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Automated sawmills require reliable machinery to continue operating in difficult conditions, even when lubrication systems seem to be at odds with the constant accumulation of sawdust and woodchips. However, one of the major European sawmill businesses found a solution in the form of Tsubaki's Lambda chain that has significantly cut maintenance costs and improved productivity.
The operating conditions in any sawmill are tough for moving machinery due to the large amounts of airborne dust from the cutting and shaping processes. Most sawmills employ a variety of conveyor systems to transfer timber between each processing station and these rely on chains to do most of the heavy lifting.
The efficiency and reliability of a chain driven system highly depends on the interaction between the chain and sprocket. Just the smallest discrepancy in size can lead to stress damage to the chain, while low quality materials can cause the sprocket to wear and require early replacement. The Tsubaki range of sprockets has been manufactured from high quality steels to integrate seamlessly with all standard chain sizes and ensure a long and reliable service life.
One of the largest producers of MDF and particleboard in Europe has compared the cost of ownership for several popular brands of roller chain over a three year period at one of the company's main production plants. The samples varied from the cheapest available through to the highest quality lube-free roller chains; each was compared in a simple wear test. The aim of the practical test was to establish figures for outright longevity in an arduous application on the 'forming line', an area of the board production process that had the highest turnover of chain.