Important Aspects to Consider Before Gearbox Purchase
Buying one or more industrial equipments is an investment in the productivity of your company. Hence, before ordering any equipment for your facility you must make sure that it is the best choice for your application and budget.
Since gearboxes are used widely across various industries for a number of applications, different technical associations have come up with particular specifications best suited for their industry.
To make the right choice, you must spend some time to research the regulations and prepare a list of specifications needed. This will help you and the gearbox manufacturing or supplier company find the right gearbox for you!
While industry related specifications may vary, here are a few aspects that must be considered by each buyer:
1. Application of the gearbox
Gearboxes are used in multiple machineries throughout the industry. Often, a gearbox is purchased for a specific application or machine. For example, some specific applications traditionally use certain types of gearboxes in a particular industry.
Non-traditional gearboxes, such as the initial carburized and hardened gearboxes which were used to replace pumpjacks in 1970s/80s, can be incapable of accommodating the needs of an application. A buyer must therefore be well aware of the application, industry standards and any preferences required in this regard.
2. Expected duty cycle
Duty cycles are thought to be mainly concerned with data such as number of hours for which equipment is run and expected starts-per-day. However, in industry, number of rotational cycles and their specific speeds and load levels are determined by a data logging device.
This helps improve the reliability of a gearbox. For instance, even a few spikes in design peak loads of wind turbine gearboxes can indicate a shortened service life.
In certain cases, you will find duty cycle information published in academic papers. You might also want to ask expected duty cycle and if certain features might affect life of the equipment.
3. Desired service life
Service life is one of the most important aspects you should consider. Most gearboxes are now designed around a life of 10,000 hours with a service factor of 1.0. But this doesn’t relate to larger drives which work for 40 or 50 years.
As a buyer, you might want 20,000 hours for most drives and 100,000 for larger units. In comparison, shorter lives for drives which are sued intermittently or only for a short period, is more challenging for manufacturers.
4. Operating environment
You should also consider if a particular gearbox will be suitable for the operating environment at your facility.
You must be aware of the exposure to any contaminants, such as dust, chemical vapors and sunlight in the environment. These elements can affect your applications and must be considered when choosing a gearbox.
Furthermore, access to the equipment for routine maintenance, such as gear inspection or filter and oil changes is also important. Carefully planning out can understand if the gearbox will be suitable and efficient in your factory’s environment.
5. Quality assurance offered
Quality of a gearbox or any other equipment can be judged by various standards. From its efficiency to suitability for your application, everything matters.
Other important aspects are tested speeds, service life and damage frequency. If there is any material certification required for your application or industry, you must communicate the requirement to the manufacturer or supplier.
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