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.
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.
Drive 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.
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.
Excessive 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.
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 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.