Tsubaki Gripper chain improves reliability against OEM components
In the food processing industry, thermoforming packaging provides a fast and hygienic method of sealing food products before they are sent to the retailers. Any reliability issues with the packaging machines can cause a significant reduction in production efficiency. This is why Tsubaki Europe offers a retrofit, 'Gripper Chain' solution which offers the most reliable performance on the market for thermoforming machines.
Across the industry there are thousands of packaging machines that are required to meet a number of standards in terms of hygiene, performance and reliability. In many cases these machines have been designed specifically for the production line on which they are located.
With so many machines requiring a bespoke design to accommodate the food product in question, manufacturing costs can quickly spiral. To reduce these costs, production facilities should explore innovative solutions by other manufacturers, as opposed to the traditional purchase of spares from the machine OEM. This practice has been shown to lead to cost savings at both the purchase and production stages.
One area where continuous performance is demanded is the gripper chain which is designed to grab the plastic film and move it into position over the food product before it is sealed. This chain can be anything from 4 meters up to 25 meters 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 food processors are experiencing issues with the service life of the OEM gripper chains which can have a significant impact on productivity. This has led them to look for an alternative, high quality design from the world's leading manufacturer of drive and attachment chain. The Tsubaki range of Gripper chain has been specifically designed to offer improved reliability and increased service life as well as a lower purchase cost against the OEM product, giving the best of both worlds; lower cost and improved performance.
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 unique 'side swivel' feature which means the mechanism opens vertically and then sideways which creates 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 innovative chain attachment is available with many of Tsubaki's high-quality, long-lasting chains, which is ideal for food packaging or other hygiene critical applications.
Tsubaki believes it is important to recognise each client's individual requirements and to fully understand their needs in order to provide the best solution. By offering a variety of high quality chain types and lubrication options, including USDA H1 approved food grade lubrication, the company can deliver the best long term solution.
As with all production environments, in the event of a machine breakdown, the speed of repair is crucial and that means the delivery of new components in the quickest time possible. All of Tsubaki products have extremely short lead times when available from stock or even build-to-order from stocked components.