Poly Chain belt brings large benefits to bottler

When one of the world’s global beverage manufacturers called upon the expertise of CBC Australia to assist in improving their roller chain conveyor drive issues, a collaborative effort ensued with both CBC and Gates engineers recommending a Poly Chain GT Carbon belt solution. That belt solution was installed in 2008 – and it’s still running successfully today.

“If you look at it from a product point of view, we changed the drive chain to a polyurethane belt. And this conveyed a number of efficiency improvements for the customer, in terms of both maintenance and from an occupational health and safety (OH&S) perspective,” says John Perri, who was the CBC representative working with the client at the time.

Perri explained that the drive chain that had been used previously needed regular lubrication, in which the Gates Poly Chain belt does not. Additionally, because the roller chain would stretch after a period of use, it also needed to be changed out periodically – again, the Gates belt does not (in fact, the original drive installed has still not been replaced after over a decade of use). And, besides the costs involved in regularly replacing the chain, there was also the issue of safety for those doing maintenance work onsite.

“The roller chain drive in use was heavy and the maintenance team would have to be lying down on the next conveyor just to access it, which was a clear concern from an OH&S standpoint. The Gates Poly Chain belt solved that issue as well,” Perri confirmed.

As a result of the positive performance of the Gates Poly Chain GT Carbon drive in the first two years, the beverage company went on to convert the entire bottling site to the Gates belt product. As Australia’s largest bottler, the costs saved from converting all drives has been significant.

Importantly, this example also demonstrates the confidence that client’s such as this particular beverage manufacturer have in the CBC team. Matthew Byrnes is the current Business Development Specialist from CBC that is looking after the Food & Beverage segment that this client falls under.

“They have absolute confidence as a result of the many years that we have worked with them – and that is testament to John’s work – in our services. We have built a rapport that enables us to look at ways we can improve various applications at their plant,” he explains.

Moreover, the customer still has the option to contact John Perri, who first started working with them in 2001. After observing the canning line conveyor and gaining an understanding of the problem they were having with the roller chain drive, Perri initially recommended the Gates product.

“I’m proficient in the Gates product but this was very much a collaboration with a Gates engineer to come up with the right solution for the client. We needed to ensure the belt was installed correctly and with the right tensioning,” he said.

Based on the outcomes of this experience, the customer also came to rely on Perri and CBC’s collective expertise in supplying products for other applications such as power transmission and sealing upgrades.

“They often still ring me when they want to discuss an issue, and I always pick up. They know that they can rely on me or any of our CBC team to be available to them, which is really not a service that other distributors provide,” Perri reiterates.

Moreover, the saturation of CBC stores across Australia and distribution network ensures that speedy delivery of parts and products as well as availability of personnel.

“Where we differentiate ourselves is that we are able to offer such a wide range of products and services, and our customers only have to come to the one place – they don’t need a separate supplier for power transmission, or bearings, and so on. We are in the unique position of being able to consolidate all our products, knowledge and technical expertise into the one delivery,” says Byrnes.

Case Study Details: Australia’s Largest Bottler

Application: Canning line roller chain drives on conveyors 1.1kW@300rpm

Original components:  Chain = 5/80-inch simplex roller chain, DriveR Sprocket = 17 tooth, DriveN Sprocket = 21 tooth

Problem: Customer having roller chain conveyor issues, frequent maintenance and lubrication caused excessive downtime. High noise levels of roller chain, 55dBA on each drive. Single chain drives were changed out approximately two-three times per year. In wash down areas roller chain would lose lubrication and rust solid.

Solution Description: Belt = 8MGT-1760-12 Poly Chain GT Carbon, DriveR Sprocket = 40 tooth (stainless steel), DriveN Sprocket = 48 tooth (stainless steel)

Benefits of Gates Product: After 24 months the drives showed no signs of wear on either belts or sprockets. The entire bottling site has since been converted to Poly Chain GT Carbon drives. The drives are clean with no grease, lube, or maintenance required. Noise levels dropped to 40dBA on each drive. Drives have remained untouched since installation.

Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au



Unchain your operations: maintenance-free alternative to transmission roller chain

Industrial chain drives in food and beverage manufacturing plants are under a lot of stress. Transmission roller chains have to handle heavy loads, high speeds, high temperatures, volatile materials and other demanding environmental conditions.

And sometimes, the simple fact is, they can’t handle those things.

Re-tensioning and lubricating the roller chains can be quite time-consuming, costing businesses in downtime. Some drives even fail only a few months into their lifetime, requiring expensive replacements. All of these add up to the cost of the businesses.

That might have been acceptable in the past. “That’s how we’ve always done it,” business-owners would say. But that doesn’t cut it anymore, especially when there’s a better option available.

A better alternative
Building on decades of experience in creating optimum solutions for belt drives in both automotive and industrial applications, Gates Australia has introduced Poly Chain GT Carbon belts, which are well equipped to handle the demands of any food and beverage manufacturing environment. Poly Chain GT Carbon are Gates’ most powerful synchronous belt, specifically designed for optimum performance on high torque, low speed drives often seen in industrial applications.

An excellent alternative to chain drives, Poly Chain offers many benefits to any business.

The body and teeth of Poly Chain GT Carbon are constructed using a lightweight polyurethane compound, which is specially blended to adhere to the cords and fabric. Carbon fibre tensile cords provide extraordinary power carrying capacity as well as exceptional flex fatigue life. Combined, these factors mean Poly Chain GT Carbon has the strength to withstand shocks and surge loading and is virtually immune to abrasions. Being much lighter than steel chain, Poly Chain GT Carbon also reduces overhung loads.

Additionally, the new Poly Chain GT Carbon has power ratings up to 30 percent higher than the company’s earlier versions of Poly Chain and a service life up to three times longer than conventional roller chains. Similarly, pulley life for Poly Chain is up to ten times longer than roller chain sprockets.

By eliminating the need for constant re-tensioning, lubricating and removing the links, Poly Chain GT Carbon belts increase the production efficiency and save businesses valuable time. Poly Chain GT Carbon belts are completely maintenance-free. They do not require messy lubrication or oil baths (a hazard for any food handling environment) or re-tensioning every few months. They will not stretch during service. They offer 400 percent greater capacity than HTD belts, five percent energy savings over V-belts, and 99 percent efficiency for the life of the drive.

Poly Chain GT Carbon inert to most acids, chemicals and water, making it an ideal solution for wet environments – unlike roller chains, which can rust, potentially contaminating food-handling spaces.

Poly Chain GT Carbon belts operate on Poly Chain GT pulleys and do not require any adaptation of existing GT2 applications.

Poly Chain GT Carbon comes in a range of pitches. This range now includes both short and extended custom lengths, to suit a variety of manufacturing purposes.

Short length versions of the belt in 5M and 8M are suitable for industrial markets requiring a short centre distance but high-density power and offer all the benefits listed above.

Poly Chain GT Carbon is also available in 19M lengths to handle longer drive centre distances, while delivering high-power capability, long life and freedom from maintenance. Poly Chain GT Carbon offers a massive 96 percent weight saving versus traditional, comparable transmission roller chains.

Extended length manufacturing capability allows for custom belt lengths with any tooth count – within the minimum and maximum length range.

All Poly Chain GT Carbon belts are fully operational in temperature extremes of -54°C to +85°C and can be used for applications in general manufacturing, food and beverage, timber, agriculture, oil & gas, cement and more. They are suited to a range of different environments, from food production to fans and pumps.

Poly Chain® GT™ Carbon™ also offers reduced width drive conversions for existing roller chain applications, and over 120,000 possible ratio combinations, making it easy to switch the drives. The space-saving, weight-saving, time-saving and money-saving drives offer a long and reliable service life.

Gates Australia is currently promoting their roller chain replacement product Poly Chain GT Carbon by offering an obligation free drive design and report showing the cost to replace a roller chain drive including ROI, simply complete the form at www.gatesaustralia.com.au/unchain.