UK industrial chain manufacturer and supplier FB Chain is sharing its comprehensive expertise by hosting chain knowledge days to help maintain and improve good practices for companies working with safety-critical forklift mast components.
Cementing its position as an industry leader in chain expertise and best practice, FB Chain has recently hosted its third consecutive annual chain knowledge day in Bedfordshire.
FB Chain welcomed 16 customers, as well as staff from CFTS (Consolidated Fork Truck Services), to its annual in-depth leaf chain knowledge day. CFTS offers training for the thorough examination of fork lift trucks. It is a joint venture between the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), two major industry trade organisations in materials handling.
The event took place at the historic Stotfold Mill in Bedfordshire, where guests were given chain industry insight and knowledge to help maintain and improve good practices when working with safety-critical forklift mast components.
Peter Church, managing director at FB Chain, says: “We run the events to increase the knowledge of senior fork lift technicians and to help troubleshoot leaf chain related issues of training managers within the fork lift industry,” he says. “We get many different fork lift truck repair companies attending, some for the first time and some repeat attendees that want to stay up to date.”
Despite it only being the company’s third annual event, the chain knowledge days have rapidly contributed to FB Chain’s strong reputation as a knowledge leader in the industry.
Peter continues: “The attendees learn important information that they would not necessarily learn in their day-to-day work; everything from converting kilonewtons into kilograms or tons to establishing the relationship between tensile strength and working load fatigue strength.”
The days typically begin with foundation knowledge on how leaf chain is made before moving on to types of chain failure, their likely causes and preventive measures.
3% worn leaf chain will lose approximately 18% of its tensile strength. When this occurs, chain is considered a safety risk and needs to be replaced immediately. As 3% is such a small percentage, chain needs to be monitored regularly using an accurate measuring device.
“We always put a lot of focus on measuring chain wear,” explains Peter. “We look closely at what’s actually being measured and compare a couple of wear measurement methods. We then go on to answer some regular questions like ‘why do some leaf chains measure under pitch?’ and ‘what type of lubricant should be used?”
Bob Hine, technical consultant at BITA, attended the recent event. “After some 45 years in materials handling engineering, I found this a most informative and in-depth day,” he says. “I would recommend it to all who are involved with the subject of leaf chains. Whether it is the design selection, the importance of the correct maintenance or the statutory thorough examination and measuring of leaf chains, the FB Chain team certainly knows its stuff. Its knowledge day provides a professional approach to help improve our ability to work with leaf chains, especially within safe limits.”
Matthew Kennedy, CFTS technical manager, also attended. He says: “The team at FB Chain clearly strive to lead the way when it comes to quality and customer support. I found the day very interesting and informative, and would definitely recommend others to attend courses in the future.”
For its next events, FB Chain is looking towards Leeds and Bristol. “The reason for this is simply a geographical one,” concludes Peter. “So far it’s mainly been our larger customers who have attended our events; customers with lots of engineers and lots of sites. By going to Leeds and Bristol, we’re more likely to engage some of our smaller customers.”
FB Chain hopes to continue to draw in companies to help promote good practice and present itself as the knowledge leader in the industry.