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FB Chain launches automated lubrication system for roller and conveyor chains

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

RotaLube®, the automated lubrication system for roller and conveyor chains, helps enable cement plant operators to keep their chains in optimum condition for longer replacement intervals, along with lower oil and energy consumption.

FB Chain sees ineffective lubrication as one of the main reasons for conveyors not performing at their best and is a problem the company’s engineers come across far too often on client site visits.

To offer a simple and effective solution, the British chain manufacturer and supplier has introduced RotaLube® – an automated lubrication system that uses pumps and specially designed sprockets to reliably deliver exactly the right amount of lubricant to the right part of the chain at the right time.

“RotaLube® takes the hassle out of manual roller and conveyor chain lubrication and ensures chains are correctly lubricated at all times,” said RotaLube® inventor and FB Chain director David Chippendale.

Well-lubricated chains run smoothly, reducing noise as well as the energy required to drive them. The reduced friction also decreases wear to the chain and surrounding components for greater uptime and a longer service life. In addition, automated lubrication lowers demand on service technicians and eliminates wasteful overoiling. These benefits all combine to save quarry operators time and money, while reducing resource use.

7000 litres less oil consumed per year

Since RotaLube® was installed on 12” pitch chain in a circular reclaimer at a cement plant several years ago, the system has reduced oil consumption by up to 7000 litres a year, which equates to an annual saving of almost £10 000 in lubricant costs alone.

The carefully controlled lubrication has also extended the service life of the reclaimer chain, which by the end of 2020 had generated a cost saving of £60 000. The entire system paid for itself in just two and a half months. RotaLube® replaced a centralised lubrication system fitted in 1999, which dripped oil over the scraper chain every 20 mins as it passed under four open-ended pipes. Large quantities of oil were wasted as it was poured around the area, rather than concentrated on the pins where it was needed. In addition, the over lubrication was causing dust to stick to the scraper chain, leading to abrasion, and product contamination.

Instead, a bespoke steel sprocket with lubrication points engineered into it was fitted onto the return of the scraper chain. As the chain turns the cog, a shot of oil is now released directly into the pivot points on the chain links.

The customer went from having to replace a 208 litre barrel of oil every eight days to 21 days. As well as reducing vehicle movement on site, it also saved approximately 72 hours per year for barrel changing and 8 hours unloading deliveries, leaving the fitter and field operative more time for other duties.

“We are bringing RotaLube® to the market at a time when there is increasing interest among cement plant operators to automate more of their processes – and we are excited to see it contribute to greater uptime, lower costs and lower environmental impact at more sites across the UK and beyond,” Chippendale said.

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European cement news