This blog post is in response to a question asked by a fellow member from the group Print Production Professionals on LinkedIn. The questioner asked what specific actions should be part of a company Preventive Maintenance Program.My answer is the following…
A pro-active Preventive Maintenance Program should include regularly scheduled examinations of your equipment gearboxes. A machine’s continued good mechanical health relies on a healthy drivetrain to provide correct driveshaft motion and torque from the motor to its mechanical sections. Gearboxes are an integral component of a machine’s drivetrain.
There are many different types, styles, and sizes of gearboxes that perform many different functions. Everything from driveshaft speed change and torque requirements to driveshaft direction changes are done with gearboxes.
All of the different types of gearboxes have certain characteristics they all share. The basic gearbox housing is a metal box that contains gears, bearings, and oil for lubrication. Maintaining the correct oil amount and useful oil life inside gearboxes is an important preventive maintenance function. This oil must be checked regularly for correct amount and cleanliness for the useful life of the oil. Oil does not go bad.It has no expiration date like food. Oil gets contaminated by wear, heat, and other contaminants to which it is exposed. It can also leak from a gearbox having a defective oil seal or gasket.
Gearbox oil is a gearbox’s life blood, neglect it and you risk that your production equipment uptime will decrease due to breakdowns.
Different gearboxes can have different types of oil requirements. Sometimes the oil requirement is listed on the metal plate attached to most gearboxes. If the oil requirements are not stated on the metal plate you can find this information by contacting the manufacturer directly, from the manufacturer’s website, or from documentation for that specific gearbox. Hopefully most of your gearboxes are of a similar type and you can use the same specification of gearbox oil.
Does your Preventive Maintenance Program include checking gearbox oil levels, type of oil used, and the remaining useful life of the oil in the gearbox?
My next blog post will address the different ways to maintain gearbox health without costing much money.