7 Signs Your Industrial Gearbox Needs Servicing

Gearboxes are the unsung heroes of power transmission. They take the motor output and change speed, torque, and direction to what’s needed to drive essential equipment. Conveyor systems, pumps, mixers, and a host of other machinery rely on gearboxes for their operation.

When a gearbox fails, the equipment or process being driven stops. That unplanned downtime translates to lost production, late deliveries, and increased costs.

An excellent way to avoid problems like these is by carrying out regular inspections. They don’t need to take long; you just need to know what to look for. Here are seven signs that your gearbox needs attention.

1. Oil Leaking from Shaft Seals

Gearbox oil lubricates and cools. If it’s leaking, the level will be low, which leads to other problems. (See below.) Oil leaks usually appear as dark streaks or tearstains in the paint directly below where shafts exit the gearbox housing.

2. Running Abnormally Hot

Heat causes expansion — that takes up clearances and leads to more wear. A simple check is to place a hand on the housing. To get more sophisticated, use a handheld IR thermometer or even a thermal camera. If you see smoke or the paint is becoming discolored, you’ve got a severe overheating problem.

3. Unusual Noise and/or Vibration

These go hand-in-hand, but in noisy environments, it’s hard to pick up abnormal sounds. Vibration, however, will tell you if something is going wrong. So, again, a hand check is good, but the instrumentation is better. You might even want to install vibration monitoring equipment on critical pieces of the plant.

4. Low Oil Level

If the manufacturer put a sight glass on the housing, it’s there for a reason. Make sure you can see oil at the correct level. If not, plan on topping it up as soon as possible.

5. Low Oil Pressure

Hard to tell without a pressure gauge, but low oil pressure suggests the pump is failing. If the gauge is reading low, plan on making repairs soon.

6. Damaged Gear Teeth

Take a cover off and check the condition of the teeth. If necessary, get hold of an endoscope for a close-up examination. Spalling or other signs of wear suggest alignment, bearing, or temperature problems. If one or more teeth are missing, it might be that the gearbox is being overloaded. Schedule repair or replacement as soon as possible.

7. Blocked Breathers

Breathers let air move in and out of the gearbox housing. If they get blocked, this airflow stops. It could lead to raised temperatures, and it may also mean the gearbox has ingested particulates from the air. Clean the breather and change the oil!

A common challenge with monitoring gearboxes is, can you be sure something has changed? It’s good practice to take pictures and make notes on every inspection. You might even video it running. This way, if you suspect a problem, you can check whether you see something new or just normal operation.

What To Do If You See Problems?

We’re specialists in industrial gearboxes and power transmission products. Contact Us for all your spares, servicing, and replacement equipment needs.

Knowing Your Agricultural Equipment

The range of applications offered by modern farm equipment comes with a similarly broad library of parts and maintenance options. Sustaining a base of current knowledge around your agricultural tools is beneficial whether you’re running a newer, small-time operation or scaling up efficiency as a veteran in the farming industry. 

Keeping up with the ins and outs of your agricultural equipment while successfully managing a budget is easier said than done. Balancing parts selection with the cost of maintenance – around an increasingly complex supply chain environment – means every investment in machinery needs to be thoroughly understood and optimized. 

Kor-Pak supplies a comprehensive range of agricultural equipment and tooling components. Here, we’ll be taking a look at five agricultural machinery considerations to best support your farming operation.

Friction

When we think about the efficiency of a machine, we often look at the bigger pieces of the puzzle: the wheels, engines, rotors, bands, and processing systems (blades, fans, etc.). However, the effectiveness of these larger structures is owed to a long list of slightly more invisible properties. Among such internal qualities, friction is a front-runner. 

The friction coefficient of any material you implement in your agricultural equipment can impact the overall productivity of your operation. If your machines are not equipped with the proper friction materials for the soil, agricultural category, or climate, they will be susceptible to increased wear and tear. 

PTO (Power Take-Off) Facings

Power take-off systems channel energy from an engine to another component in the machine system. For example, kinetic/rotating power can be converted into hydraulic power for a pump – negating the need for a standalone hydraulic engine. 

In choosing a PTO and its associated facings, operators should know their applications’ specific horsepower and torque requirements. Speed, sizing, and frictional elements can contribute to problems of excessive heating and component slipping. 

Phenolic Bushings

Bushings are single-element bearings intended to modulate the efficiency of moving parts (like shafts and fans). Phenolic materials have taken precedence among high-load applications for their unique self-lubricating properties and resistance to heat-conduction into other parts of the system. Further, they contribute to structural stability in the equipment and can be engineered for extreme resilience under high heat conditions and exposure to acid. 

Phenolic bushings provide a highly efficient, low-maintenance option that is well-suited for agricultural equipment.

Brake Bands

The relationship between friction and function and its importance to optimal machine operation is established – and your brake systems are no different. During use, brake bands will accumulate tremendous amounts of heat. As a result, improperly specced or unmaintained material may experience a condition referred to as “fading.” Fading is the rapid deterioration of a material’s friction coefficient resulting from excess heat build-up. 

Cost and Maintenance

Agricultural equipment maintenance is a significant component of the overall operational costs inherent to any farming operation. Making well-informed decisions on your materials can contribute to saving as much as $50 an acre.

Kor-Pak is here to help. Contact our team for guidance and consultation on selecting the best agricultural materials for your equipment, and we’ll get you on your way.

Torque Limiter: What Is It and Why Is It Important for Mechanical Equipment?

Applications around the world and in many industries use mechanisms to operate machinery. From harvesting crops and processing food to mining precious ores from the earth, these machines use rotating systems to operate, such as tracks on an excavator or a tractor equipped with a brush hog attachment used to clear a field.

Depending on the machine, the amount of generated torque can be vast depending on the equipment and the task. Therefore, these mechanisms are designed to handle a specific amount of generated torque consistently. However, some unforeseen circumstances may cause the mechanisms to experience higher torque loads that exceed design specifications. In these instances, a torque limiter is used to prevent the machine from overloading.

What is a Torque Limiter?

A torque limiter is a device that limits the amount of torque that mechanisms will experience. It is a device placed somewhere between the drive and the system that is driven. The torque limiter engages when the machine experiences a high torque load that the system cannot handle. 

The torque limiter disconnects (slips) the drive from the driven system. Due to this decoupling, the torque force begins to dissipate as the machine falls back into normal torque load thresholds or completely shuts down. For some torque limiter designs, the device still allows the equipment to function at lower speeds as engineers diagnose the issue to get the equipment running back at total capacity. For other instances, the torque limiter must be manually reset to reengage the drive system. 

There are many types of torque limiter designs. Some standard devices include the following:

  • Shear pin
  • Friction torque limiters
  • Ball detent torque limiters
  • Magnetic torque limiters
  • Hydraulic torque limiters

Why Are Torque Limiters Important?

Torque limiters act as a safety mechanism for equipment. It prevents equipment from experiencing a catastrophic failure that could result in tool breakage or even injuries to workers. The torque limiter is designed to work within milliseconds of detecting high torque loads. As a result, they can prevent damage from gearboxes, shafts, couplings chains, and other mechanisms. 

The location of the torque limiter varies based on which type of equipment it should protect. Multiple torque limiters may be placed between different points along the drive system. You may have a torque limiter between the gearbox and the motor to protect the motor, or the gearbox and the driven system to protect both the motor and the gearbox.

Best practices when deciding on the size and type of torque limiter and its placement will depend on the generated torque load. Typically, the torque load may be placed between mechanisms that are the most expensive to maintain, repair, or replace in the event of a catastrophic failure. In addition, the torque limiter should always be set at a place that generally has a low amount of torque to prevent the device from accidentally tripping on its own. 

When it comes to torque limiters, these devices protect your equipment through their entire lifecycle. As a result, they may prevent unnecessary downtimes, complete equipment failure, and workplace accidents. For more information about torque limiters, contact Kor-Pak.

3 Reasons Why You Need an Overhead Crane Inspection

Does your line of work use an overhead crane? Overhead cranes tend to be a great benefit for industrial warehouses, and there’s a good chance that if you own a warehouse, your crane is nothing short of a necessity for your business.

That said, you want to make sure your overhead crane stays in top condition for a long time to come. As durable as these machines are made, it’s always a smart idea to commit to a regular overhead crane inspection to keep it running at its best.

Read on to learn the benefits of maintaining your overhead crane.

1. Overhead Crane Maintenance Helps Avoid Mechanical Failure

Perhaps the most important and apparent reason to conduct maintenance on your overhead crane is to avoid mechanical failure. Mechanical failure can result in many problems, from your crane not working (and your business losing money) to serious injury to your employees.

Ongoing maintenance helps you to avoid this and makes sure your business keeps running.

2. Invest in the Latest Products

Even the most advanced overhead cranes are bound to fall behind on the times. New parts are constantly being created that make the crane easier, safer, and better. However, without proper maintenance, you’ll eventually work with outdated parts that could cause your crane to falter or malfunction.

Ensure to conduct your inspection so you can continue to use the latest products and have your business running at maximum efficiency.

3. Stay Compliant With Industry Standards

It’s wise to remain in good standing with the latest standards. These standards are put in place to ensure your business and your employees are safe and potential damage is kept to a minimum.

Staying up to date with the industry standards is as easy as getting a routine inspection. The inspectors will check your overhead crane and make sure everything is in top condition and follows the official guidelines.

Overhead Crane Inspection

There are many reasons to have a regular overhead crane inspection since it’s crucial to your success. The next step is figuring out where to go to get your inspection.

Kor-Pak Corporation offers overhead crane inspection and industrial products to ensure your business has everything it needs to grow and thrive.

Take a look around our site to learn more about what we have to offer, or reach out to us for your next inspection. Let’s help your business to succeed!

What’s Involved In a Crane Service

Crane service is essential to keeping your equipment in good condition. It’s also critical in ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

297 crane-related deaths were reported from 2011 to 2017, with over half resulting from the worker being struck by equipment. Without regular crane maintenance, owners risk the safety of their workers, heavy fines, and their ability to operate their business at full capacity.

In this article, we discuss what to expect when it comes to crane servicing. Continue reading to learn how to service your crane to ensure everything is in order with your crane. 

Crane Inspections

Customers often ask, ‘how often should you service your crane?’ However, OSHA regulations dictate that crane inspections are necessary to identify any need for repairs at least once every 12 months. For this reason, it’s recommended that you time your inspections with crane maintenance.

Crane servicing begins with a visual inspection of all components of the crane. Next, the condition and functionality of essential parts and safety features are reviewed. 

After the inspection part of servicing your crane, you receive a detailed report highlighting any needed repairs. It’s also common to receive a quote for the repairs that include the cost of parts and labor. To reduce the number of repairs required, consider having your crane inspected on a more frequent basis if it’s used regularly. 

Routine Maintenance and Repairs

Part of knowing how to service your crane is understanding the importance of routine maintenance. Crane servicing involves necessary routine maintenance to ensure it’s running as it should. For example, you can keep the mechanical components in good condition by making necessary adjustments and applying lubrication.

While servicing your crane, you can also complete the necessary repairs and upgrades. In addition, you can extend the life of your crane by upgrading some of your mechanical components.

Improved parts such as updated gears and bearings can make your equipment run smoother. These updates can also help ensure compliance with safety standards. 

Ensure Functionality

Once repairs and maintenance are complete, it’s important to take the time to reassemble all parts carefully. Also, ensure everything is working as it should. This part of the crane service helps avoid common hazards relating to malfunctioning equipment and provides control measures

Again, take the time to make sure everything is working as it should after crane maintenance. However, the entire process should be as quick and efficient as possible. This helps cut any production delays and financial strain.  

Ensure Compliance

The goal with crane service is to keep you compliant. This is why part of servicing your crane is focused on ensuring operation within safety guidelines. 

A fully functional crane and the necessary upgrades offer you peace of mind. You can operate with confidence, knowing that your crane is fully compliant and legal. 

Stay Compliant with Annual Crane Service

Now that you know what to expect of crane service and how to service your crane, you can focus on pursuing the process. Servicing your crane regularly keeps you compliant, keeps your workers safe, and helps avoid costly breakdowns. Plus, it’s easier to perform routine crane maintenance than costly repairs. 

Get your service on the schedule by contacting us today. 

 

Industrial Clutch Repairs: Everything You Need to Know

Analysts estimate that the US’s industrial brakes and clutches market is worth $311.3 million in 2021. Your industrial clutch is a critical part of your operations. A faulty clutch can lead to costly downtime and put you at a competitive disadvantage.

As the economy continues its rebound, you want your business to be in the best possible position. So you need to know how to tell if your clutch needs repairing.

Here are some common signs that you need industrial clutch repairs. You can fix your faulty clutch before it turns into a bigger problem.

High-Pitched Squealing or Chirping Sounds

If you push down the clutch and you hear squealing or chirping, it could be time to replace your industrial clutch. Worn-out pilot bearings are often the cause of these noises.

A lack of lubricant can cause them also. You hear the bearings scraping against each other.

Continuing to use the clutch in either of these circumstances could lead to significant damage.

Loud Grinding Noises

A loud grinding noise when you push down the clutch could be the gears grinding against each other. Problems with the pressure plate or throw-out bearing can cause this sound. You’ll need to replace the entire clutch assembly before the damage spreads.

Frozen Clutch

If the clutch won’t engage or disengage, you may have a problem with clutch slipping. If you have a hydraulic clutch, air could be interfering with its operation. Clutch plates that are soaked in water can also freeze the clutch.

A faulty clutch mechanism can prevent it from working. A mechanic can help you diagnose which part of the clutch is causing the problem.

High Engine Revs but Slow Acceleration

High engine revs when you depress and fully engage the clutch are a sign of a slipping clutch. A damaged or rusted pressure plate is often the cause. The clutch linkage may also be the problem.

A worn friction plate gives less friction on the flywheel and pressure plate. As a result, the clutch has to work harder to transfer energy. That’s why you get higher engine revs but slower acceleration.

Loss of Power

Problems with the torque converter can cause a loss of power. This is because the torque converter converts horsepower to torque. So if the engine is running and you’re pumping the pedal, but you’re not getting anything out of it, you may need a new torque converter.

Clutch slippage can also cause a loss of power. In this case, it’s the master clutch assembly that isn’t transferring power to the torque converter. A clutch adjustment can often fix problems with the master clutch assembly.

Overheating

Too much or too little lubrication can cause your clutch to overheat. Overheating can also be a problem with the torque converter. In that case, low converter fluid pressure or air in the system could be the reason.

If you have a power take-off clutch (PTO), it will run hot when first installed. However, high-temperature measurements after 20 hours of use can indicate a problem.

Simplify Your Industrial Clutch Repairs

When you have a faulty clutch, you can make the repair process easier if you follow a few basic steps. First, keep the original product instructions and packaging. This ensures you’ll know what unit you have.

Second, if your application has changed from when you installed the original clutch, be sure you get a replacement with the right size and torque for the new job.

Finally, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully if you’re doing the clutch replacement yourself. Clutches have close tolerances. You’ll have more problems later if the installation isn’t exactly right.

Finding the Best Industrial Clutch

You’ll get your industrial clutch repairs off to a good start using a suitable unit from a quality manufacturer. Kor-Pak is your industrial brake and clutch specialist. We offer a wide range of sizes, torque, styles, and applications.

We’ll help you find what you need at a competitive price. Contact us today to ensure your equipment stays running at optimal efficiency.

How to Find the Right Industrial Parts and Service Provider

Finding the ideal industrial parts and service provider can be challenging, but ,it can make running your business a little easier once you do. 

Keep reading below to learn how to find a provider that’s a good fit for your company!

Industrial Parts and Service Providers Are Essential

If your company is an industrial manufacturer, you understand how important it is for everything to be done right. Just like how there are no unimportant parts of a machine, everyone in your business plays a vital role. So you shouldn’t risk bringing in another organization that won’t do a good job.

Otherwise, just like in a machine, your whole business is at risk. So expect to do work before deciding on industrial parts and service providers. There is no such thing as too much research when it comes to this decision.

The importance of finding a good provider cannot be understated!

Ask Yourself What You Need

When you start researching what provider to go with, you should ask yourself a few questions. For example, you should look into which parts you tend to use. You will also need to look into the quality your clients expect of you.

For example, if your business is known for producing quickly and efficiently, you will need a provider that can keep up.

Reflecting on your own expectations and the ones of your customers is a vital first step towards finding the right provider.

A Good Provider Will Work With You

An important characteristic of good parts and service providers is a willingness to work with you. Your provider should go to some lengths to make sure they are doing the job right and identify your expectations. If they don’t check in to make sure they’re doing well, you may want to be wary.

But if your provider does ask you questions about what they should do, you can trust them!

Finding the Right Provider Is Hard!

It can take time to find the right industrial parts and service provider that matches your company and helps you achieve your goals. But finding the right one is always worth it, no matter how long it takes.

And you can get started with us! Reach out to us, and we will make sure your company’s needs are met so it can continue serving customers!

Benefits of Industrial Brake Service

No matter what industrial sector you operate in, your success and bottom line depend on the condition of your equipment. Therefore, industrial maintenance is an essential component of site management and day-to-day operations. Yet, despite this, far too many managers and planners fail to conduct effective regular maintenance.

The result is unplanned downtime that can have devastating costs for your company, your project, and your reputation. One of the most important yet overlooked forms of maintenance is brake service. The industrial brakes for your cranes, forklifts, turbines, and more require regular and thorough maintenance for several important reasons. Read on to find out checking brakes is crucial. 

1. Brake Service Prevents Downtime

Perhaps most importantly, upkeep on brakes is essential for preventing unplanned downtime. If you do not perform regular checkups on your brakes, you leave your site and machinery vulnerable to catastrophe.

If the brakes do not work exactly when you need them to, your machinery could break down or cause an accident. The result could be that you need to halt work on your site for hours, days, weeks, or even months. Brake service will help you prevent this. 

2. Boost On-Site Safety 

The functionality of your site is one thing, but the safety of your workers is another thing entirely. The primary function of industrial brakes is to prevent out-of-control heavy machinery from causing serious damage.

The last thing you want is an injured worker. However, if you care about the health and safety of your workers and want to avoid the serious financial and legal penalties that often come with a failure to do so, then perform some routine brake checkups today. 

3. Save Money Over Time 

You might be reluctant to divert your valuable time towards brake servicing. Perhaps you think hiring a professional maintenance company to come and check your brakes is an extravagant expense.

However, the costs of failing to do this can often far outweigh the small fees or labor costs associated with a routine checkup. Machinery maintenance tends to save companies huge amounts over time. Keep this in mind when considering your next brake service. 

4. Conduct a Health Check 

Checking your industrial brakes does not have to be an isolated job. Any brake service can and often should be accompanied by a wider health check on your entire site. For example, let’s say you check the brakes on your forklift and want to know what to do next.

Why stop there? Check the forklift’s rotor, cap, battery, and wires while you’re there. The same applies to any other machinery that uses industrial brakes. Checking on your brakes should be seen as a useful opportunity to gauge the health of your entire site. 

Get Quality Industrial Brakes Today

If your brake service makes you realize it’s time for new brakes, look no further. If you need quality industrial brakes for wind turbines, cranes, discs, drums, or anything else, make sure to check out our extensive online store today for quality products. You can also get in touch with our professional team today to learn more about our brake solutions. 

What Happens When a Clutch Goes Out on Your Industrial Machine?

Nothing is worse than when you’re in the middle of a job and your machinery sputters to a stop. It can cost you time, money, and customers.

There can be many reasons why your industrial equipment comes to a halt. For example, it might be the clutch going out on your industrial machine.

But what happens when a clutch goes out? What are the causes, and what can you do about it?

In this article, we’ll discuss what may cause your clutch to go, why it goes, and what you can do to fix it. 

What Happens When A Clutch Goes Out?

To understand how to fix a clutch going out, we first need to understand what happens when a clutch goes out.

A clutch’s main purpose is to help your machinery switch gears. Most clutches can work for a long time and handle a tremendous workload. After a while, however, all clutches go out.

When this happens, you may find it harder to switch gears. Your machinery may even “slip gears.” This means your machinery may start to miss a certain gear when you go to switch to it.

A passenger vehicle example is if you switch into third gear, and the clutch “slips” into fourth instead.

Signs of A Failing Clutch

Your clutch slipping like this can be a costly and dangerous problem. It’s best to identify it before it gets too serious and fix your clutch. 

Here are some signs that your clutch may require replacement.

1. Clutch Sticking

When you push down the clutch pedal, it should release and come back as you lift your foot. If you lift your foot and the clutch pedal does not come back, your clutch is “sticking.” If the clutch returns slowly, this can also be a problem.

When your clutch doesn’t respond properly, it causes the operator to lose control of the machinery. It can also make machinery difficult to operate.

2. Hard Clutch

A clutch pedal that shows difficulty in the down or up position is considered a “hard clutch.” 

Your clutch should respond to a small amount of pressure. If it takes any amount of effort for you to engage, or disengage, the clutch, it may be starting to go.

3. Noises During Use

If you start to hear strange noises during clutch use, it may be something you want to look into. Any squeals, hissing, or clicking sounds are indications that your clutch is malfunctioning in some way.

What To Do About Your Clutch

If you are experiencing any issues with your industrial machine’s clutch, contact a professional.

Here at Kor-Pak, we offer a wide variety of industrial parts to keep your machinery up and running. We specialize in keeping these machines running tip-top.

If you have any more questions on what happens when a clutch goes out or would like more information on parts, check out our website.

Feel free to browse our online resources or contact us directly if you have a specific question. We’re always here to help!

Regular Industrial Maintenance You Can Plan On

Preventative industrial maintenance isn’t just a checklist.

To see the most out of your equipment, you need to implement a plan that includes regular checkups, employee training, and more. If you implement this correctly, you might see a 25% reduction in your equipment repair costs. 

Follow this guide to learn how you can save money.

Budget For Machine Downtime

All machines eventually need repairs. However, if you’ve been implementing your maintenance plan correctly, you’ll likely see those failures coming. 

Consequently, part of a holistic planning process always includes budgeting for machine downtime. 

Provide Constant Training and Refresher Courses

Most people think that preventative maintenance is all about the machine, but that isn’t the only essential con.

If you haven’t adequately trained the people who operate the machines you work with, they’ll always break their tools. So, always train your employees/provide refresher courses and recertifications as needed.

Always Read the Manual

We know, reading the manual is a chore. You’re forklift certified, aren’t you? Driving any brand of forklift should be a breeze!

Well, surprisingly enough, reading the manual is one of the most important things you can do to prevent damage to your goods, machinery, and co-workers. In addition, a manual will give you a sneak peek into any quirks your new machine might have. That knowledge can save your butt in a fast-paced situation. 

Track Your Service History

Memories fail. 

So, keep a complete service record for your industrial equipment. Keeping track of your maintenance can be necessary for inspections, insurance claims, and future services as well.

Building Your Industrial Maintenance Checklist

Now, onto the equipment condition checklist you should be building. Use this list to guide you when you make your own.

General checklist items to include:

  • Make all lights are working
  • Check to make sure that handrails, grab irons, and steps are securely attached
  • Check for rust or denting
  • Check the brakes 
  • Check your electrical wiring for kinks, breaks, or faults
  • Check your hydraulics for leaks
  • Check the levels and condition of your hydraulic fluid
  • Check for damage to any fuel tanks
  • Check for cracks, rust, and other faults on your lifting mechanisms
  • Check the grease levels on all moving parts
  • Check coolant levels
  • Do and inventor and once over of any tools to resharpen, restock, etc.
  • Check any windows for visibility issues
  • Make sure all operating lights are working
  • Ensure any seatbelts are present and working correctly
  • Check to see if the fire extinguisher is expired
  • Make sure all pedals, levers, and buttons move quickly and like they’re supposed to

For wheeled machines:

  • Check tire pressure
  • Check tire tread
  • Check for damage on the rims
  • Check the tightness of your lug nuts
  • Check the axels for rust

For machines that use tracks (like a conveyor):

  • Inspect rollers (check to see if they move freely, look for broken sprockets, etc.)
  • Look for signs of rust
  • Check the condition of any rubber belts
  • Check the tension of the track

Engine specific checklist items:

  • Check your fluid levels
  • Check your air filters
  • Check your belts and hoses for wear
  • Check for corrosion on your battery
  • make sure all covers, skid plates, and guards are installed correctly

It’s important to remember that these checklists aren’t perfect. So, in addition to our suggested checklist items, add in your own using your knowledge, know-how, and familiarity with your machines.

Making a Plan is the Most Important Step

Preventative, industrial maintenance checklists and training are the most important thing you can do to stop catastrophic failures from happening in your warehouse. 

So, what’s your call? Will you beef up your preventative measures, or will you keep playing fast and lose with your livelihood? The choice is yours. 

Ethier way, accidents can happen. So, if you find yourself in a tight spot, you’re always welcome to make use of our repair services. We’ll be happy to get you back up and running.