Schaeffler UK prolongs life of crane gearboxes

Posted on 02 Dec 2017 and read 533 times
Schaeffler UK prolongs life of crane gearboxesBy analysing the vibration data from crane gearboxes for a port operator, Sutton Coldfield-based Schaeffler (UK) Ltd ( can detect any damage to gearbox components early, minimising the risk of unplanned down-time and prolonging the life of the gearboxes.

Due to their high levels of utilisation transferring containers from ship to shore, the three cranes at the port are critical pieces of machinery; any unplanned down-time would cause costly delays to port operations.

The port operator contacted Schaeffler (UK) for help in collecting and analysing the vibration data of gearbox components (bearings and gears), as this would provide early warnings of any potential damage and allow any necessary maintenance to be scheduled or damaged gearbox components to be replaced before they failed.

Since 2012, Schaeffler UK has been providing regular (every four to six months) on-site vibration monitoring and analysis services for the port operator.

During each visit, a Schaeffler field service engineer takes vibration measurements to identify any deterioration of the rolling bearings and gears.

These measurements are made and stored using Schaeffler’s FAG Detector III hand-held vibration monitoring device. With its built-in Trendline software, which includes a database of more than 20,000 different bearing products from different suppliers, this device enables the user to collect, store and analyse vibration measurement data.

Recent tests indicated that an alarm level had been reached on two gearboxes on one of the cranes, indicating possible damage to — or wear of — the gears.

Schaeffler recommended that the gears should be refurbished, which resulted in a corresponding reduction of gearbox noise and vibration to a normal level.

It is continuing to provide its vibration-monitoring and analysis services on an on-going basis.

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