How to get the most out of your Food ChainPosted on Aug 22, 2023
Like many sectors, the Food Processing industry demands chain that offers the maximum working life with the minimal maintenance downtime. Any downtime, but especially unplanned maintenance, impacts productivity.
Donghua Limited is the UK arm of one of the world’s largest chain manufacturers and we share our tips for increasing reliability and getting the most out of your chain.
Buy the right chain
You might think that any Conveyor Chain that fits your food processing machinery will work, but it’s important to only buy chain that is compatible with the equipment it will be used on. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check directly with the machine manufacturer.
A quality supplier will stock a range of food chain including plastic inner link Conveyor Chain (with no roller to wear making this an affordable, long lasting chain), Stainless Steel Chain suitable for use in high and low temperature conditions, Attachment Chain (available in a range of coatings, see below), and Bespoke Chain (designed to your specific requirements).
H1 lubrication is a food grade chain lubricant commonly used in food processing environments when there is the possibility of contact with food. H1 grade lubricant is odourless and tasteless making it ideal for use in food machinery.
We also recommend your chain is hot dipped in lube. This involves dipping chain in a metal vat filled with hot H1 food grade lube. By dipping the chain completely, the lubricant penetrates into bearing areas which standard lubrication would not reach. As the chain cools, surplus lube drains away leaving an oil deposit inside the chain. This initial lubrication of chain is the most important a chain receives and helps to significantly extend wear-life.
Pre-loading (pre-stretching) chain helps to reduce fatigue and extends the wear-life of chain, and especially in-house built Attachment Chain. Chain that has little or no pre-load applied will suffer significant initial elongation when first used, and will ultimately need to be changed sooner.
When two chains are used in parallel on machines, it’s particularly important to ensure the chain is matched to within close tolerances of each other in order to maintain high accuracy along the entire length of chain.
Speak to your chain supplier about special alloy coatings which can protect the chain against corrosion caused by wash-down procedures.
Donghua chain is compatible with the leading food equipment manufacturers, and has quickly become the chain of choice for companies in the food processing industry. Produced to very narrow tolerances, chain from the same production batches are on average within 1/3 DIN standards. Our UK in-house chain length measuring machine means production tolerances can be even further improved.
Our Universal Attachment Chain is popular because it replaces 99% of other manufacturer’s chain. It is available in standard, nickel plated, self-lubricating and stainless steel finishes and, along with all our Food Chain, is hot-dip lubricated as standard.