Gear case inspections are one of the safety inspections that should be performed on a bridge crane on a regular basis. Gear case inspections can prevent problems with the gear case from occurring, and are important for both modern cranes and cranes that have been in service for several years. Hoisting gears are an area of concern for older cranes, as some of the older gears do not meet modern standards for gear designs. A lot of older gears are not properly built and as a result they may be more susceptible to failure due to wear and tear. In many cases a crane is not fully equipped to deal with its current production level, and a gear case inspection can often find that.
Gear case inspections can catch whether or not a crane needs to be updated
In some cases, a bridge crane may need to be upgraded as a result of having outdated gears, and if this is true, gear case inspections can catch problems before they occur. Many older bridge crane models were built for a lower expected production level, and production may have increased for the particular bridge crane without a corresponding upgrade in features and modern equipment to compensate. A gear case inspection can catch problems on these older cranes before they break down or cause injury to a worker, and a full inspection of the gear case can be very effective at catching problems before they happen.
A gear case inspection is detailed
One unique aspect of a gear case inspection is that it is detailed and it includes inspection outside of what would normally be inspected on a daily or weekly basis on a bridge crane. The gear case inspection includes checking all of the gear case components, especially the parts that would not normally be inspected, and the inspection can include a review of the maintenance history of the crane, checking the oil level in the gears, checking the gear case and the mountings, and checking the bearings, shafts, keys and gear wheels with an endoscope. Although an inspection can be detailed and somewhat time consuming, it can catch a costly problem before it occurs and find the smallest of problems with the gear case.
An advanced inspection may be necessary
A preliminary gear case inspection of your bridge crane may lead to an advanced inspection, and advanced inspections are typically necessary when there is known to be something wrong with the gear case. An advanced inspection will normally involve disassembling the gear case into its basic components and assessing each component individually. The parts that need to be replaced can be replaced and repaired at this time as well, so it is crucial to have replacement parts on hand during these inspections as well as a mechanic who can replace them in the gear case. The shifts, keys and gears undergo a more detailed inspection during this type of inspection and magnetic rubber and dye penetrant may be used as testing techniques for the gear case, and seals, bearings and lubricant can be replaced.