Early warning of gear damage

Written by: Chris Shaw | Published:

A combined oil and vibration monitoring system is now available in the UK. The system enables the early detection of damage to heavy duty, oil-lubricated industrial gears, providing plant operators with a reliable system that prevents unplanned downtime and minimises maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) costs.

The new FAG Wear Debris Monitor from Schaeffler (UK) Ltd is designed to solve these issues.

This online condition monitoring system is capable of pinpointing the precise location of any damage or wear to gears, bearings and cages within a gearbox or other industrial gear unit. The system is therefore suitable for use in almost every industry sector, including wind power (gearbox drive train), marine (ship propulsion systems), oil and gas (top drives and draw works gearboxes), mining and quarrying (mills and rotary kilns), steel and aluminium (pinion stand gear units), pulp and paper (drying cylinder gears and wire drive roll gears).

The system's oil monitor works by using an inductive particle counter (sensor), which is able to distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous metal particles that are present in the lubricating oil. On a typical industrial gearbox application, the particle counter or sensor is installed in the oil flow, directly before the oil filter, or as a separate circuit. The sensor operates on the principle that any wear to a component such as a bearing or gear tooth will result in small metal particles being rubbed off into the oil, often several months prior to an actual failure.

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