Table of contents:
- Small conveyor chain - big impact
- Reduce maintenance intervals
- Knowledge is a competitive advantage
- Self-lubricating chain
- Double the service life thanks to the special chain
Video: Special Chain Improves Assembly Process In The Automotive Plant
In automotive production, it is expected that the machines and systems used will run uninterrupted all year round. Downtimes are taboo because they cost thousands of euros a minute. It is therefore not surprising that some machine elements are still viewed as a product. Purchasing decisions are made based on the price, without taking their performance or quality into account.
Small conveyor chain - big impact
In automotive assembly, overhead conveyors usually transport the body parts from one work station to the next. The conveyor systems driven by conveyor chains thus represent an important part of the material flow. If the conveyor chain fails here, not only a large part of the production line comes to a standstill. Rather, this can also quickly expand to other production processes from the subassembly to the interior, painting, quality assurance and other subsequent processes.
It is all the more incomprehensible that the chain's performance is no longer important. According to the company, special chains often offer a much longer lifespan than standard chains - especially in high-performance applications.
Reduce maintenance intervals
A good example shows the success story of one of the largest British automotive assembly plants: Here, the conveyor chain built into the monorail had to be replaced at least every twelve months and had to be serviced quarterly. The requirements for maintenance and replacement increased because the chain could only be lubricated every three months. It became stiff and stiff, and dust particles in the air caused chain contamination, leading to wear. The chain usually broke before the end of the twelve months. As a precaution, those responsible decided to replace them every three months.
Knowledge is a competitive advantage
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The operations manager wanted to change this and turned to the experts from Tsubaki: The company found that the OE chain originally installed by the system manufacturer was not suitable for high-performance operation at all, and suggested replacing it with a quality chain. The chain should also offer added value for the production line and demonstrably lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
The Tsubaki engineers then recommended a maintenance-free, self-lubricating chain from the "Lambda" series. Manual lubrication was thus eliminated, which reduced maintenance costs. In addition, downtime and replacement chain costs are a thing of the past.
The engineers also developed a special cover plate that was attached to every other chain link to reduce contamination and protect it from wear. The rivets used to attach the cover plates have been replaced by special, high-strength screws that are held in place with screw locking adhesive.
Double the service life thanks to the special chain
As a result of the switch to the Tsubaki lambda chain, maintenance engineers are now pleased with a conveyor system that generally works reliably for more than two years. This is more than twice the lifespan of the OE chain.