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Conveyors & Conveyor Chains

Correct lubrication of conveyor chains is essential for optimum performance and maximum chain life.

The major considerations that assure smooth, continuous operation of chain conveyors and associated components are:

· Type and effectiveness of the selected lubricant

· Precise application of the lubricant

· A maintenance program to assure continuity of operation

Lubricants for roller chain must be selected and applied according to the application and working conditions of the chain. High temperature conveyor chains suffer wear due to the inability of conventional oils to withstand oven/furnace temperatures without evaporating rapidly, forming carbon deposits or leaking.
A conveyor chain can be likened to a series of linked bearings, which should be properly lubricated to obtain the maximum service life. In conveyor applications lubricant should be directed between the rollers and bushings as well as between the chain linkplates.

Lubricant applied to rollers only cannot reach pin-bushing joints, and therefore, cannot prevent chain elongation due to wear. The lengthening of chains in service results from wear on pin and bushing surfaces, not rollers. Since wear between pins and bushings cause chain elongation, lubrication must be maintained on all contact surfaces.

Correct lubrication forms a protective film which:

· Reduces abrasion and wear

· Reduces rolling friction

· Reduces energy consumption 
 

TYPICAL APPLICATIONS:

· Roller chains on oven conveyors

· Metal finishing, paint lines and drying ovens

· Sealed for life units

· Tenter frames in textile plants

· Overhead monorail conveyors subjected to washing and high temperature ovens

· Drive chains

· In-floor conveyors

· Drag chains


· Chain/Conveyor guide materials

· Open race and sealed trolley wheels

· Guide rollers

· Wear plates and bars   

Automatic Lubrication Equipment

Automatic lubricators are available for components such as the conveyor pins and links on apron and monorail conveyors, to apply lubricant automatically in precisely controlled quantities onto points or surfaces requiring lubrication.

The installation of automatic lubrication systems to replace manual lubrication of equipment improves the reliability and consistency of lubrication on critical equipment.

 
Maintenance Program

To achieve effective, reliable lubrication and maximum uptime, a program to service the automatic lubrication systems should be established.

A proactive lubrication program can be implemented to lubricate those equipment components that have not previously been lubricated such as chain conveyor pins and links on flat-top and apron conveyors.

Summary

Proactive lubrication of conveyors and other equipment is a significant part of an overall maintenance program and can be a major contributor to continuity of production. By adopting a unified approach and considering both the lubricant and application method, significant benefits may be realised including:-

· Increased chain life

· Reduction in costly downtime

· Environmental protection through reduced lubricant consumption

· Lower maintenance costs

· Elimination of lubricant contamination

· A higher degree of operational safety

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