Top 5 Industrial Gearbox Issues That Affect Your Operations

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A gearbox is an essential part of the transmission system of any industrial machine. Gear failure is a frequent cause of machinery breakdowns. The gearbox’s primary function is to control the machine’s torque and speed. These two operations are especially crucial in large industrial equipment where reliability and longevity of the gear are critical.

Industrial gearboxes are strong equipment that can handle high temperatures, pressures, and extreme conditions. There must probably be something wrong if you hear an unusual noise, have performance concerns or have temperature issues. A variety of factors can cause gearbox issues. Any component in the machine will deteriorate over time as a result of continuous use. It can have a negative impact on the operation of the equipment if it happens with the gearbox.

The top five problems that industrial gearboxes encounter are as follows:


Bearing Issues:

Most of the industrial gear issues occur due to bearings. Misalignment, contamination, stress, and vibration are threats to rolling bearings. Contaminants can accumulate at the gearbox base, causing lower bearings to wear out. A number of conditions might potentially cause a gear bearing failure. These include gearbox overloading beyond its capacity, general wear and tear, overheating, corrosion, and contamination. Bearing failure or fatigue can alter the internal clearance of the gearbox, reducing the gearbox efficiency and the entire machine’s transmission system. Incorrect alignment, like installing a vertically constructed gearbox in a horizontal arrangement, can also be detrimental to bearings.



The most frequent cause of gearbox repair is misalignment. Misalignment of industrial gearboxes can arise due to a number of factors such as thermal expansion, faulty installation, inappropriate mounting, and deflection issues. The issue is caused by pitting in the gearbox’s gears and bearings. Gears should, ideally, connect with the axle shaft of the gearbox. The gear teeth must also have adequate clearance for optimal performance. Misalignment of the bearings, gearbox, and other transmission system components is likely if this design configuration is compromised.

Using the incorrect gearbox, which can lead to bending and overloading of the gearbox, is one factor that might make the gearbox misalign. Incorrect gearbox installation, thermal distortion, and old bearings can cause alignment problems. Misalignment can reduce the lifespan of the gear and, in the end, result in total gear damage. Regular maintenance of equipment can assist in detecting indications of gearbox misalignment and prevent catastrophic failure.


Lateral and Torsional Vibration:

The industrial gearbox most likely vibrates when in use, just like a motor. However, if it gets noticeably obvious, there may be a problem. Vibrations grow as speed and torque rise. When vibrations grow, so does the likelihood of failure. Spinning and side-to-side movements intensify the vibrations created by resonance. These vibrations can cause shaft failure, cracks, fatigue, and noise over time. Improper installation and support systems might exacerbate the problem.This could be because the industrial gearbox does not receive the necessary support or is forced beyond its limits too frequently.


Overheating and Thermal Instability:

Since industrial applications are vigorous, gearboxes are prone to overheat, which can reduce the efficiency and longevity of the gearbox. Overheating gearboxes can also be caused by oil leaks, insufficient lubrication, and tainted lubricant. Overheating can also be caused by a misaligned gearbox, clearance difficulties, or misaligned couplings. High temperatures in your industrial gearbox can also be caused by insufficient ventilation or over-tightened bearings.

When there is a considerable temperature difference present between the housing and the shaft, thermal instability, also known as the thermal runaway, occurs. Thermal instability is a problem with high-speed shafts, especially in cold environments. Thermal instability is caused by several mechanisms, including external heat entering the shaft, rapid acceleration, and hollow shafts. The gearbox can be inspected and serviced on a regular basis to minimize overheating in heavy machines.


Poor Lubrication:

The optimal performance of the gearbox depends on proper lubrication. Because gearboxes run under pressure and at high speeds, they require lubrication to avoid malfunctions and stoppages. The gears might cause damage to themselves if they begin to fail.The ability of a lubricant to minimize metal-to-metal contact between gears and bearings is greatly influenced by the viscosity, density, and chemical composition of the oil film. The lubricant needs to be viscous enough to easily coat the gear teeth’s surface.

Furthermore, contaminated lubricant might reduce the lifespan of gear as well as other components. Check your parts for leaks if you’re lubricating them. If you’re not, the industrial gearbox may cause dryness, grinding, or noise.


Bottom Line:

Noise, temperature problems, and performance issues are all your friends. They are the warning indicators that appear before the total collapse and indicate something is wrong. Identify these warning signs when servicing your industrial gearbox and have it serviced as soon as possible. You will save big, both money and time.

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