10 Steps to Prevent Mixer Gearbox Failure – Part I

The failure of a mixer gearbox leads to a huge amount of downtime for the manufacturing facility. The work of the labor force in the facility is sidetracked until the problem is fixed. Excess funds need to be invested to fix the problem. All these issues leads to a lag in production and high revenue losses.

However, this does not mean that such instances cannot be prevented. There are certain steps that can be taken to ensure the smooth running of the mixer gearbox, and the completion of the facilities’ production runs.

Initial Five Prevention Steps

Maintenance professionals can use these dos and don’ts to ensure that mixer gearbox failure does not take place.

  • Oil Analysis: Proper lubrication enhances the gearbox’s performance. If the lubricant is filled with particulates or contaminants, it can lead to the gearing being galled or scored, causing gearbox failure. The easiest way to prevent this is to analyze the oil being used to lubricate the mixer gearbox. If the lubricant has minimal particulates, then the performance of the mixer gearbox can be maintained.
  • Select an Appropriate Lubricant: A key aspect to the proper functioning of the mixer gearbox is the right lubricant. The lubricant needs to be chosen keeping factors like gearbox model, process load, operation and ambient temperatures.
  • Maintain Oil Levels: An insufficient level of oil can lead to the gears and the pinions physically rubbing against each other. This can result in temperature elevation, leading to gear fatigue or damage. All these result in the reduction of the gearbox’s service life. All these problems can be prevented by maintain the oil levels of the gearbox.
  • Gear Inspection: Another method of preventing gearbox failure is to periodically inspect the gears. If the color of the gears is turning a bluish hue, it is a tell-tale sign that the gears need to be replaced.
  • Competent Installation: The proper installation of the gearbox is another crucial factor to prevent any downtime. All the components need to be aligned and wetted as per manufacturer recommendations. The gearbox needs to be leveled with the ground and with the corresponding equipment. This can help prevent any problems when the mixer gearbox is operational.

These are the first five steps required to prevent gearbox failure. In the corresponding post, we will be discussing water infiltration, vibration analysis, liquid mixing processes, and oil leakage and over-lubrication.