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Sprockets Diagnosis: What are the Common Problems?

Sprockets Diagnosis: What are the Common Problems?

When people start industrial facilities, the three primary goals are mainly to optimize production, increase efficiency, and make high profits. However, you can only achieve the three goals by ensuring the facility is operating in top condition. One category of parts in your facility that you should give special focus is the sprockets

Sprockets are firm wheels designed with teeth that cog onto a chain. When sprockets spin, their teeth grab the chain, helping to transfer power from the driving to the driven shaft. Therefore, if the sprockets get damaged, they can compromise the effectiveness of your industrial equipment, from motors to conveyor belts. They can even result in serious safety issues. This is why you should start by understanding how sprockets work, including common problems. Keep reading to learn about common issues that affect sprockets. 

Excessive Wear at the Base of the Sprocket 

Whether your sprocket is used to run the chain for driving an industrial conveyor or pump in your facility, excessive wear at the base is a sign of trouble ahead. You can establish this by checking the movement of the chain. If you notice that the chain keeps rising off the sprocket, the chances are that its base is worn out. 

If indeed the sprocket is damaged, the best way to address the issue is going for a replacement. Note that replacement of sprockets, seals, or motors, among other critical components, should only be done by a professional.

Sprocket Misalignment

When you look at the setup of a system using sprockets, it requires the use of two main sprockets, one on the driving shaft (mainly connected to a motor) and the second on the driven shaft. Misalignment happens when the sprockets are not in a straight line, making the chain run poorly and regularly jump off. The problem can be caused by incorrect sprocket installation or poor maintenance. 

To know if your sprockets are aligned well, get a straight bar and place it on the two sprockets. They should be on a straight line. If they are not, get a professional to adjust the alignment. When checking the alignment, it is also good to review the state of the sprocket, seals, and bearings. 

Foreign Materials Stuck between the Teeth 

With continued use, your sprocket can easily accumulate debris between the teeth. The problem can cause poor chain flexure and ultimately make it start jumping off the sprockets. If not addressed urgently, it can also increase the corrosion and wearing out of the sprockets. 

To address the problem, you need to carefully and regularly clean the sprockets and chains. Also, the system should be properly lubricated to reduce friction and wearing out. 

As you can see, there are many issues that can affect sprockets and compromise the productivity of a machine or entire facility. Therefore, you should keep an eye on the sprockets when your equipment is running to try and identify issues and have them fixed before they spell more trouble. Remember that maintenance should not be solely directed at the sprockets, but the entire facility, including the motor, shafts, belts, and even the electrical system.