Industrial supplier BMG’s total plant management solutions encompass a technical advisory service on correct chain selection – a critical factor in any power transmission system.
“By investing in a quality branded power transmission chain, significant cost savings are achieved. “Although the global trend is focused towards cost reduction to protect margins, it is important when it comes to procurement that the total cost of ownership (TCO) is considered above initial cost savings,” says BMG power transmission business unit manager Carlo Beukes.
While some components appear to be the cheaper solution in the short term, they can easily prove expensive if regular maintenance, repair and replacement work is required.
“The key to real world costs savings in power transmission lies in extended, low maintenance operating cycles.”
He notes that cost of installation, maintenance requirements and downtime caused by early failure and replacement are all hidden costs that accumulate when a budget component is specified.
“Our concern in project management situations is when an engineer’s recommendation for a particular quality component, suitable for specific performance requirements, is disregarded in favour of an inferior product because of its lower cost.”
Power transmission chain in particular, is an area where procurement managers feel they can reduce costs by specifying budget chains. Because this technology is perceived to be simple, with few outward differences between brands, it would be easy to assume that this is an area where budget components may be justified.
“However, a chain which has been correctly specified and manufactured to stringent quality standards, using quality materials, earns its initial procurement cost back many times over, compared with a cheap, inferior quality chain,” he explains.
Beukes adds that initial procurement is just one cost that needs to be considered when determining the TCO of a power transmission chain. After procurement, there is installation time, which can vary greatly between products, as well as necessary maintenance requirements, including lubrication or the removal of links, owing to elongation.
“The cost of replacement is also an important consideration. A chain with a reduced service life will need replacing. This not only causes downtime, but also introduces a further round of procurement into the cost equation.”
Tsubaki roller, engineering and speciality chains, available from BMG’s power transmission division, are designed for maximum performance in heavy-duty drive and conveying applications – particularly those operations that are subject to both heavy and shock loads.
Tsubaki chains have a special pin surface treatment to prevent pitting corrosion and offer extended service life, even in environments where there is dirt, moisture and acidity. Hardened pins permit substantial increases in acceptable load over standard chain.
These chains, which have increased shock resistance and higher tensile strength, meet the demands of tough operating conditions and reduce the costs of chain replacement and work stoppage time.
Tsubaki chains, which are available exclusively throughout Southern Africa through BMG, have been designed for efficient use, improved productivity, low maintenance requirements and extended service life in diverse industries.
New to BMG’s range, is the Tsubaki G7 ANSI RS roller chain, which offers double-the-wear life of the previous sixth generation chain. The seventh generation roller chain series can withstand an increase of 33% in kW ratings, improved productivity and reduced downtime.
The G7 series has solid lube groove bushings, designed to retain lubrication and increase the wear life of the chain. The patented ring coin connecting link ensures that the chain can be specified to its full chain capacity. This process increases the strength of the link plate around the pin holes to make sure the link retains the same high strength and wear resistance as the rest of the chain.
Other features of this preloaded lubricated chain include waist link plates, shot peened rollers, higher-grade pins and orientated link plates. There is a significant reduction in the risk of chain breakage because the specially selected steel alloy has undergone effective heat treatment. Since there is no need for external lubrication, the chain is kept cleaner, making it easier to specify and install.
BMG offers a site visit service prior to specification to ensure an accurate estimate for Tsubaki’s TCO. BMG’s technical team advises on the selection of the component for each application and the appropriate installation and use for optimum performance and improved safety standards. For extended service life, correct lubrication methods and dust prevention care are also critical.
- Carlo Beukes