Industrial conveyor chain for special applications
October 27, 2021
BMG’s comprehensive range of power transmission components incorporates ZMC industrial conveyor chains, that offer dependable service in diverse applications, especially for use in food production.
“BMG’s ZMC solutions for the food and beverage sector extend from the processing of raw ingredients, to baking, bottle washing, packaging and safe distribution,” explains Gavin Kirsten, Product Manager, BMG. “Our team of specialists advises customers at food and beverage plants to only invest in conveyor components that are manufactured in food-compliant materials – like Stainless Steel – for highly-specialised and safety-critical applications in food manufacturing and preparation.
“Advantages of Stainless Steel components include corrosion and thermal shock resistance, durability, resistance to powerful cleaning detergents and the ability to withstand a wide temperature range – from cooking to freezing. What’s critical, is that food is unspoiled by non-toxic Stainless Steel components.
“Stainless Steel chains are also recommended because this material has low magnetic permeability and is highly resistant to both alkali and acidic environments.”
The ZMC portfolio comprises standard chains and chains for special applications, which are manufactured in Italy to stringent quality specifications and are available from BMG in a wide range of dimensions, mechanical characteristics and geometry. These metric and imperial chains are available with solid, hollow or extended pins, with bushings, rollers or bearings mounted at the centre of the links, or with holes in the links, specially designed for the subsequent assembly of the necessary components. BMG also supplies sprockets, with or without a hub, for each type of chain.
BMG’s range of ZMC chains for special applications – particularly for the food, beverage, packaging and pharmaceutical sectors – is manufactured with the appropriate combination of materials, heat treatments, surface coatings, geometry and precise dimensions to cope efficiently with complex challenges.
BMG specialists advise on suitable materials and coatings for specific working conditions – load, speed, temperature, humidity and contact with process fluids or steam.
The company also offers a measuring service, which makes it possible to assemble the chains on the system by perfectly matching them, to ensure maximum precision and uniformity of length. This prevents product waste by perfectly aligning dual strand conveying systems.
The main applications for ZMC Stainless Steel conveyor chains in the agri-food industry are in machines used to select fruit and vegetables according to size, weight and for processing and packaging products.
Bakery proofers are an integral part of the industrial process to produce numerous bakery products, including bread, crackers, breadsticks, rusks, pizza, biscuits and sweets.
Depending on the size and characteristics of the product and specific performance requirements, the proofer can be developed in various ways, using vertical and horizontal Stainless Steel conveyors to carry the trays, baking tins or slats, on which the products to be leavened are deposited.
Fundamental parameters for the design of the system include speed, transported load, temperature and other environmental conditions, as well as scheduled maintenance. With the choice of various materials, including Stainless Steels of various types, heat treatments, coatings and special components, including bushings and bearings, it is possible to produce chains capable of working up to 500 °C.
The main configurations for food baking ovens with conveyor chains are horizontal wire net or slats. In wire net ovens, the chains are generally produced with hollow pins, while for the slats, a wide range of chains with attachments has been developed – some of which have protruding pins and outboard rollers. In this sector, ZMC’s self-lubricating Mecasec® technology, can be used up to 250 °C.
BMG recommends ZMC 50 mm pitch chain with protruding pins used in peeling machines in the canning industry. Other designs of recommended chain for this sector include hollow pins and protruding pins.
Bottle washer chains require high strength and long wear life without lubrication. For part of the bottle washing process the chain works immersed in water with diluted detergent and is often polluted by abrasive elements from the glass bottles, like dust and paper residues.
For high efficiency in bottle washing systems, BMG specialists recommend the use of high-performance Stainless Steel chains. ZMC bottle washer chains are available with attachments, that have welded internal screws, for securely fixing the crossbars on which bottles are transported.
Other applications for ZMC chain are for conveyors in complex assembly lines in automotive manufacturing plants, cement production and in timber and sugar mills.
BMG’s Power Transmission division also supplies and supports other leading brands of chains, including Fenner, Tsubaki, Webb and Rexnord.