Gearbox reliability is crucial to the application

The failure conditions can determine when and how to conduct an analysis. For example, if the gears are damaged but still able to function, the company may decide to continue their operation and monitor the rate at which damage progresses. In this case, samples of the lubricant should be collected for analysis, the reservoir drained and flushed, and the lubricant replaced.

If gearbox reliability is crucial to the application, the gears should be examined by magnetic particle inspection to ensure that they have no cracks. The monitoring phase will consist of periodically checking the gears for damage by visual inspection and by measuring sound and vibration.

Ideally, the engineer conducting the analysis should inspect the failed components as soon after failure as possible. If an early inspection is not possible, someone at the site must preserve the evidence based on instructions from the analyst.

If a suitable facility for disassembling and inspecting the gearbox is not available on-site, it may be necessary to find an alternate location or bring the necessary equipment to the site.

In some situations, the high cost of shutting down equipment limits the time available for inspection. Such cases call for careful planning. For example, dividing tasks between two or more analysts reduces the time required.