Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FB Literally Speed Freight and Container Handling with Links in the Supply Chain

Sometimes the Smallest Things Can Save Expense for Terminal Operators
Shipping News Feature

UK – Hertfordshire-based Industrial chain manufacturers and suppliers, FB Chain Ltd has announced the launch of a new brand of leaf chain, specifically designed for the type of heavy-capacity forklift trucks, reach stackers and container handlers used in and around ports, harbours and other freight terminals. SEB SuperEndurance chain, which controls a truck’s essential hydraulic mast functions, has been developed to ensure the highest levels of handling equipment uptime while minimising the requirement for routine chain maintenance. Managing Director of FB Chain Peter Church said:

“The initial costs and ongoing maintenance charges associated with leaf chains used on large pieces of materials handling equipment are high. Chains are time consuming to inspect and maintain and often require specialist lifting equipment to deal with them. Of more significance, however, is the cost incurred when a large piece of equipment is ‘out of service’ because its chain has failed. If, for example, the leaf chain malfunctions on a container handler, reach stacker or forklift, the equipment is out of action until the chain is repaired or replaced and the resultant downtime is costly and disruptive.”

The new chain has a number of unique features which combine to offer financial, environmental and throughput efficiency benefits. For instance, the chain has solid seamless bushes pressed in to two inner links. In simple terms, this bush design allows better contact between the chain’s plates and pins, which increases the chain’s resistance to wear significantly.

Chain wear is further reduced by the incorporation of a synthetic O-ring which provides a seal between the plate and the pin and retains lubricant in the part of the chain where it is most needed. This means the chain requires less lubrication which cuts operating costs and reduces the amount of oil which is washed off during routine cleaning. To reduce the impact of salt and humidity, the SEB chain is treated with a zinc flake coating which offers six times greater corrosion protection than traditional untreated chain and the product is compatible with all leading makes. Peter Church continues:

“Many chain oils cannot handle the high internal loads experienced in chains fitted to container handling trucks. This is especially true when trucks are fitted with spreader units that result in the chain being constantly under load even when the truck is not lifting. The O-ring and bush construction of SEB SuperEndurance chain reduces bearing pressure and retains oil in the right place, which extends the chain’s life significantly. The extended life of SEB chain significantly reduces fleet operating costs for any port-based application. The chain’s design not only means that users buy less chain, it also ensures that materials handling equipment spends less time ‘out of service’.”