An increasing trend across industrial plants in all sectors has been to reduce costs by replacing spur and worm gears with high-efficiency helical equipment. Helical gears are more expensive than the classic worm and spur gears they replace. However, they are also more efficient, reduce energy costs, run cooler, are quieter, and require overall less maintenance. In short, helical gearboxes are excellent at saving your business money, time, and energy over the long-term.
Worm gears are usually made of bronze, which is a soft metal. Industrial gearboxes endure high friction, temperatures, and pressures, which requires worm gearboxes to receive regular oil changes and maintenance. Even with regular maintenance, however, they do not last long. Similarly, spur gearboxes have rolling contact, but the teeth are cut straight, which means one or two teeth are always in contact with another gear. Since these gears result in incomplete face connection, there is more vibration and noise, and therefore, more wear and tear.
Helical gearboxes have torque capacity advantages over other types of gearboxes. Spur models are weaker because the load is transmitted over fewer teeth, reducing efficiency and increasing wear. Helical gears use angular teeth, which are hardened to achieve high-efficiency mesh of the gears. Helical gears are connected by two or three teeth at all times to alleviate the load on each tooth, reducing noise, smoothing out operations, and creating less vibration. This all results in your industrial gearbox having a longer life span.
In fact, helical gears are so efficient that there is practically no wear on the teeth. Moreover, they are packaged with oil-filled housings which require less oil changes, providing an advantage to your bottom line and the environment.
While worm and spur gears are cheaper to buy, they are costlier to use and implement. They last only about three years, necessitating higher capital investments, increased maintenance, more downtime, and more disposal costs.
Another measure of efficiency and performance is the quality of the gears within your industrial gearbox. There are two main indicators of quality for gearboxes: vibration and noise. The lower the vibration and the quieter the gearbox, the higher the quality. The problem with high noise and vibration are that they cause a decreased life and reduced precision. Low-quality gears result in balance issues, rigidity problems, and misalignment related to flexibility.
The second indicator is how well the industrial gearbox handles heat. Gears are involved in high friction environments that result in high temperatures. Wear and tear are increased when the gears experience higher temperatures. High heat generation is equated with wasted energy and low efficiency. Energy is converted into heat, so if there is more heat and less energy, that means your operations are less efficient and harder on the environment.
If you are experiencing too many maintenance issues or your industrial gearbox has shut down, it may be time to purchase a better model. You can buy a new gearbox that will run more efficiently, but this may be too costly. Another option is to purchase a rebuilt gearbox. These are just as reliable, safe, and hardworking as new industrial gearboxes and can save you time, money, and help your company go green.
If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate helical gears or gearboxes into your business, contact Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas. Our team of technicians can evaluate your operations and help you decide between maintenance, repair, or renewal. Call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Amarillo Gear™ and Marley™ repair services. We also have a Stock/Exchange program, which allows you to purchase high-quality, rebuilt gearboxes in exchange for your old cores.