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APPARATUS FOR IN-SITU INSPECTING AND REPAIRING GEAR TEETH INSIDE GEARBOXES

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239068D
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-08
Document File: 14 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention proposes a technique to perform in-situ inspection and repair to gear teeth inside a gearbox. The technique includes a design and development of a compact robotic system to perform in-situ inspection and repair to the gear teeth inside the gearbox. The compact robotic system reduces expense of the gearbox repair as it eliminates requirement to disassemble the gearbox and replace damaged gears. The inspection and repair is performed up tower inside the gearboxes. The robotic system includes three major components, which includes an end effector, a holder system to relocate the end effector from one gear tooth to the next and a delivery mechanism to transport both the end effector and holder system in and out of the gearbox. The robotic system utilizes a compact three-axis motion platform, which is inserted in the gearbox through access holes, attaches to the gear tooth with magnetic fixtures and automatically performs repair inside the gearbox. Different process module carried by the motion platform is designed to scan gear tooth flank, deposit material to fill surface pits and machine away excess material to restore tooth gear profile.

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APPARATUS FOR IN-SITU INSPECTING AND REPAIRING GEAR TEETH INSIDE GEARBOXES

 

BRIEF ABSTRACT

The invention proposes a technique to perform in-situ inspection and repair to gear teeth inside a gearbox. The technique includes a design and development of a compact robotic system to perform in-situ inspection and repair to the gear teeth inside the gearbox. The compact robotic system reduces expense of the gearbox repair as it eliminates requirement to disassemble the gearbox and replace damaged gears. The inspection and repair is performed up tower inside the gearboxes. The robotic system includes three major components, which includes an end effector, a holder system to relocate the end effector from one gear tooth to the next and a delivery mechanism to transport both the end effector and holder system in and out of the gearbox. The robotic system utilizes a compact three-axis motion platform, which is inserted in the gearbox through access holes, attaches to the gear tooth with magnetic fixtures and automatically performs repair inside the gearbox. Different process module carried by the motion platform is designed to scan gear tooth flank, deposit material to fill surface pits and machine away excess material to restore tooth gear profile.

KEYWORDS

Gearbox, gear tooth, module, sensor, robotic repair, end effector, inspection, post machining


DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A wind turbine with gearboxes may show premature flank defects of internal ring gears. Flanks defects result in customer dissatisfaction and require gearbox repair or replacements. Occurrence of these defects is due to high torque transmission, which results from high gear loading combined with a ring gear surface that has lower hardness than mating planet gears.  Expense of current repair processes is relatively high as such processes involve dismounting and disassembling of gearboxes in a repair facility.

A conventional technique includes use of an apparatus for inspecting the gear geometry through optical triangulation.

Another conventional technique includes a pitch measurement method to perform noncontact measurement of a pitch of target portions.

Yet another conventional technique includes use of a system for inspecting parts utilizing triangulation.

However, the conventional techniques only perform inspection and do not repair the gearbox.

Therefore, there is a need for a method and technique to perform both inspection and repair of gear teeth inside a gearbox.

The proposed technique to perform in-situ inspection and repair to gear teeth inside a gearbox includes a design and development of a compact robotic system to perform in-situ inspection and repair to the gear teeth inside the gearbox. The compact robotic system reduces expense of the gearbox repair and eliminates requirements to disassemble the gearbox and replace the damaged gears. The technique also does not require a crane expense to bring the gearboxes downtower for repair as the inspection and repair is performed up...