Tsubaki Neptune chain keeps the drinks coming for beverage manufacturer09 March 2021

A beverage manufacturer in the Netherlands approached Tsubaki to provide a reliable drive chain to boost its equipment uptime, allowing it to capitalise on customer demand.

A highly-efficient production line that can provide high output is essential for meeting customer demand. It is also vital for securing profitability. Mass produced beverages offer low profit margins per unit, so ensuring reliable high output is key for manufacturers looking to maximising return. Furthermore, many beverage manufacturers will have supply contracts to honour with businesses such as supermarkets. These are lucrative, and failure to fulfil delivery quotas places these agreements at risk. Ensuring the continued reliability of production equipment is therefore important for the prosperity of a beverage manufacturer.

Combined with these demanding duty requirements, beverage manufacturers must also ensure that hygienic standards are maintained. High pressure chemical washdowns are standard across the sector, which reduce product contamination risks. However, this can adversely affect equipment that is not specialised for these operational conditions. Power transmission components on equipment such as conveyors are particularly at risk: chains for example.

In the case of conveyor chains, repeated high pressure chemical washdowns can cause corrosion on the surface of the chain. This rust can increase chain wear in operation. Ultimately, this wear will mean that the chain fails prematurely. The resulting downtime can cause the entire production line to grind to a halt. While maintenance is carried out, production output is decreased, and consequently, overall profitability. Rust can also present a contamination risk to the product itself. To avoid this outcome, a specialised chain solution is required.

A beverage manufacturer in the Netherlands was experiencing increased wear on a lubrication-free chain installed on the drive of a bottle conveyor. The stainless-steel chain of the conveyor itself was subjected to a weekly washdown with an alkaline cleaning substance. With prolonged use, the drive chain had begun to exhibit corrosion that was increasing wear. In an effort to eliminate the problem and reduce maintenance, the manufacturer approached Tsubaki to provide a new chain better suited to requirements.

Tsubaki Neptune conveyor chains feature a special surface treatment that is designed to resist alkaline cleaning, marine environments, acid-rain and other adverse weather conditions. Link plates, bushings and bearing pins feature two special layers to ensure maximum protection from conditions and operational wear and tear. The chain is also resistant to varying temperatures and excessive moisture.

After inspection of the conveyor, Tsubaki provided the beverage manufacturer with the lube-free RS12B-1 Lambda Neptune roller chain. Its resistance to corrosion ensured an instant improvement in reliability, and the increased service life extended maintenance intervals.

Operations Engineer

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