An engineer friend of ours and I were discussing orphaned and neglected gearboxes and what a great time this is to work on those projects we know need to be done but keep getting put off. There are a number of gearboxes in use out there which are no longer supported but remain critical to operations. Spares and interchanges are not always available and repair may not be economically feasible.
We keep a costly spindle motor and gearbox assembly on the shelf for our largest mill because while costly, the loss of production and ultimately customers would be devastating. We consider the cost as insurance for ourselves and our customers.
Along the same line we are currently working on reverse engineering a gearbox for a major manufacturer. Their gearbox was built overseas in the 1950’s and available information to support it is slim. This gearbox is absolutely critical to their operations and there are no spares, no parts and no support available at this time. The customer has been aware of this and fortunately has not had their entire production brought to a halt. We are providing engineering services to quantify the project, provide drawings and duplicate their existing gearbox. At the same time we will offer recommendations for improvements as a result of gear technology which has evolved over the last 70 years.