In the field of mechanical and plant engineering, the lubrication of machine elements such as gears and bearings represents a central challenge in order to reduce friction and wear between the machine elements and to extend the service life of the components. For this purpose, so-called lubrication gears or lubrication pinions were developed, which only serve to apply the lubricant, but not to transmit torques. The use of both synthetic and mineral oil-based lubricants is usually overdosed in order to ensure the safety of the lubrication. This means that the surplus, which is usually harmful to the environment, is allowed to drip off and contaminate the environment, especially in open gears. Nevertheless, a lack of lubricant also leads to increased friction and noise levels as well as increased abrasion and thus resource consumption.
For this reason, the aim of the project is to design and develop a control system that applies a defined quantity of lubricant through a lubrication pinion as required, whereby the quantity of lubricant present at the lubrication point is measured and compared with a previously determined minimum value. External influencing variables such as temperature, humidity and contamination of the environment, which can influence the buffer and delivery behaviour of the lubrication pinion or the viscosity of the lubricant, must be taken into account during the control.
Both the lubricants and the materials of the pinion are analysed and selected according to the application. The control system for relubrication as well as the lubricant pumps required for this are analysed for a solution available on the market and, if not, developed independently. The focus is initially on open gears, as this area of application is particularly exposed to the environmental influences mentioned and consequently the stress on the system is very high.
The overriding goal is to prevent the overdosing of lubricants and thus to bring an economical and environmentally friendly development to the market.