition Possible corrosion attack and a reduction in endurance limit

Allen Gears’ experience has shown that failures due to solids in suspension and sludge formation inside the unit exceeded by far the failures due to corrosion-induced fatigue failure. Gear problems of the types outlined above can be minimised by regular planned maintenance where principally the objective is to clean the unit and NDT the component parts.

Recommended maintenance procedures
Allen epicyclic gears - planned levels of maintenance


Noise & Vibration Survey

  • Survey taken with gearbox running under
    normal operating conditions.

In-situ Remote Visual Inspection
(Borescope/Videoscope)

  • Remove Gearcase inspection covers
  • Inspect general appearance of components and any signs of rust
  • Inspect gear teeth using Borescope/ Videoscope
  • Check auxiliary drives
  • Report.

Full Inspection

  • Remove gear internals from gearcase
  • Remove spindle end covers, inspect spindle bores, remove sludge deposits and clean thoroughly
  • Dismantle gear completely, clean and inspect
    all components
  • Check all oilways are clear
  • Remove centrifuged sludge from high speed coupling sleeve, sunwheel and sunwheel coupling flange
  • Dismantle trunnion mounts, check, clean and lubricate
  • Check auxiliary drives
  • Check Helicoil inserts and renew all locking plates and
    tab washers
  • Check high and low speed alignments
  • Report.

These recommendations are based on continuous running for units with auxiliary drives.
For low-use plant the time period between examinations may be increased, but not more than 50%, even though nominated running hours may not have been completed

RECOMMENDED GEARBOX MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
OUTAGE
INTERVAL
HRS (YRS)
GEARBOX MAINTENANCE LEVEL
NOISE & VIBRATION
SURVEY

IN-SITU
INSPECTION (BORESCOPE /
VIDEOSCOPE)

MAIN
GEAR
INSPECTION
8,000 (1)    
16,000 (2)      
24,000 (3)  
32,000 (4)      
40,000 (5)  
48,000 (6)      
56,000 (7)  
64,000 (8)      
72,000 (9)  

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