What Goes into Refurbishing an Industrial Gearbox?

What Goes into Refurbishing an Industrial Gearbox?

Although most people associate a gearbox with cars, they play a significant role in many areas of manufacturing. As an enclosed system, the main job of a gearbox is to vary the torque, speed, and rotation rate sent to a specific object. With a car, the gearbox allows drivers to adjust how much power and drive they need at any given moment. For example, they need lots of power and acceleration when pulling away, hence the first gear, and then the higher gears accommodate faster speeds. 

Types of Industrial Gearbox

With an industrial gearbox, the goal is the same. However, they come in different types: 

Worm Gearbox: Firstly, a worm gearbox is implemented for heavy-duty operations. With a large screw meshing with the teeth, it allows for high torque and specific rotational speeds. An example would be a conveyer belt or elevator. 

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Planetary Gearbox: Secondly, manufacturers tend to use planetary gearboxes with advanced technology such as 3D printing. Much like the solar system, a handful of Planet Gears surround the one Sun gear. With an outer ring gear holding them all together, the power is equally distributed between the different gears. Ultimately, this means high torque, even in small spaces. These gearboxes are chosen for their accuracy and endurance. 

Bevel Gearbox: This time, you’re looking at a gearbox with cone-shaped features holding curbed teeth. The cones sit close to the rim, and, between non-parallel shafts, this allows for rotary motions. As a result, the bevel gearbox is a common find in mining and the rail industry. 

Helical Gearbox: Instead of high power (like others on this list), helical gearboxes are all about low power and small sizes. With angled teeth, contact is gradual when the teeth engage. After the initial contact, the two teeth remain in contact, and the gear reaches full engagement. With gradual and stable contact, the gearbox is smooth and allows for high load angles. 

Refurbishing an Industrial Gearbox

You’ve seen the different types of industrial gearbox, and you can see that they’re complex. With one slight problem, the gearbox doesn’t operate efficiently, and it loses value for the task at hand. While some gearboxes just need a couple of adjustments (or new parts), others need complete refurbishment. 

What does this mean? With industrial gearbox services, the process normally begins by stripping everything down. Once the gearbox is stripped down, the professional can decide about specific parts. They can determine which parts are usable and which should be thrown away or recycled. Unfortunately, after many years of service, some parts don’t have much life in them. 

After assessing the condition of all the parts and reverse engineering damaged gears, the professional will reassemble. After fixing specific parts or replacing them, the industrial gearbox might not be new, but it should work as well as it did when originally made. The gearbox has repaired parts and new parts to ensure another period of solid operation. 

Depending on the industrial gearbox in question, the level of refurbishment varies. For instance, some will require a complete overhaul with new parts and several replacement shafts and gears. On the other hand, some refurbishments will simply need some new seals, oil, and bearings. 


What goes into refurbishing an industrial gearbox? Professionals offering this service will always start by stripping the gearbox down and assessing all the parts. From here, they can decide which parts to keep, which to repair, and which to replace! 


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