Gearbox Lubrication: Which Filtration System Is Right For You?

Gearbox Lubrication: Which Filtration System Is Right For You?

Date: March 14, 2018

Oil is a crucial component for keeping your industrial gearbox working properly. Keeping your machine well-oiled with quality lubricant is one of the best ways to maintain your system. However, oil also picks up contaminants such as dust and particulates that reduce its ability to lubricate your gearbox. Dirty oil can even damage your equipment.

You have two options to choose from once you have placed new oil into your industrial gearbox. You can use the oil until it is too dirty and replace it when needed or use a filtration system that cleans your oil. The following can help you decide which filtration method is best for your industrial gearbox. If you choose to filter your oil, you can use a portable or permanent method. Both filtering techniques fulfill the same roles and will produce cleaner gearbox lubricant.

Portable filtration systems

Portable filtration systems can be used to service multiple pieces of equipment. These are usually mounted on a cart that you can move as needed. Portable filters are generally cheaper to use than permanent filters because you can use one filter to service many pieces of equipment.

Pros of using portable systems

Using portable filters is useful for testing precision lubricants before committing to a particular type. The oil in portable filtration systems can be swapped out if your employees identify issues. Ultimately, allowing greater flexibility to test lubricants reduces costs because you don’t make a huge investment in permanent filters you would need to replace.

While it is a lower overall cost to use portable lubricant filtration machines, they are more expensive than permanent filters per unit. Essentially, the convenience of being able to move them around and switch them out also makes them more expensive per unit. However, you will be more familiar with your lubrication methods and your gearbox by using these systems.

Cons of using portable filtration

The problem with portable filters is that all the oil needs to run through the filter the same amount of times. If the oil is treated differently, it won’t be cleaned and will damage your equipment. Portable filtration machines need to run the oil faster than permanent filters because they will have to shut down at the end of the day.

For example, if you have a 300 gallons gearbox and you need to clean the oil every 24 hours, the lubricant will need to pass through the filters at least 7 or 8 times. Assuming you have an eight hour workday, you will need a filter that can move 300 gallons an hour, or about 6 gallons a minute for one industrial gearbox.

Finally, using portable filters can increase the chance of employee error. The more parts you include, and the more steps, the more likely you will experience an employee error in operation. For example, if one of your employees forgets to switch out the lubrication between jobs, it could damage your equipment. Many other situations could occur, but as long as your employees are trained on how to use a filtration system, errors can be eliminated.

Permanent filtration systems

Proper gearbox lubrication is vital to the success of your operations, so choosing a stable permanent filter may be best for you. This type of system gives you the peace of mind that your gearbox is lubricated with high quality oil without working on it yourself.

Pros of using permanent filtration

Permanent filters are consistent. Your gearbox depends on precise calculations and movements to work properly. It can suffer catastrophic damage if contaminant levels exceed system specifications because of poor quality lubrication. Permanent filters remove this problem because they can run constantly. Your filter, over time, extends the life of your equipment and reduces costs.

Additionally, since you don’t need high-capacity filters, the cost per unit for permanent filters is cheaper. You don’t need to hook up and unhook filters, so you save time as well.

Cons of using permanent systems

While the unit cost is cheaper, the upfront cost is higher. The permanent filters are expensive because they need to be purchased for each machine. Also, once the filter is no longer useful, it must be replaced immediately. With a portable filtration system, you can set a schedule and know when there may be down time. This also allows you to know the condition of your gearbox because you spend more time checking its lubrication levels. With a permanent filtration system, you will spend less time around your equipment.

Which do I choose?

Choosing between a permanent or portable filtration system comes down to preference and the type of gearbox you use. Do you use high-gallon gearboxes or similar pieces of equipment? If you do, then you may want to invest in permanent systems. If you intermittently filter your oil, then you might be better served by a portable system that can work for your entire shop. Think about how you service your machines and then decide which system to buy. You can also use both if that is more efficient for your gearboxes.

Industrial gearbox maintenance and repair

Keeping your gearbox operational is a multi-stage job. If you need affordable, high-quality industrial gearbox inspection, repair, or maintenance, contact the experts at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas today. We offer an easy-to-use Portable and fixed Filtration System that can help you sample, filter, and change the oil in your industrial gearbox.

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.

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