It is difficult to avoid noise in an industrial setting, especially if you are using equipment like an industrial gearbox. Prolonged exposure to excessive and constant noise can cause permanent hearing damage, which is why noise levels should not be ignored. Because of the health risks, noise reduction strategies are a critical part of industrial safety and operational plans. Here are some strategies you can use to reduce the noise coming from your industrial gearbox and protect your employees.
Industrial gearboxes are a common source of excessive noise in many facilities. Damaging levels of noise are an indication that one or more of the gearbox components may not be operating or designed properly. Keep in mind that many factors could cause excess noise, but gear damage is frequently the cause. If you or your employees begin to notice increased sound levels, you should conduct tests on the gear drive to isolate the source. A professional service company can also help you with this.
Most of the noise generated by industrial gearboxes comes from normal operation. This means you may be limited in what you can do to minimize that noise. However, depending on your gearbox design, there are a few strategies you can implement.
Gearbox teeth vary from curved to flat in shape. The more smooth the contact of the metal teeth, the less friction-based noise is generated. Some alterations to your gear design can reduce noise levels. Removing a small amount of material near the tip of the gear tooth can help. You can also crown or shave down the tooth into an oval shape. The goal is to reduce the amount of material that makes contact with the corresponding gear in mesh. However, keep in mind that these alterations can impact the total life cycle of the gears, so make sure they are approved by the manufacturer.
Excessive wear on the teeth can result in increased noise levels. If you review both sides of the teeth, the wear should be relatively apparent. If you notice excessive wear, you should contact a gearbox repair specialist to diagnose the problem. These experts can inspect and repair or rebuild your industrial gearbox, or send you replacement parts.
If you’ve done everything you can to address the possible issues with your industrial gearbox, you can also look into environmental issues to reduce noise.
You can install damping devices such as honeycomb sheeting in and around your gear drive. These devices decrease noise by reducing sound vibrations. Decreasing vibrations can also help protect other gearbox components, increasing the lifespan and efficiency of your equipment.
Noise is also created when industrial gearboxes transmit vibrations through the mounting into the structure, essentially vibrating the entire frame. If you install a resilient material between a gearbox and its mount, you can usually reduce the vibrations and overall noise levels.
Sound-absorbing panels can be used for higher-frequency noise levels. The panels can be placed around gearboxes to minimize the amount of sound near employees.
For extreme situations, you can install an enclosure around the source of the sound. The enclosure should be hard-cased and airtight, with an inner layer made of sound-absorbing material. However, if you use an enclosure, make sure you include ventilation, or you could risk overheating your industrial gearbox or other components.
Your employees should also take safety precautions when working around loud equipment. Whenever possible, instruct your workers to wear earplugs and other protective gear. Employees should also take regular hearing exams to test the impact of the noise in their environment. Finally, conduct regular tests to ensure that your facility is operating at safe levels.
Reducing the noise that comes from the operation of your industrial gearbox is vital for both your equipment and your employees. If you need high-quality gearbox inspection, repair, or maintenance, contact the professionals at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas today. You can call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email for more information about our Amarillo Gear™ and Marley™ gearbox repair services, and our Renewal process. We will be glad to tell you more about the Regions We Service and our Stock/Exchange Program, which allows you to purchase high-quality, rebuilt gearboxes.