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Considering environmental challenges for chain performance

29 November 2018

Modern Engineering maintenance planning is a marathon not a sprint, so MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) specialists are usually looking for long term reliability rather than a quick fix that may not last the distance.

Application environment is a key factor in selecting an adequate long term solution, especially for a transmission component like a chain. Derek Mack, Sales Director for Tsubaki UK, considers the effect of various working environments on chains in application.

In our daily lives we know that if we buy a cheap product it is unlikely to last as long as one with a quality pedigree behind it. In the commercial and industrial world, we quantify this as total cost of ownership (TCO) – initial purchase cost, plus running and maintenance costs over the life of the product, plus replacement costs and production downtime.

Again, referring to our daily lives, we instinctively know that we can use a budget product in non-demanding duties, but when the going gets tough quality goods will be required. In industrial parlance we would refer to a harsh working environment, which for a chain could include dust, water, heat, cold, aggregates, shock impact loads and harsh chemicals. So, what challenges do different industries suffer?

Heavy industries typically have tough working environments: steel mills can be so hot that any metal component can be weakened; it is virtually impossible to keep dust and grit out of machinery in mines and quarries; marine and shoreside environments will always have salt corrosion potential. Meat storage facilities will be refrigerated so lubrication is often problematic.

Read the full article in the December issue of DPA

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