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How To Reduce Maintenance Costs of a Roller Chain Conveyor Solution

Posted by Kevin Mauger | Monday, March 30, 2020

Roller chain conveyors are often the first solution that comes to mind when you start looking for cost-effective, heavy duty solutions for a client. However, these traditional conveyors come with a host of expenses, from expected maintenance costs to unthought-of innovation opportunity costs. When application engineers come to us for outside-the-box ideas, we have a solution that addresses these challenges. Here are four common roller chain conveyor maintenance costs the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor reduces or eliminates. 


1Chain elongation

A roller chain is a series of connected bearings that form a joint as they enter and leave the sprockets. Movement results in wear on the pins and bushings. As material is worn away from these surfaces the roller chain will gradually elongate and stretch over time. Roller chain elongation requires them to be shortened or at least tightened to ensure tension is correct for the products or pallets your clients are conveying. 


2Drive system lubrication

Roller chain systems require proper lubrication to prevent excessive wear and tear. By frequently lubricating, you prevent rapid chain elongation. However, this lubrication also costs time that you could otherwise be spending up and running product through your client’s automation system. 


3Wearstrip replacement

Wearstrips wear quickly compared to belt conveyors due to the nature of steel roller chains. Replacing these wearstrips costs not only money, but time lost to being down. 


4Excessive cleaning expenses

Another expense of roller chain conveyors is the accumulation of dirt particles between parts of a chain. These particles can form a paste with existing petrochemical lubricants, and will cause pins, rollers, and bushings to lose material rapidly, adding to chain elongation. Because of this risk, roller chains work best in clean environments to prevent excessive wear and tear. If not in a clean environment, they should be cleaned frequently to avoid risk of particulate build-up.  

How the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor Reduces Maintenance Costs

The Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor utilizes a timing belt conveying medium which doesn’t require the above maintenance. It is typically not used where a roller chain conveyor system is required because it doesn’t usually have the capacity to convey long runs of heavy product.  But, by breaking up the conveyor into separate drives (zones), we’ve overcome this hindrance of non-roller chain conveyors. 


Related Video - How the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor Prevents Product Damage While Accumulating


The Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor provides gentle product handling by eliminating the backpressure that can cause product damage. Each individual zone on the Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor can handle up to 200 pounds with our DC motors, so the ability to transport heavy loads is not compromised. We can handle much heavier loads with our AC motor solution. 


Individually controlled zones eliminate wear and tear due to frictionIndividually controlled zones eliminate wear and tear due to friction of pallet to belt by dividing the conveying system into multiple zones and operating each zone only as the process requires. 


The Zero Contact Zoned Conveyor is highly modular, allowing us to quickly deliver customized solutions, from the size of the conveyor (customizable to the millimeter) to the number of strands, and any additional features you need. We can easily modify any design to create a custom solution to meet your clients’ challenges.

Learn more about this elegant solution in our ebook, How to Manage Conveyor Accumulation Issues.


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Topics: Solutions for Applications Engineers, Conveyor System Designs, Flexible Conveyor Solutions

Written by Kevin Mauger

Kevin Mauger started working for the parent company of Glide-Line the day after college and bought the company 12 years into his career when it was at an all-time low. The company has multiplied in volume 5X since and is growing at 20%+ year over year. In a Surprise Announcement in 2017, in a dream come true, he gave almost half of his company to his employees. Personally, his entire life is based upon spending time with his family, figuring out a way to get out deep sea fishing, and supporting his Philadelphia Eagles. His vision for Glide-Line is to make it the world’s most flexible multi-strand conveyor solution with tools for customers allowing instantaneous response and control of their own destiny along with the fastest deliveries in the industry.

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Glide-Line offers the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

We solve problems that other conveyor systems manufacturers won’t. We developed Glide-Line from the ground up with a few key, driving factors in mind. First, our conveyors had to be robust and reliable. Second, they would be simple – easy to maintain and service. Finally, we insisted on flexible configurability, creating an efficient, hassle-free customer experience. We’ve built the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

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