Chain Conveyors: Overview
Chain conveyors are a rugged and durable conveyor systems that are used to transport a multitude of products that would not typically convey on a roller conveyor. Typical products that would be conveyed include pallets, racks, industrial containers and other products with a sturdy conveying surface.
Chain conveyors are powered by a continuous chain and are primarily utilized to transport heavy loads. Our chain conveyor systems are typically a double strand configuration with the load positioned on the chains, however multiple strand configurations are available. This chain conveyor is generally very easy to install, requires minimal maintenance, and integrates easily in systems with CDLR and transfers. They are sometimes referred to as a pallet conveyor due to their wide use in transporting wood or steel pallets. Multiple chain options allow for flexibility in applications as well as environments.
Chain Conveyor Applications:
- Moving heavy products from one location to another. Chain conveyors are very simple and exceptionally durable
- Moving product through high temperature zones (e.g. ovens) where other conveyor types may not be suitable
- Moving in either continuous or indexing modes (i.e. the chain stops and starts each time to move a product to the end of the chain using a sensor)
- Changing the speed is necessary. When fitted with a VFD (variable frequency drive), a chain conveyor is a simple conveyor to adjust the speed on
Don’t use a chain conveyor if you need:
- Accumulating products (i.e. for a buffer). Chain conveyors generally don’t allow the products to nest up against each other (“accumulate”) without them pushing product off the chain or sideways across the chain. If you need accumulation, use a roller conveyor or power and free overhead conveyor
- Products that won’t slide or roll off the chain. Chain conveyors require the part to ride on the chain without sliding. If you need the parts to be held while on the conveyor, consider a slat conveyor which can be fitted with tooling to hold the product in place as the conveyor moves along. Some chain conveyors can be fitted with pins to hold skids or other part location devices
- Products with soft or uneven surfaces on the bottom are not suited for chain conveyors.
- To use the conveyor as a working surface. Chain conveyors are typically made for transport, not for production operations on them. Use a slat conveyor or roller conveyor. If using a chain conveyor as a working surface, special safety considerations need to be addressed as the chain can be dangerous
- Moving products up or down inclines. Products may slide easily on the chains
- Moving a product around curves. Use a 90 degree transfer to move products from one chain conveyor line to another
Technical Specifications for Ultimation Chain Conveyors:
Depending upon the product weight and the product being conveyed, different chain types and tracks are available as well as custom configurations. Capacities typically range from 500 lbs. up to 80,000 lbs for the two strand conveyor.
- Heavy duty welded construction with structural tube chain rails
- UHMW Polyethylene chain tracks provide wear resistance, quiet operation and power reduction
- Steel chain tracks for increase loads
- Padded transfer chains with non-marring pads for glass or painted parts
- Center-mounted drive allows for chain travel to be reversed
- Built to order – modifications easily made
Chain Conveyor Track:
For lighter loads, UHMW Polyethylene track is used with chain sizes C50, C60 and C80 (up to 3000 lbs.). This provides wear resistance, quiet operation and reduces power requirements. Special hardened alloy steel track is used on C80 (3000 lbs. and up), C100 and RC120 sizes for increased load carrying capacity and long life.
“C” series, straight side-bar chain on sizes C50 through C100 is used. This flat plate chain reduces product damage and wear compared to traditional roller chain.
Transfer chain with non-marring pads assembled to the chain. Glass or painted parts are just some of the products that can be conveyed on this chain.
Polyurethane v-belts or flat belts are available for non-marring applications.
Center-mounted drive allows chain travel to be reversed. Drive and pinch points are guarded.