October 12, 2022
Thanks to the Internet we have come to expect the instant availability of everything needed for daily life. The prospect of unmanned delivery drones clouding the skies might have seemed like science fiction at one time but hardly elicits a comment today. Unfortunately for many gearbox users, custom equipment builders do not stock spare parts. If your operation depends on made to order components you cannot just log on to the Internet and magically make new parts appear on your receiving dock. Many operations think they have spare parts on hand because they never throughout the used ones they take from service. In a storage room or out in the yard are parts that were removed from service and put aside to be rebuilt or repaired later. Over time those parts deteriorate further as the parts fairies never make house calls. I am as guilty of this as anyone; my garage shelves are full of race car parts deemed not good enough to actually use but too good to throw out. One man’s junk is supposedly another man’s treasure so perhaps a vintage race car restorer will someday benefit from my pack rat ways. For the processing plant manager, however, the best advice I can give is to purge your facility of any parts that are not suitable for immediate use. If you have used gearboxes on hand that could fit in your line they need to be rebuilt and ready to go inside long term storage wrappings. Individual components are either useable or they are scrap. Don’t put your livelihood or the safety of your employees in danger through the use of questionable parts. The failure of a gear or bearing or coupling is seldom an isolated incident. The collateral damage and down time make the cost of maintaining reliable equipment a real bargain One last thought: if you don’t have part drawings those used parts can be reverse engineered by our advertisers. The best time to get spares is long before you need them.