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We have seen "Classifications of gears” and "Gear terminology" in our previous post, where we have discussed the types of gear and various terms used in gear mechanism.

Today we will be concentrated on a very important article i.e. Procedure of gear box inspection. First we will see here about the preparatory activities for successful inspection of gearbox and then we will discuss our main topic i.e. inspection procedure of gearbox.

As we are quite aware that gearboxes are used for torque and speed conversion around each and every industry. Therefore we may say that gearboxes are very important and crucial component of respective equipment. If such critical and important component fails, it will yield the heavy downtime and hence it will surely affect the productivity of unit. Therefore we must inspect the gearboxes in order to secure the optimum efficiency of respective equipment.

We will see here the various important steps that should be followed to inspect a gear box on site. There is no need to mention here about various constraints in inspection of gear box on site, but let me recall few constraints those are, as mentioned below, limiting the scope of gearbox inspection.
  1. Shutdown Time to inspect the gearbox
  2. Accessibility to through inspection of gearbox
  3. Production delay during shutdown time
  4. Resources for complete inspection of gearbox
Image Courtesy: Google

If we can overcome above mentioned constraints, we will be able to carry out the thorough inspection of gearbox and simultaneously we will be able to save downtime due to breakdown, cost involved in refurbishment of gearbox if failure occurs and we can enhance the respective equipment service life also. Therefore, we must prepare one schedule for thoroughly inspection of a gearbox.

Planning and Preparation

Before going for inspection, we must have to plan for shutdown of respective equipment and we will have to secure required resources for quality inspection of gearbox. Let us see few important resources those will be required during inspection of gearbox.
  1. Spanners
  2. Torque wrench
  3. Inspection form
  4. Sound meter
  5. Micrometer
  6. Vibration probe
  7. High intensity LED flashlight
  8. Lubricant sampling equipment
  9. Thermometer (Digital)
  10. Earplug
  11. Cotton waste
  12. Camera with close-up flash

Preparation of inspection form

Before going for inspection of gearbox, we will have to prepare one inspection form where each and every inspection point will be mentioned and we will update the form with observations during inspection of gearbox.

Safety policy

Once we have secured permission to take shutdown for inspection, next step is to secure all safety certificates as per organization policy such as work permit and LOTO i.e. lock out tagged out certificate etc. We will have to strictly follow all safety rules and regulations as per safety policy of organization.

Housekeeping of gearbox and surrounding area

I have seen normally gearboxes operate under dirty dusty atmosphere; therefore we need to clean thoroughly the gearbox body and gearbox surrounding area. We will not be able to inspect the gearbox thoroughly if housekeeping of gearbox and its surrounding area is poor. We must note it that before opening any inspection port or cover, we will have to clean each and every inspection cover or port.

Once gearbox and surrounding area are cleaned thoroughly, we will start our main task i.e. inspection of gearbox.

We will continue, from here, in our next post “How to inspect a gearbox”. We will see gearbox inspection procedure step by step in our next post.

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