If a gear system is run continuously for long periods of time—or if the starting loads are very low and within the normal operating spectrum—the effect of the start-up conditions may often be insignificant in the determination of the life of the gear system. Conversely, if the starting load is significantly higher than any of the normal operating conditions,
and the gear system is started and stopped frequently, the start-up load may, depending on its magnitude and frequency, actually be the overriding, limiting design condition.
Photography is an essential part of gear failure analysis. It not only provides a fast, convenient way to accurately document the appearance of gear failure, but also is an effective diagnostic tool because the magnification obtained through photographic enlargement and slide projection often discloses evidence that may have been missed if the gears were not photographed.