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Retrofit 'Gripper' chain improves reliability of packaging machinery

18 October 2015

Tsubaki Europe is offering a retrofit, ‘Gripper' chain that offers more reliable performance for thermoforming type food packaging machines.

Gripper chains are designed to grab plastic film and move it into position over a food product before it is sealed. This chain can be anything from 4m up to 25m in length, depending on the scale of the packaging operation. The basic design uses spring-loaded attachments that open as the chain turns on the sprocket and then clamps the film before moving towards the filling section of the packaging process.

Many conventional gripping attachments for thermoforming have inherent design flaws which makes them prone to early wear damage or grip failure. Designs which only open and close vertically create a very narrow opening, which can mean that the attachment doesn’t grip the film securely. 

Gripper chain, from Tsubaki, features a novel ‘side swivel’ feature, which means the mechanism opens vertically and then sideways, creating a larger opening, improving the engagement of the film and reducing the possibility of jamming.

The design incorporates a coil spring with a square section and both the gripper surface area and spring are larger than most designs, making them less prone to breakage. The chain attachment is available with many of Tsubaki’s chains.

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