Is It Time to Replace Your Rotary Kiln Gearing System?

Even the best-maintained kiln will experience wear and tear over time. Components such as the gearing system are engineered to stand up to incredible weight and pressure, but entropy cannot be denied. Eventually, the gears will begin to wear down, and maintenance problems with the kiln will become more frequent.  At this point, you’ll need to call in a rotary kiln services company to replace the gears, if the kiln is to continue normal operation.

Since this isn’t something, you want to do until it’s truly necessary, what are the signs that you do need a gear system replacement? Here’s how to tell.


Five Signs Your Kiln Gear System Needs to Be Upgraded

1. Sudden failure

In worst-case scenarios, the gearing may break down entirely. However, this basically never happens unless maintenance has been neglected for a long time.

2. Lubrication issues

If something has gone wrong with the lubrication, it will cause the gears to quickly wear down. The most obvious example would be inadequate lubrication, but too much lubrication can also cause problems. Also, poorly maintained kilns often have contaminated lubricant, with particles trapped in the fluid which degrade performance.

3. Alignment problems

A kiln will typically fall slightly out of alignment over time, and it’s generally recommended you call a rotary kiln services company for re-alignment every few years. However, if alignment problems are happening constantly, or occurring quickly, that often indicates a problem with the gearing.

4. Measurable kiln shell issues

If the gearing has thrown in the kiln out of alignment, this can translate to serious problems with the shell. Most commonly, the shell ceases to be perfectly circular and begins taking on an ovular shape. The kiln shell crank is another warning sign when the kiln has fallen away from the proper axis of rotation.

In addition, there are certain older kiln design elements that are considered antiquated. If any of these are true of your kiln, you should look towards an upgrade to protect your investment:

  • Flange mounted gearing – This is an older, unreliable gearing system with a tendency towards alignment issues that are difficult to fix.
  • V-Belt drive systems – V-belts are also antiquated and can present serious safety hazards compared to modern drive systems.
  • Split flanges with multiple pieces – Such gears are difficult to maintain; few shops have the capability.

If it’s time for a gear system replacement, you want help from true experts – like those at Kiln Tech!  Contact us to discuss your kiln problems.