Top 5 Industrial Gearbox Issues That Affect Your Operations

Top 5 Industrial Gearbox Issues That Affect Your Operations

Date: February 2, 2018

Industrial gearboxes are tough machines that can withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and difficult conditions. Unfortunately, many people take their gearboxes for granted because of their durability. Overlooking small issues can be catastrophic. Your industrial gearbox, like any machine, will let you know if there are issues that need to be addressed. If you notice an odd noise, any issues with performance, or temperature problems, there is probably something wrong. The following are the top five issues that gearboxes experience.


Misalignment is a common issue that gearboxes deal with. This problem presents itself in gear and bearing pitting and, eventually, total failure. Misalignment can result from a variety of causes including thermal expansion, installation issues, improper mounting, and deflection problems. Finally, many companies also use the incorrect industrial gearbox for the task required.

Lubrication Issues

Gearboxes depend on correct lubrication to function properly. This equipment operates at extremely high speeds and under intense pressure, so it needs lubrication to prevent catastrophic failure or damage. Lubrication failures and contamination problems have been claimed to account for about 90% of gearbox failures. Inadequate lubrication is usually caused when contamination isn’t monitored and when the wrong type of lubrication is used. Even small lubrication leaks can result in severe problems for an industrial gearbox.

Bearing problems

About half of all industrial gearbox failures can be traced to an issue with the bearings. These components are sensitive to a variety of issues including debris, contamination, misalignment, vibration, and shock. For example, contaminants can collect at the bottom of the gearbox and wear out the lower bearings. Alignment issues can also damage bearings.

Thermal instability

Thermal instability refers to substantial temperature variation between the housing and the shaft of the industrial gearbox. High temperature is a red flag that something is not operating as designed within your system. This could mean that the lubrication isn’t doing it’s job of cooling, or it could lead to a discovery of overtightened bearings. Monitoring temperature is recommended to proactively maintain your equipment.

Torsional and lateral vibration

As the speed and torque of your industrial gearbox increase, the likelihood of resonant vibrations increases as well. Resonant vibrations are caused by twisting and side-to-side movements, which increase the vibrations due to resonance. Over time, these vibrations can result in shaft failure, noise, fatigue, and cracks. Improper mounting and support structures can contribute to this issue.

If you need high-quality industrial gearbox inspection, repair, or maintenance, contact the professionals at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas today. You can call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email for more information about our Amarillo Gear™ and Marley™ gearbox repair services. We will be glad to tell you more about the Regions We Service and our Stock/Exchange Program, which allows you to purchase high-quality, rebuilt gearboxes.

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