Maintaining Motors And Gearboxes With Proper Lubrication

Maintaining Motors And Gearboxes With Proper Lubrication

Date: March 16, 2017

Motors and gearboxes are critical to the operations of many industrial processes. To ensure these systems function properly, they should be protected with correct lubrication and maintenance. Your computerized maintenance management system may classify your motor driven gearbox system as two separate units: motor and gearbox. This classification is correct because you must treat your motors and gearboxes as separate pieces of equipment. In this way, you can determine a detailed lubrication schedule for both.

If you want to ensure the reliability of your motors and gearboxes, you need to develop a two-pronged plan of action. You must have a good alignment practice and an effective lubrication practice. The following overview will focus on the importance of lubrication and some maintenance strategies you can implement so your lubrication program is more effective.

Motor lubrication

Motors turn electrical energy into mechanical energy. The windings and magnets are wound on a shaft that is supported by two or more bearings on each side. These bearings are the lubrication points within a motor. The bearings are usually lubricated with grease and some small motors rarely need replenishment if the unit is aligned and balanced correctly. Some of these units are designed to use the original grease filled within the bearing cavity to provide enough lubrication for its entire service life.

Depending on the design and manufacturer, you will typically find external grease fittings on motors rated 20 hp or more. Static and driven load is placed on the bearing points as a motor becomes heavier and more powerful. These factors cause the motor to need grease replenishment on a frequent basis. To ensure a motor operates at peak efficiency, the bearing cavities should be filled to 30 to 50 percent of capacity with lubricant. This provides air space so the grease can penetrate and work within the bearing contact surface.

Gearbox lubrication

Gearboxes are self-contained mechanical devices used to transmit power from an input shaft to an output shaft. Bearings concealed within a reservoir for the lubricating oil support the gears and shafts. Gearboxes are usually oil-lubricated. A number of methods are used to move lubricant over the gears and bearings of a gearbox. The most popular methods of gearbox lubrication include splash lubrication, pressure lubrication, and mist lubrication.

Whatever lubrication method you choose, each serves to provide surface-wear protection. Proper lubrication protects against corrosion of metal surfaces and cooling of the internal parts of the gearbox. The correct choice of lubricant is critical to gearbox longevity.

Motor and gearbox lubrication tips

To ensure the proper lubrication of your motors and gearboxes, all maintenance staff should be trained in proper lubrication techniques. Identify the correct grease for use with a tag attached to each piece of equipment. For gearboxes, attach a label to the reservoir that indicates the correct lubricant, product name, manufacturer, and viscosity. If the reservoir is cleaned with water, make sure the fill cap is waterproof and always in place. You can also place a water deflection shield over the reservoir.

Gearbox repairs and replacements

Even if you attempt to properly maintain and lubricate your motors and gearboxes, mistakes happen. Repair or renewal may be more cost-effective than gearbox replacement. If you would like more information about gearbox 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 and renewal services. We also have Marley™ gearboxes that are rebuilt, available now and ready to ship to you. 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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