Tsubaki match and tag for high accuracy in paired chain16 February 2018

Tsubaki match and tag for high accuracy in paired Tsubaki match and tag for high accuracy in paired chain

Machine designs often call for chains to be used in pairs or other multiples, in which case they must be of exactly the same length.

To meet this need Tsubaki is able to supply pre-stretched chains in matched-length pairs – and greater multiples - matched and tagged for easy identification and installation.

When chains are needed to run in parallel for conveyance purposes in, for instance, packaging machines or in lifting applications (such as in accumulator towers in the steel and carpet industry), the chains must have minimal difference in length. If non-matched chains are used, the result can often be far from satisfactory, with errors, twisting and slippage occurring in operation. This is because the chains, while of the same nominal length have not been checked link by link.

Further, the problem can become worse as the chains wear with use, with the result being a system that worked initially becoming steadily more problematical. In such situations re-tensioning both chains provides only a temporary improvement and repeated re-tensioning usually shortens chain life considerably, leading to earlier than expected replacement and consequent expense.

For such applications Tsubaki can guarantee a maximum chain length difference of 0.50mm independent of the total chain length thanks to a sophisticated chain length measurement machine kept in-house at the company’s European headquarters. Such precision ensures smooth, accurate and reliable machine actuation.

Industry Standards relating to the manufacture of chain components set a tolerance for the accuracy of length. However, they do not cover the assembly of components into complete chains, which means there is a possibility that a significant error will accumulate if a chain length includes several links that are only just within tolerance.

Some manufacturers address this by sorting their components into two or three classes of greater accuracy, although the possibility of accumulated errors remains. Tsubaki, however, has taken a unique approach with its Match & Tag service. This guarantees that paired chains are the same length to within a tolerance of 0.50mm, by measuring and matching each individual component of the chain.

For high-accuracy Tsubaki sets tight tolerances on the physical dimensions of each chain part. After assembly of a complete chain length, the Match & Tag process begins by accurately checking the length. Subsequently, the chain lengths are matched and tagged together into pairs - or larger groups if required. Thus they can be fitted with confidence and provide a long working life free from worries about inaccurate operation.

Mark Venables

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Tsubakimoto UK Ltd

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