- Handling a complex powertrain is not a problem for Off-Highway Powertrain Services
- Case Description:
A steel mill customer had a problem with heavy oil leakage from a powertrain gearbox. The customer suspected that the cardan shafts had been incorrectly installed, which could result in powertrain breakdown or cardan shaft failure. Off-Highway Powertrain Services (OHP Services) performed an alignment check to establish if the customers suspicions were correct.
In fact, OHP Services found that the cardan shafts were properly aligned and installed and were not damaged. Instead, a significant misalignment was identified in the couplings between the main gearbox and a transmission gearbox (see figure below). OHP Services, as a complete solution provider, reacted immediately on the findings to perform a corrective alignment procedure on this complex powertrain the very next day. This was a technically difficult alignment since the main gearbox is a fixed, immovable installation. Therefore, the transmission gearbox needed to be adjusted, whilst at the same time it was essential to maintain the cardan shafts in alignment. The customer was also informed that the effect of the thermal growth in the powertrain must be considered to prevent possible misalignment when the powertrain is in normal operation.
One of our specialists monitored the production process during a work shift to check for thermal growth in the powertrain and was able to adjust for this factor during the alignment process.
- Technology Snapshot:
Alignment Check & Correction
Even components of the highest quality will not perform as designed if they are not installed and adjusted correctly. Our specialists use modern technologies such as laser alignment and thermal growth methods to ensure that systems are properly set up for the particular machine and its operating conditions. A detailed “before and after” alignment status report is included.
- Identify the real root cause of the problem
- Document that cardan shafts are correctly installed and aligned
- Avoid unplanned breakdowns by correcting the issues found
- Laser alignment checks on the complete powertrain to locate the misaligned components
- Perform alignment of the powertrain taking the thermal growth effect into consideration
- Monitor the production process for thermal growth after re-alignment
- Reduced maintenance costs due to reduced inspections on cardan shafts
- Operation costs reduced by avoiding expensive oil leakage
- Reduced risk of unplanned shutdowns caused by the gearbox and possible subsequent damage to the powertrain (an unplanned shutdown would cost more than € 50,000 per shift)