Case Study: Exciter Gearbox Reliability Improvement Program

Geoff Manley, General Manager, Lubrication Engineers Pty Ltd.


Exciter gearboxes are a known problem child for the mining and minerals processing industry. Short operational life is common and has become an accepted situation.  When operational conditions and process interruptions led to unsustainable failure rates, the major iron ore miner looked for options to solve the exciter gearbox issues.  Through a process of investigation, bearing trials and finally a lubricant change, the company are back in control of the gearbox failures.

This presentation will detail the history of this problem area, examine the Root Cause investigation, trial processes, the decision to move to a specialist lubricant and finally draw conclusions on the improvement program and what changing to a new lubricant delivered.
-Root cause analysis is critical to understanding the real reason for a system failure.
-Not all lubricants are created equal and in some scenario’s, speciality lubricants can make a significant difference to equipment operation.
-Some times the simple solution is the best.


Geoff Manley is a long term maintenance practitioner. he has been involved in the effective management of lubrication for the past 26 years, first with Pall Corporation and now as the General Manager of Lubrication Engineers Pty Ltd. His industrial experience covers nearly all industries, including metals processing, hard and soft rock mining, minerals processing and power generation. As a well respected technical leader in the lubrication maintenance field, Geoff has provided training to 1,000’s of industry employees across the country. Geoff is ICML accredited both as a MLA 1/2 and an MLT 1/2 and has written a number of technical papers over the past 20 years.