Why Gearbox Monitoring is necessary?
COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected every manufacturing Industry, however, it is projected that in 2023, the industrial gearbox market is expected to reach USD 31.9 billion. This growth is due to a rise in industrial automation. Every manufacturing industry uses Gearbox (toothed-wheel), to transfer energy from one device to another, with the desired speed. The optimal performance of the gearbox is the need of the hour and hence the Gearbox Monitoring, for its hourly breakdown hampers production for a week.
Condition-based maintenance of a gearbox is more optimized for the cost of consumables. Maintenance engineers can prioritize their work based on the real-time data captured, vibration-trends and spectra that show gear & pinion speeds along with Gear mesh Frequency (GMF) and very small harmonics, with side-bands around them. Any anomaly detected can be thoroughly analyzed so that the root cause of probable-failure can be eliminated. The insights provide a more-precise window of when to schedule service. For example, maintenance personnel can reach a faulty seal or a misaligned drive coupling with the right spares at the right time and speed-up decision-making to reduce MTBF and MTTR.
For an OEM, wireless-monitoring of a gearbox justifies the actual product life cycle and product maturity. The data related to peak torques, temperature helps to validate the design assumptions. A discrepancy in the expected and actual trend facilitates reliability improvements, creating a robust design, and suggesting the right fit for the customer application. Besides offering a SMART gearbox, knowing it’s idle time and the ideal conditions triggering the failure ensures warranty claims and explores the planned after-sales business opportunity. Remotely tracking the performance of helical gearbox in plastics, cement, rubber, and HVAC industries is easy. Moreover, high-reliability gearboxes in quarries and conveyors do not always achieve their 20-year design life and failure prematurely irrespective of observing all the best practices in its manufacturing. 50% of the planetary gearboxes fail erratically due to anti-friction bearing failure. The intermediate-speed and high-speed output shaft contribute to the remaining 50% of breakdowns. Vibration analysis in real-time can overcome the possibility of subsurface initiated bending fatigue, scuffing, fretting corrosion, micro pitting/ macro pitting, and detect Gear Mesh, Cracked /Worn Tooth, Misalignment, Eccentric gear, Gear backlash, etc. before it impacts the operation.
Gearbox Monitoring (and motor), the RPM of the output shaft, the oil-temperature, oil-levels, and acoustics is vital. This implies an inspection of the gear quality, load capacity, gear life, streamlining of gear operations, gear dynamics, desired tolerable spacing in the thickness and form of gear-teeth, etc. Gear-Lubrication issues influence the vibration data; thus predicting the gear profile and preventing it from damage.
Infinite Uptime’s Industrial Data Enabler (IDE) vEdge, can assess what and where the damage is likely to occur simply by analyzing the frequency of the vibration being produced by the gearbox. Each gear mesh and bearing, depending on its size and shape, create a certain frequency. Spikes in these frequencies can empower the Maintenance team by providing insights into what is happening inside the gearbox, irrespective of its setup, and structure(single-stage or multistage). The timely upgrade of gearbox-components conserves 50% of cost savings. With its edge-computing technology, vEdge can potentially ensure maximum uptime and thus digitize any gearbox. Conventional gearboxes, when transformed into a SMART product, can extend gearbox-life by several years and reduce unplanned maintenance expenses, which means increased production and profits for the organization.