Lubrication is critical for every gearbox, so you must constantly monitor the operation of your equipment to ensure that it is properly lubricated. Machines that lack sufficient lubrication risk catastrophic equipment failure. Gearboxes are typically lubricated by either a combination or single use of either bath and splash methods, as well as certain systems.
Bath lubrication is the simplest method for gearbox lubrication. You take any component that needs lubricant and completely submerge it in a bath of oil. Bath lubrication is more commonly used for small and medium sized gearboxes where the shafts are on a single horizontal axis. This method is the simplest and easiest to implement, but it is prone to failure if the oil levels drop too low.
Splash lubrication is more efficient when gears are on various levels, rather than a single horizontal axis. The bath method is inefficient because it cannot reach every gear, therefore it is useless for these types of gearboxes. Splash lubrication is also inexpensive and simple to implement.
Speed reducers often require particular applications of lubricant, more so than splash or bath. For instance, the drives on a luffing boom will alter their center-line from horizontal, requiring a forced lubrication system. So far, the systems outlined above are passive, because the gearbox will lubricate itself with them through its normal operation. However, certain components may require special applications to get sufficient lubrication. For instance, some drives will have a high rpm speed that flings lubricant off of the gears.
The problem is that many of these gearboxes operate at higher levels and higher speeds, which makes bath lubrication impossible and splash lubrication insufficient. One solution is to feed lubricant to these gears. You can feed lubricant to the gears using a mechanical pump or a filtration system.
The easiest solution is to attach a pump to one of the intermediate shafts. As the shaft rotates, the pump releases oil onto the gears, keeping them lubricated. The major drawback of this gearbox lubrication system is that it is slow to pick up. The first few times it is used, it may not get enough lubricant through the pump to lubricate the gears. You can avoid this issue by using an electrical motor.
Since you have gone through the trouble of fitting an oil pump, you can also rig the filtration system to drip lubricant onto the gears. Contaminants enter a gearbox through the breather, seals, and dipstick. Filtration systems are designed to catch these foreign contaminants before they re-enter your equipment.
Keeping your gearbox operational is a multi-stage job. You need to continually maintain your equipment to prevent critical failures. If you need affordable, high-quality industrial gearbox inspection, repair, or maintenance, contact the experts at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas today. We are a division of Amarillo Gear Company, which has been in continuous operation since 1917. You can call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Amarillo Gear™ and Marley™ gearbox repair services. We will be glad to tell you more about the Regions We Service and the quality workmanship we can bring to the repair or Renewal of your drive.