Contributing Re.engineer: David Small, Gill Sensors & Controls, (www.gillsc.com)
Challenge: Inductive Oil debris sensor detects early signs of component breakdown in speed reducer preventing mechanical failure and avoiding costly downtime. Gill Sensors’ oil debris sensor has been installed into a leading multinational engineering manufacturers speed reducer gearbox to detect metallic particles directly affecting the gearbox condition. The widely recognized manufacturer required a reliable solution that would alert the machines operators of potential maintenance issues before catastrophic failure occurred. The company had been using vibration monitoring.
Solution: Gill’s debris sensor has been fitted into the bottom of the reducer drain sump to monitor the accumulation of circulating ferrous metallic debris to improve the mechanical failure rate and maintenance of the system.
Results: Regular inspection of the sensors data readings alerted engineers of a large amount of ferrous particles collected on the sensor. On inspection gear flaking and cracking were found, caused by the early failure of a supporting roller bearing. As a result of the sensors fast detection, the operators were able to shut the machine down in a controlled manner, during a planned maintenance period, to replace the damaged components.
Impact: “As a result of the fast detect, we were able to prevent a breakdown that otherwise would have resulted in big trouble” says a company representative. “Installing a wear debris sensor is a good case for maintaining the speed reducer in the future”. The company has now placed orders with Gill to cover all of their other similar speed reducers and has a planned roll out program to fit Gill oil debris sensors to other machines in different areas of their manufacturing sites.